By Ben Tanosborn
Entering 2017 in political America has been a true centennial celebration of Surrealism, American style… at least in ideology and politics, if not in art. We may not quite have the quality-legacy of surrealism provided by Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx or Pablo Picasso to Europeans a century ago, but we are poised to receive an overdose of new political reality shortly after Donald Trump is installed as our 45th president tomorrow, January 20. Plan on it… count on it!
A look at the makeup of Trump’s proposed cabinet, most if not all members likely to be confirmed by the Senate without regard for societal consequences or ethical scruples, tells us to discard not only the post-molting skin of liberalism espoused by Obama, but our endoskeleton as well if its vertebrae are contaminated with progressivism.
Some among us have been questioning for over two months why we keep referring to Mr. Trump as our President-Elect, when we consider his credentials lacking legitimacy, blaming FBI’s James Comey and/or Russia’s Vladimir Putin for the unanticipated election results. However, constitutionally if not democratically, Trump has been unequivocally elected; for, as our august political leaders are quick to point out, we are definitely not a Democracy but a Constitutional Republic; so, we must stop seeking democratic refuge in the vote count or other illusory democratic symbols which might suggest ours to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Ironically, however, and in total fraudulent disregard, we have these same leaders of this bipartite plutocracy tell us time and again, as we are force-marched into serial wars, that our fighting battle cry is for democracy. And the big lie marches on in virtuous cadence thanks to an elite-promoted, misguided patriotism custom-tailored for fools. Fools who fail to admit that all empires are by their nature evil, including ours, no matter how protective and benign we portray ourselves to be.
Our 2016 presidential election came to us as an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) few expected would detonate, and even fewer that it would cause such level of damage… with all three branches of government genuflecting to the Right, while the Lesser-Right party (AKA the Democratic Party) would be pronounced dead on arrival in our nation’s capital.
A friend, and peer, from India composed an apropos epitaph for that party in an email he sent me as greeting for the New Year. “A party,” he said, “that is a sum total of minority groups without a strong common thread uniting them is headed for failure in the long run.” My friend had been more explicit in the past pronouncing the cross-sections of both Democratic and Republican parties to be non-representative of the US diverse population, not just in terms of wealth but race, culture, lifestyle and religion.
I must say that my email exchanges during the past ten weeks (post-election) with peers in five continents have ascribed to an anxiety and tone never experienced before. What had been a political curiosity less than two years ago evolved to a slight concern upon Trump’s winning the GOP nomination, turning in the past two weeks into a series of emails with an incubus imprint that can only exist during a night of terror.
In truth, many of us in the United States expected these pavor nocturnus as a serious epidemic ailing the undocumented population after the election. All of a sudden, the empty bipartisan rhetoric of the past regarding the enforcement of immigration laws had taken a new turn with a president intent in tackling the immigration issue with a cocked double-barreled shotgun of a border wall with Mexico and deportation. Little wonder that not just DREAMers [about 1.8 million children, mostly Mexican, illegally brought into the country and eligible for the Obama Administration’s “deferred action” initiative] but 10-15 million other undocumented immigrants living in the US would be susceptible to these nights of terror. It is understandable!
But people in other lands… whether in Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Spain, or Venezuela, why should they care to the point of also suffering these nights of terror?
We are just a pavor nocturnus away from Trump’s inauguration. For some of us, the incubus attacks on these nights of terror preceding Trump’s assumption of power will soon become trump-reality – day and night. So we’ll wait for the aftermath of an unreal 2016 presidential election for either the certification of our fears or, if lucky, their total rebukes.
Whatever awaits America, and the world, with the advent of twitter-irrepressible Trump I am hoping that an email I received from a peer on November 9, last year, was neither congratulatory nor ill-wished as it read, “Americans finally received their just deserts in their election of Donald Trump.” We’ll soon see what our just deserts are.