Friday, June 30, 2017

US President Shames America

It seems a century ago since a couple of the highest integrity occupied the White House; since America's reputation internationally was at the highest point it's been for decades; since the country was moving forward internally on all progressive social fronts, and internationally as a leader in diplomacy and tackling climate change. Freedom of the press was taken for granted. The right to a better life for all was recognized by those who had the power in government to work towards that end.

From the President down, the administration was filled with bright, informed, intelligent and highly qualified people. Issues were discussed at length from every angle. The President listened to his advisers and took the trouble to do what a president is obliged to do—he made sure that he too was informed on all aspects of every matter.

America had plenty of its own social and economic problems, but they were acknowledged, and steps were being taken to address them. The social, familial and individual values that allow for a society to function, address ills, and move forward, were respected. Truth was honored. This was a civilized, progressive, forward moving, first world country.

Both the President and the First Lady were recognized internationally for their leadership qualities. Both were having a huge impact on the world. The White House was a place that deserved respect.

From that to this. It's painful now to think back to the campaign trails of Hillary Clinton and the current occupant of the White House. There was so much hope that the US would keep moving in the direction it had been going for seven years. The candidate who was least qualified—a known liar, bigot, racist, con artist and sexual abuser with very low intelligence and total absence of integrity—publicly demeaned the Muslim parents of a soldier who had died in service. He cruelly mocked a disabled reporter, insulted women, labeled Mexicans as rapists and criminals, talked of banning all Muslims.

The outrage exploded. The world looked on with shock as Republican politicians,  desperate for power, made a deal with the devil and endorsed this low-life, as did a swathe of American citizens, punch-drunk on entitlement to ignore decent human values. Hate-crime burgeoned.

The putrid underbelly of American society that had been lurking just below the surface when an African American had the audacity to run for president and then to win, came into focus and gained momentum. On the other side, though, Hillary Clinton shattered the glass ceiling, despite the monumental obstacles thrown in her path. The Obamas campaigned for her passionately, articulately, energetically. The battle between good and evil raged, but good seemed to have the upper hand. The liberal press finally got off the fence, openly endorsing Hillary Clinton.

Unequivocally condemning the Republican candidate.  Who was then revealed to have been recorded bragging about doing whatever he wanted with women without their permission, and grabbing them by the pussy.

It was the last straw. Women and decent men of all races and lifestyles, in the US and around the world, expressed their fury, disgust and pure outrage. A global movement was birthed. Finally the world was acknowledging that this sexism was not normal, not acceptable and never would be. Speaking for myself, my world changed. I felt vindicated for my own rage at abuse I've experienced, and openly and unconditionally supported by millions of women and decent men. I felt taller, stronger. Shame was driven out.

Yet Republicans voted for this vile, debased excuse for a man. Voter suppression targeted Democrat African Americans. Russian interference, fake news, conservative media and the far right slagged Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party 24/7 and pumped the airwaves with untruths, myths, and wild conspiracy theories about her. Truth was a lone swimmer in a wild ocean filled with man-eating sharks and predators.

And the unthinkable happened. Evil triumphed over good. The White House descended into chaos as the current occupant's utter incompetency and mental and spiritual degradation spread like a deadly pathogen into every corner of the administration. The US back-pedaled faster than the speed of light.
Respect, honor, integrity, social values, competency, intelligence and truth have no place in the American government now. So it wasn't a surprise when the leader reverted back to his campaign modus operandi of publicly demeaning women.

The President of the United States. Whose tweets are official statements.

CNN host Brian Stelter set the record straight.
"I put lipstick on a pig", said Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter of Trump's book Art of the Deal, in July 2016. The words still ring true. Apology to pigs.