Our Beacon Has Dimmed And The First Shot Has Been Fired

For centuries we have shone our beacon of democracy out into the world as a model of what is possible for all nations.  Even during the darkest days, when evil seemed to be the dominant force in the world, our beacon shone brightly. Among the many lessons we illuminated to the world,  perhaps the most important, is the peaceful and orderly transfer of power.  But Wednesday night, for the first time ever, Donald Trump dimmed that beacon and placed our very democracy in jeopardy.  The importance of Trump’s words cannot be overstated as their impact is felt both within and beyond our borders.  It is our unflinching commitment to the precepts of democracy that has, since our birth, provided us the moral authority to lead the world.  Beyond our border the crack in that commitment, created by Donald Trump, threatens that moral authority and our position in the world.  Within our borders Trump’s words threaten our Constitution, our system of government and our basic liberties.

This election has become the most important in America’s modern political history. Within our borders the extremists and haters are seeing their long awaited dreams come true.  Trump has allied himself with what Hillary has correctly identified as the deplorables.  They are a frightening menagerie of white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, anti-intellectuals, anti-government militias and general discontents.  While some of Trump’s supporters are simply misguided, well-intentioned and ignorant, many are actively awaiting their opportunity to fulfill their dark vision for America.  His unwillingness to accept the election results effectively invalidates Hillary as President and provides these dangerous groups with their excuse to act.  We need to realize that even if those that are ready to act are just a small portion of those who vote for him, the potential number involved in this action is not inconsequential.  It can potentially number in the millions.  They must be viewed as an existential threat to our democracy.

As I noted earlier, Trump’s frightening declaration  doesn’t only impact our nation. The nations of the world are watching.  Some are watching with trepidation, fearing the collapse of the greatest democracy the world has ever known and their strongest ally. Other nations, however,  are watching with excited anticipation as they calculate their next moves to influence and demand subservience over their neighbors and beyond.  No doubt among them is Russia. The fact that Trump has not accepted the conclusion of all 17 civil and military American intelligence agencies that Russia is attempting to directly impact the results of our election again raises questions regarding his financial entanglements with Russia and how that would impact on a Trump foreign policy.

Finally his actions have grave implications for our two-party system. Fractures within the  Republican Party are ever-widening and are probably beyond repair. Certainly there is no sympathy for the GOP’s troubles coming from this corner. They spent decades carefully honing their message to attract the haters while holding onto the mainline Republicans.  Trump merely stepped into the space that they created. Even today there are many within the leadership of the Republican Party who have yet to disavow  Trump’s remarks or candidacy.  They simply lack the courage.   The Republican Party has done unimaginable damage to this country and it deserves to die.  Out of the ashes we can hope sanity and civility will rise to once again put our nation back together.  But first we must stop Trump and his gang of misfits from destroying us.

Trump has, either by design or by naiveté, become the leader of both domestic and international anti-democratic forces.  His words and actions have encouraged their support and threatened the future of our nation.  Trump’s encouragement to Russia to continue to hack Hillary’s emails and his declaration Wednesday evening that he will not commit to accepting the results  of the presidential election are remarkably irresponsible and dangerous.  The danger is real and our actions must represent a concerted and united front against him by repudiating him and all he represents with our vote.   History is replete with examples of people who waited until it was to late.  Let’s not join their ranks.


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