Doc Yale

Democracy Trumped
First in a continuing series of rants against Donald Trump
New York City police officers guard Trump Tower,
President-elect Donald Trump�s Manhattan home. (Richard Drew / AP)

Doc Yale has been just as disillusioned as the rest of the crowd at the election of the Donald.  And so much has been written about the consequences of that event that it seems like there may not be much to add.  But to DY�s way of thinking it would be a big mistake to stop talking/writing/ranting about it and just let the trumpeters go their selfish way.  Therefore this blog will try to keep up a regular rant until the man is impeached or at least forced to go hide in one of his hotels for fear of the public or the police or the men in white coats.

In the days following the election, DY, like all the other dismayed news junkies, read more analyses of the election and its consequences than he really wanted to.  Two articles stood out as extremes at the time.  One was an opinion piece in the Washington Post by Garrison Keillor on November 9 entitled �Trump voters will not like what happens next.�  The other was an article by Chris Hedges entitled �It�s Worse Than You Think� in Truthdig on November 11. 

DY�s initial reaction to Mr. Keillors article was that it was kind of upbeat. This is epitomized by a paragraph in the middle noting that:

 ï¿½We liberal elitists are now completely in the clear. The government is in Republican hands. Let them deal with him. Democrats can spend four years raising heirloom tomatoes, meditating, reading Jane Austen, traveling around the country, tasting artisan beers, and let the Republicans build the wall and carry on the trade war with China and deport the undocumented and deal with opioids, and we Democrats can go for a long , brisk walk and smell the roses.�

The implication was that trumpism would be a passing fad of four years at most and that the undeplorables could sit out and smell the flowers while the trumpistas would have to deal with the problems of the world.

 Chris Hedges view, not surprisingly, was more draconian.  His conclusion:

 ï¿½The long and ruthless assault on the working class, the legal system, electoral politics, the mass media, social services, the ecosystem, education and civil liberties..has disemboweled the country.  It has left the nation a decayed wreck.  We celebrate ignorance.  We have replaced political discourse, news, culture and intellectual inquiry with celebrity worship and spectacle. �

Both writers pointed to the fact that Trump supporters are likely to be disappointed (Keillor) or betrayed (Hedges). 

Which brings DY to what he considers the most shocking/startling/unnerving realization of this election�that the institutions that have been an article of faith for many people for decades may not be permanent.  They include:

  • Free speech and a free press
  • A legal system based on law and equality under the law
  • Government of the people, by the people, and for the people (including future generations)

Now most thoughtful people realize that these institutions are far from perfect�but there was a faith that society could have them as ideals and that such a society could and would move to improve them.  Suddenly, these assumptions seem to no longer be there.  Pundits talk not about �the next election� in four years but rather about �if there will be another election�.  The ingrained optimism that our system with checks and balances could outlive and outmaneuver a crazy man is no longer there. 

 Keillor concludes �The past year of politics has taught us absolutely nothing.  Zilch. Zero. Nada.  The future is scary.�