by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ October 31, 2019
With the impeachment of Trump now an open and formal investigation by the House of Representatives, is there hope for national survival? I would like to say yes but there are far too many other indicators that suggest not.
The larger political situation has not changed but the demarcation is clearer. The majority of the country wants Trump and what he represents gone. This is centered in the increasingly diverse metropolitan regions with educated populations and growing regional economies.
The aging and challenged populations on the edges of 21st century cosmopolitan society have panicked and demanded the rejection of diversity. That means the rejection of intellectual honesty, truth, and science and the blind acceptance of old fashioned authoritarian dictates to make life ‘normal’ again. They feel they have nothing to lose.
That is not true. As we know, historically, these authoritarian symptoms lead to economic and political collapse or destruction in corruption and crime. The Trump regime is already the most corrupt in US history.
Hopefully they will avoid war and it’s horrors but that is an open question as the reactionary nature of their quest for what once was easily converts to scorched earth extremes. There has been growing talk of violence from Trump and his radical base.
The vote on the impeachment investigation makes it clear there will, likely, be no reconciliation and probably no mercy for survivors. That is an ugly thought that is being desperately avoided on the front pages of the primary media in the US.
It is what is not on the front pages that I see as the signs of reality. For the last three years we have had constant talk of the failure of active citizenship allowing a monstrosity such as Trump and the criminal organization that was once the Republican Party to take partial control of the government. Those are valid points and have been well discussed.
It is important to repeat that these are new times and what was once the Republican Party has not simply picked up a new facade but has evolved steadily over the last forty years. It is now a corrupt and destructively racist force for authoritarian control and oppression. It’s role as a organizational representative of traditional ideas and conservative (i.e. market economics) is valid and needs to be taken up by a legitimate organization, but the current form has no policies except power and destruction.
As has also been repeated, this is very much an academic discussion based on past standards and mores. That world, obviously, no longer exists. A functioning 18th century, liberal democratic system of government or any form of representative government based in ethics and human rights requires a shared belief in the institutions of that state. The critical point is that those shared standards cannot be questioned.
These are the principles of non-authoritarian government based in popular sovereignty, universal rights, and the rule of law. Beyond that are details that can be worked out through shared authority and political debate. When those basic conditions no longer exist the institutional entity is dead and has become a threat to the concept of representative government.
A portion of the population that abandons the shared principles and begins to accept the destruction of the institutions that were built on those principles will either separate itself into another entity or seek to overthrow the shared government. In the worst version of this they will denounce rational thought, science, and truth believing that nothing can stand against their emotional demands. That is what we now have.
An overriding problem is the growing chasm between the minority and the majority. While the majority wishes a restoration of common ideals and did not set out to destroy those institutions, they are increasingly driven to the recognition that there is no common ground. That means that efforts of the minority and the leaders that they have chosen to support to actively destroy everything that stands in their way, must be dealt with as threats to the res publica.
This is the basis, as we well known, of civil war. That the majority can remove the dangerous officials supported by the minority and deny the minority the reversion to past injustices that they desire does not mean that unity can be restored. Even if the forces of crime and authoritarian usurpation are removed a long and simmering hostility will, almost certainly, survive until some triggering event or series of events destroy the veneer of unity. This is what the US is facing.
Failure to recognize or openly state this does nothing to change the condition. That recognition is more and more openly stated in our diverse media. We are networked and intimately in constant communication around the planet despite growing efforts of the authoritarian extremes to end this. This open planetary community will either stand as the required norm or will be destroyed along with everything else including any hope of survival against the climate crisis and its growing disasters.
We must face the reality of having everything on the line. Our future is at risk. There is no more time for prevarication.
These are not local or even regional issues but, given the radically changed nature of our evolving civilization, issues that have very direct and immediate meaning for every nation and every population. That very large responsibility is not being made clear.
What is being recognized, under the cover of the national mainstream media facade of normalcy, is that the Republican Party is a criminal organization and must be ended. The great majority know that Trump is a stooge for the authoritarian forces as well a criminal, himself, and dangerously unstable. He is a wild card and a symbol of past failures being used to destroy our future.
But what of the thirty percent or so of the population that seems totally committed to the insanity represented and embodied by Trump? These are people we know and, possibly, family members or neighbors. We currently have no way to deal with a situation this extreme. The desire to avoid the hard decisions and personal implications of this are very real but must be addressed.
In our past this was handled by civil war or ejection of the problem minority population. The alternative was genocide as with the foundation of the United States. But that is exactly the old way that the problem minority is attempting to use against the majority. That absurdity is a result of the irrational nature of their reaction.
War is no longer acceptable and the human population is large enough, urbanized enough, and integrated enough, that large scale war would likely be an extinction event. We know that.
While the era of Reconstruction is a dark part of US history it has always been held, with a number of provisos, as a success in restoring the US after a very bloody civil war. Yet we are facing a one hundred and fifty year return of the that split. The essence of the Trump and Republican problem is the attempt to, yet again, restore the racist Confederacy to victory. This is a lesson that must finally be learned.
Slightly farther back in Western history the earlier English Revolution of the 1640s ultimately was overcome through the semi independence of the three kingdoms, it also led to a steady flow of population to the new world. This had become an outlet for the longer and broader religious wars of that period.
We do not have a new world now to allow the migration of recalcitrant and troublesome minorities although, with human survival, we may well may have in decades to come. But now we would be much better allowing devolution of states or groups of states or even regions with greater freedom to maintain forms of their perceived traditional cultures.
This cannot be an allowance of racism or limits on the free movement of people as we face mass climate driven migration, but could allow greater diversity in social organization. In fact this could also easily provide support proportionally correct political power to the growing urban metropolitan regions who are repressed under the current US structure.
The point is that we can no longer support a very large regional nation state as a single winner take all system. This cannot be a zero sum political game. While the relative economic poverty of the Trump leaning states would likely cause much greater human hardship, as they are currently the recipients of a majority of the national welfare, they appear willing to destroy that to their own pain. So be it.
Now is the time to begin planning for the compromises that will be needed to restore order when Trump and the Republican forces are removed or, conversely, to isolate and divide America if those forces manage to retain destructive control of the existing system.
We need to be anticipating that everything is changing and the old nation is gone.