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THOMPSON: America will live well beyond any memories of Donald Trump

July 09, 2018 - 2:04 PM



When the audience knows what’s going on more than one or more of the characters in a play…it’s a literary device known as dramatic irony.

America’s current work of non-fiction - playing to audiences worldwide - is ripe with dramatic irony. Though difficult to nail down the genre…it is somewhere between Greek tragedy and farce…and on any given day it swings wildly.

American democracy - all 242 years - zigzags toward the more perfect union its founders intended in the preamble to the Constitution. The zigs and zags have had disastrous results over the years…and alienated entire groups of people.

Congress once worked diligently to eradicate Native Americans…before finally settling on mere subjugation. Some 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent - but Americans nonetheless - were relocated and incarcerated after Pearl Harbor. The legacy of enslaving millions of Africans lives on today in institutional and widespread individual racism. The cost of America’s invasion of Iraq…based on convenient lies…is almost incalculable. Some of the zigs and zags cost more than dollars…the American Civil War left more than 620,000 people dead.

The truth is that these and other past imperfections on America’s journey toward that more perfect union dwarf the issues and consequences that plague America today. Don’t get me wrong…I despise Donald Trump. He is, in fact, a sorry excuse for a president.

And, to be sure, Trump’s presidency represents either a zig or a zag…the inevitable one-step back after two-steps forward by the world’s greatest democracy. But despite the hatred, the racism, the lying, the homophobic twists and turns, the misogyny, the co-opting of the Republican Party and the intentional divisiveness…America will live well beyond any memories of Donald Trump.

I remind you that two of the worst Roman Emperors - Caligula and Nero - served within 20 years of each other, and despite their corrupt and dreadful rule…the Roman Empire survived and thrived for almost another 1,400 years!

So, you have to ask, if these aren’t the worst of times for America…and there’s clear evidence these are far from the worst times…why are people fighting each other left and right?

Well, certainly Donald Trump has done his best to divide and conquer…appealing to the worst in people with lies and propaganda. Millions of Americans - despite living better than any time in history - embrace myths: Illegal immigrants are rapists, drug dealers and murderers. Russia and North Korea are America’s friends. Canada, England, Germany, Italy and France cannot be trusted. Tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations really benefit working people and the poor. Universal health care only works everywhere but America. Arming teachers with guns makes schools safer. Tearing babies from the arms of illegal immigrant moms and dads protects America.. And so on and so on.

America has problems…but they can be solved. Trump is nearer a dictator than the head of a great democracy…and he creates more problems than solutions. Further, he rules with a gleeful cruelty that is so foreign to what America stands for that too many want to line up shots of Tequila to deaden the pain.

But, I believe this year’s mid-term November election will signal the beginning of the end for the Trump Administration. Republican control of the House of Representatives will likely end…and the Senate could go Democrat by 2020 at the latest. And, a yet-to-be-determined Democrat will live in the White House, and most all of Trump’s hateful, spiteful and un-American actions and Executive Orders will be undone.

Make no mistake, Democrats will win because their ideas are better. Healthcare that makes sense for all. Immigration that’s humane…and still provides secure borders. A justice system that is just…again, for all. Democrats have to do more than hate Trump. That’s simply too easy. Once again the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will be competent…compassionate…and worthy of representing America.

All but the lowest common denominator of Trump supporters will eventually see through his lies and hatred. Most Americans are better human beings than Trump…and his minions. Alas, Trump is that inevitable zig or zag en route to what the Constitution and Bill of Rights have long promised. It is a painful detour for Americans…and good people everywhere. But the dramatic irony will end soon.

— Don Thompson, an American awaiting Canadian citizenship, lives in Vernon and in Florida. In a career that spans more than 40 years, Don has been a working journalist, a speechwriter and the CEO of an advertising and public relations firm. A passionate and compassionate man, he loves the written word as much as fine dinners with great wines. His essays are a blend of news reporting and opinion.

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