With the election of Donald Trump the United States has dropped the veil of progressive democracy and exposed its true face to the world. And it is an ugly made-in-America face.
The country that claims a special blessing from God, and along with it the divine right to interfere anywhere in the world that it deems necessary to protect its own interests, has selected an unstable Reality TV star endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan to lead it in these dangerous times.
How much damage can a Donald Trump presidency do to the world?
In 2000, the American people gave the world George W. Bush and company. We watched as George W. sat befuddled, stunned and confused in an elementary school classroom as he received news that the first massive terrorism attack on American soil was happening on his watch.
Bush and his Republican council of not-so-wise men reacted by letting the perpetrator of 9/11 escape on a donkey in the company of a one-eyed mullah, then invaded the wrong country under false pretenses, destabilizing the Middle East and bankrupting the American economy in the process. They went on to preside over an era of Wall Street financial malfeasance that very nearly sent the entire world into economic chaos.
With hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops returned home so mentally and physically damaged that 22 veterans kill themselves every day, the true cost to the country cannot be measured in dollars and cents.
After eight years of Republican rule, the worldwide death toll directly related to Republican decision makers soared into the hundreds of thousands, with millions more displaced. At least with the first George W. presidency, it could be argued the electorate didn’t really know what they were getting themselves into. But then they elected him again.
The Obama administration came into power facing the biggest financial crisis of modern times. With calm hands on the controls and a reasoned approach to complex problems, Obama steered the ship away from disaster. He leaves office with Osama Bin Laden dead, the foreign wars winding down, unemployment numbers looking much better and the economy showing encouraging signs of recovery, despite eight years of ideological obduracy by the Republican Senate and Congress.
A reasonable person might think Americans learned something from the disastrous years of Republican reign and the ensuing stability and optimism nurtured by Obama’s Democrats.
Not so much.
In exit polls, 60 per cent of the 2016 electorate stated they thought Donald Trump temperamentally unfit for the presidency. Yet they lined up to vote for him anyway knowing the following:
*Eleven credible fellow citizens have accused him of the inappropriate sexual behaviour he bragged about on tape.
*He cheated on his wives and agreed with a radio host that his daughter is a ‘nice piece of ass.’
*He considers himself smarter than regular people for not paying taxes.
*His hidden financial dealings are so potentially damaging he is the first presidential candidate in modern times to refuse to release his tax records.
*He has so little respect for democracy that he refused to acknowledge he would accept the will of the people, “unless he wins.”
*He dodged military service during the Viet Nam war and later called into question the character of a war hero who underwent torture for answering his country’s call, because he was captured.
*He likened the sacrifices of Gold Star families who have lost children in the service of their country to the sacrifices he made doing deals for his own profit.
*He degraded an American-born judge and questioned his integrity solely because his parents are Mexican.
*He encouraged his supporters to demonize his opponent with calls of ‘Lock her up.’ and said he would follow through by putting her in prison if elected.
*He promoted a bogus university that is being sued by thousands of former students who say they were bilked by a scam.
*He said global warming is a hoax perpetrated by China.
*He called American military leaders losers and claimed to know more than they do about fighting terrorism.
*He praised Russian dictator Vladimir Putin as a strong leader who has done a better job ruling as an authoritarian thug than President Obama had done leading a democracy.
*He encouraged the Russian dictator to interfere in the American democratic process by hacking into the emails of American citizens and seized upon those same emails for political gain when the Russians heeded his advice.
*He stood on a podium in front of thousands of supporters and made fun of a reporter’s physical disability.
*He advocated for the proliferation of nuclear weapons to countries like Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.
*He questioned the usefulness of the U.S. nuclear arsenal if the country wasn’t prepared to use it.
*He called into question the legitimacy of the democratic process, saying the system was rigged against him and that the media is part of a large global conspiracy that includes international banks (read Jews).
*He banned select media outlets from his rallies because of unfavourable coverage and threatened to change libel laws to muzzle the press if elected.
*He questioned the integrity of the FBI and then recanted when its director tipped the election in his favor with only days remaining in the campaign.
*Ignoring the constitution and the rule of law, he called for a ban on people entering the country based solely on their religion.
*He called Mexicans rapists and criminals and said he would build a high wall to keep them out and then make them pay for it.
Sadly, the above list, though long and tawdry, is far from complete when it comes to the flaws of the man Americans selected as a role model for their children. In the eyes of the world, the American people have lost any high moral ground they like to claim when referring to their violent, bigoted, gun-crazy society as the best country in the world.
In fact, it is a starkly divided nation, a democracy in which candidates for elected office further encourage divisions by isolating voters with polls that separate them by class, race and religion—White, Black, Hispanic, Asian; Muslim, Jew, Christian; working class, college educated; men and women–then tailor their messages to appeal to whichever group can deliver the vote in contested areas.
In electing a man born to wealth with an innate sense of entitlement, a man who lives with his trophy wife high in a garish tower that trumpets his name on the front for all to see, a man whose life has been devoted not to public service but instead to conspicuous consumption, gaudy acquisitions, vulgarity and narcissism, an opportunist who made his political bones questioning the first black president’s right to hold office and solidified his base with a message of hate and bigotry, U.S. voters have now got the man they so richly deserve.
It is not surprising that the Canadian Immigration website shut down mid-election due to the volume of inquiries coming in from south of the border. If Americans want to see how a truly great country functions they need only look north.
We Canadians, known for our strict gun laws, peacekeeping, racial tolerance, politeness and socialist policies like Medicare that provide affordable health care to all, look south and say to the Prime Minister of our resource rich nation: “Mr. Trudeau, build that wall.”