Despite the GSA “ascertaining that Joe Biden was the apparent winner of the Nov. 3 presidential election”, what lingers after four years of a Donald Trump presidency is an unsettling awareness that whatever America was before, it is not that anymore. And whatever “American Exceptionalism” might have meant in the past, it does not mean that anymore, either – certainly not to the world-at-large, which once looked to America as we kids once looked to Super Man in the 1950s: “fighting for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.”
Four years of Donald Trump was all the kryptonite needed to debilitate an image that had taken two centuries to build by the likes of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Kennedy. It is a testament to how fragile the structure of democracy is.
And though Trump lost his bid for re-election, 74 million Americans still voted as if the last four years supported another four, which speaks to the dispiriting effect Trumpism will have going forward.
The elections of 2016 and 2020 have confirmed that if you inject enough fear and greed into a system, group-think will take hold and it will be impervious to logic and rationality, as feelings trump facts, and no argument, no matter how concise, will be able to shake it.
Americans, it turns out, are no different than any other human beings on the planet. The past means nothing if the future is threatened by one’s adherence to it.
No, Trump 2016 was not a one-term aberration, a civic crie de coeur from a disenfranchised segment of the population for whom globalization wasn’t a boon but a bust. Instead, even after watching the 45th president trample every norm, upset every alliance, embrace every authoritarian, some 74 million good Americans still chose to see him as a savior rather than the lazy, ill-informed, selfish saboteur of a cherished ideal.
Facts, it turns out, are quite mutable in this current America where fear is regnant and comeuppance due.Continue reading “IS AMERICA READY TO COME BACK?”