Make no mistake, these are bad times in America and it is small comfort to say, “I told you they were like that,” when others are horrified at acts of inhumanity, as though it’s never happened before. And doesn’t happen every day in criminal courtrooms across the country. And if the Republicans succeed with their voter-suppression strategy, it will happen again and again, harder and faster, until it is drilled into the nation’s consciousness, that inhumanity has emerged from the background to take center stage as a symbol of America.
That Donald Trump does not have the capacity for, or even understand the nature of empathy, has been proven time and time again. His callousness when speaking to the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, killed in Niger, his dismissal of the post-hurricane conditions in Puerto Rico as a problem, and now his utter aggressive indifference at the cries of children. And when he says he “hates” the separation of child and parent, a policy he initiated and controls, one commentator said Trump sounds like a domestic abuser saying, “I hate hitting you. Why do you make me do it?”
Once again, the disbelief at the everyday cruelty and lying nature of the man proves the famous George Santayana quote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” And we’d better pay attention to this man and this time. If you think on American history, and see Trump, Stephen Miller, John Kelly and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III as members of a modern-day lynching party, then you quickly understand that nothing is beneath him or them. When their blood is up and they’re feeling their whiteness and faced with a weak opponent, there’s no talking to them. The president and his minion will have to be overruled and the question is will the Republicans in Congress find the courage to do that, even now? And the reason they’re having difficulty is simple: they are afraid of the millions of voters who fiercely agree with the president. And thanks to political gerrymandering this minority of American citizens are strategically placed to control the political destiny of anyone who stands against him.
This rabid few, who haven’t gotten over the Civil War or grown out of the meanness in their gut, are the ones driving the policy – the “base” as they’re called. The good news is that for the same reason they lost the Civil War, they are a national minority, the overwhelming outcry against the policy has forced Trump to rescind the separation of parent and child and no doubt they will continue to look at Brown people who have made long, hard, journeys fleeing pain- and find more creative ways to punish them.
For the Republicans, being called a coward in the face of Trump and his base is very useful. They allow that epithet to be cited as their reason for not protecting Special Prosecutor Robert Muller, using their supposed cowardice as a cover for their treasonous inaction on the Russian election interference. After all, it was on their behalf and there are midterms coming up and the Republicans will need all the help they can get. Sort of like white folks and racism, they would speak out and take action against it, if it didn’t help them in so many little ways.
Now is the time to fight voter suppression, made harder in the courts because of the Supreme Court decision in favor of Ohio’s voter purge system. That means voters in counties conducting purges have to reconfirm their registrations after the purge has been completed. There is a lot of work to be done.