Once I trusted that the American people would prevail over whatever destructive groups tried to take over our public life or undermine our institutions. But now… #GodSaveUs
I recently put myself through the painful experience of listening to a whole Trump speech. He was addressing the NFIB, delivering a rambling rant about dangerous immigrants, Democrats, “fake media,” threatening to pull support from the Latin American countries that are “sending” bad people to us, attacking Mexico for “doing nothing for us,” painting the people pouring into our borders as dangerous and wicked people who threaten us, and in every other line quoting “statistics” that were brazen lies. (I’ve been following the news closely, so I recognized the lies as he spoke). There he was, smiling broadly, bragging, tearing down everyone who opposes him, and repeating himself ad nauseum. It sickened me.
But what sickened me most (and scares me, frankly) was the constant drum of applause and cheers that his lies and fear-mongering generated from his audience. It was such a blatantly false and twisted barrage of garbage to me, but they were eating it up. This is what continues to haunt me as the months go by. How do you begin to reach people so unable to listen with even a modest level of critical thinking? So muddy in their thinking. So ready to condemn everyone else and laud and embrace someone like Trump. So gullible and ready to be aroused to anger. He’s a charlatan, in love with himself and drunk on power, and they have embraced him.
Here is where I always begin to feel a rising despair because I don’t know how to counter it. Responsible people are talking constantly (on air, online, and in the print media) trying to counter the lies with truth and facts. But none of it seems to be penetrating or making a difference. There’s willful blindness out there.
Once I trusted that the American people would prevail over whatever destructive groups tried to take over our public life or undermine our institutions. But now, despite the fact that there are a lot of good and wise people trying their best, they don’t seem to be making headway against the lies and the evil that spawns them. The voices of reason and truth, from people with decent morals and good will, are being drowned out, and it feels llike we’re struggling against quicksand that’s slowly sucking us all down.
I’ve been praying frequently, throughout every day, a simple prayer: God save our republic; save our democracy; lead us out of the quicksand, toward the decent, free, inclusive republic – the “more perfect union” – that most of us desperately want.