(I wrote this for the Urban News, January 2021)
It was almost 11 months ago when I wrote about TDS or Trump Derangement Syndrome. It is that is the feeling that falls over you when multiple conservatives have repeatedly lied to you. It is a combination of nausea, disgust, and anger—overlaid with frustration.
Recently, the lies have been flowing like the mighty Mississippi river. If there were an Olympic category for lying, Trump would be a gold-medal decathlete. If, for some reason, you thought that he would crawl into his gold-plated Mar-a-Lago hole and disappear because he lost the general election, you were, and are sadly mistaken. His crazy, stupid, paranoid, delusional and un-American tactics to overturn the election results have been overwhelming.
I could go over the list of more than 60 lawsuits that Trump and his allies have filed in state and federal courts since the election. For the most part, Trump and the GOP have lost all their “legal” challenges. All of them. What I thought was the boldest and most un-American move was when Donald Trump invited a group of Republican members of the Michigan state legislature to the White House, where he tried to pressure them into overturning the election. In what can only be called an act of patriotism and duty, the Michigan legislators, after meeting with Trump, stated in a joint press conference that they had not seen any information that would change the outcome.
Conservatives always like to point out that we don’t actually live in a democracy but a “constitutional republic.” For the most part, this difference is meaningless. Our Constitution is set up so that our government is chosen by its citizens—a democracy—and works within a system of checks and balances reflecting its different governing parts—a republic.
For example, if the president tries to overstep his authority, Congress and the Supreme Court have the power to reign in the president. Also, states have authority over certain rules and laws that the federal government cannot override—including how to run elections.
But over the past four years, those checks and balances have been stretched to the limit. Trump requires everyone to be loyal to him personally, or be fired. He believes they take an oath of office to obey him, not the Constitution or the laws of the United States. Unfortunately, our founding fathers did not have an answer for this. They did not foresee all three branches of government being taken over by one person.
In my opinion, our democracy is in trouble. The rule of law is in peril. This is not like after Watergate when Americans, overwhelmingly, rejected Nixon and the Republicans who supported him. Instead, we have a large swath of Americans who believe and support the lies of Trump.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley has stated his plan to publicly object to the Electoral College being free and fair. He’s been joined by eleven other Republican senators: Cruz of Texas, Johnson (WI), Lankford (OK), Daines (MT), Kennedy (LA), Blackburn (TN) and Braun (IN), and four newly elected senators who took their seats Jan. 3—Cynthia Lummis (WY), Roger Marshall (KS), Bill Hagerty (TN) and Tommy Tuberville (AL).
Their objection to Biden’s election will cause contentious votes in the Senate. More importantly, I think it causes more and more Americans to distrust our system. I have no idea how we get the trust back. I don’t think that there’s anything that Biden/Harris can do or say that would sow the seeds of trust in those who have swallowed the nonsense of the Trump administration. Without trust, our democracy will fall apart.
As a nation, we continue to be in the midst of the worst pandemic in over 100 years. The Trump administration has inexplicably chosen to downplay the virus at every turn. Trump himself explained to best-selling author Bob Woodward last January that he always wanted to downplay the virus—because he didn’t want to cause a “panic.” Well, what he has caused instead is millions of infections which were completely preventable. Over three hundred thousand Americans have died, many because of mismanagement and misinformation. Trump’s refusal to wear a mask or endorse mask wearing has itself killed tens of thousands of Americans. The simple wearing of masks saves lives. This is a fact.
Now it appears that we have two effective vaccines. Yet, because Republicans hate government, it is near impossible for them to make the government work effectively. Back in August or September, the Trump administration knew that the vaccine from Pfizer and the vaccine from Moderna appeared to be on track for FDA approval. This is when “Operation Warp Speed” should have begun comprehensive planning on how to get the vaccine to hundreds of millions of Americans quickly. This is a huge logistical nightmare.
Vaccines vs. vaccinations
But, instead of tackling the whole problem, the Trump administration decided they would only tackle a piece of the problem. They would send vaccines to the states and tell state health departments, with their already overstretched budgets, to figure out how to vaccinate their residents.
This is a prime example of how the Trump administration has yet again dropped the ball. This is why there is such confusion: because Trump talks a big game, but does not—cannot—lead.
The administration should have set up multiple distribution centers in each state. The vaccines would then go to injection sites. These injection sites would include hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and drugstores. Huge stores like Walmart and Target—especially those with in-store pharmacies—should also have been included as injection sites. We would need to also hire an additional workforce of nurses and paramedics who can give injections.
There should be a simple-to-use website managed by the CDC that would take down your pertinent information and allow you to schedule an injection time at one of the sites. You would be scheduled according to your risk of infection. Front-line workers would be scheduled first—medical workers, followed by “essential workers” in meat-packing, farming, food distribution and service, and so forth. The highly vulnerable elderly and those with pre-existing conditions next.
Politicians would not be first in line. Politicians should not jump the line ahead of more essential workers. At best, they should be in the second or third tier, and wait their turn just like every other American.
But planning like this would require forethought and organization. Unfortunately, Trump is not capable of clarity of thought. He cannot plan. He cannot organize. He simply cannot think clearly and logically. So the American people, once again, pay the price for his incompetence.
I, too, have a dream
In honor of Martin Luther King, let me change the great pastor’s words around just a little bit.
I have a dream. I have a dream that one day Donald Trump will leave the White House. On that day, Twitter/Facebook/Instagram will cancel his accounts for repeatedly violating their code of conduct policy. Soon thereafter, the state of New York will indict Trump on multiple counts of fraud and malfeasance. As soon as Trump steps to the microphone to lie to the American people once again, a judge will bar him from talking to the media until after his trial is over.
My dream includes restoring truth, justice, and equality to the American landscape. I have a dream that one day, Black and Brown people can encounter the police without fear of being shot and killed. And the Lord knows that I have a Dream that one day we will be able to put this virus behind us.
Until that day, be safe—and welcome to 2021!
Wait, they did what?
My article was complete. It was turned in. I was done. Heck, as a matter fact, I wasn’t going to watch the Georgia election results. I went to college in Georgia in the early 1980s. I have followed Atlanta and Georgia relatively closely over the last 20 to 30 years. I really did not think that Georgia was ready to elect a black man, Raphael Warnock, an ordained minister from Martin Luther King’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, and a Jewish, 33-year-old, documentary filmmaker, Jon Ossoff. Yet, Georgia elected both of these men to represent them as their senators in Congress. I’m flabbergasted! Break open the champagne!! Woohoo!!!
Wait just a second, let’s hold off on that champagne. Just hours after Georgia voted for two Democrats to represent them in the U.S. Senate, Pres. Trump told a rally in Washington DC that he would never concede. Trump told thousands of his supporters that the election was stolen. He again spouted the same lies and deception about the election. He told the crowd that they would never get there country back with weakness. He urged them to march to the United States Capital.
What happened next, should not be a surprise. One would figure that the Capital Police would be ready. Trump has incited violence in the past. Ever since he lost the November election, Trump has been asking his supporters to take matters into their hands. He told the Proud Boys, a racist, chauvinist group of anarchists, to stand by and wait for the right moment. Well, with little resistance from the Capital Police, this mob of Trump supporters broke into the Capital. Members of Congress were asked to shelter in place while these crazed insurrectionists roamed the halls of Congress, breaking windows, throwing chairs, desecrating the People’s House. It took approximately 2 to 3 hours for the police to get control of the situation. They called in the FBI, the National Guard from both Maryland and Virginia and the DC Metro police. Mike Pence, the vice president, was forced to authorize activation of the National Guard because President Trump refused.
As I’m typing this, Congress has reconvened. They will certify the electoral college vote and officially elect Joe Biden as President and Kamala Harris as vice president. But Congress has more work to do. Are we safe, as Americans, with Donald Trump being our president for one more day? Should Donald Trump be impeached, immediately, for inciting violence against the United States? In my opinion, he should be removed from office NOW. Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley who were vocal supporters of this insurrection should also be removed from Congress by the Senate. We have tolerated the breaking of our norms and the bending of our laws for the last four years. This can no longer be tolerated. Now it is time for us as Americans to truly call for law and order. This isn’t politics as usual. This is serious. It is time for us to stand up and say that we are Americans and we are not going to stand for insurrection or sedition. Period!