As one of the few columnists in America that predicted Donald Trump would become president, and why, and that he would be the worst president in American history, I have a sense of terrible foreboding as the 2020 election heats up.
The disaster and drift of American foreign policy since the 9.11 attacks have morphed into the chaotic whims of a deranged president. ‘American leadership’ has become a joke, and the worst actors are filling the vacuum.
Though in some ways I still admire Barack Obama, his tenure was essentially a lost opportunity. He represents an interregnum between the horrors of Bush-Cheney and the catastrophe of Trump-Pence.
President Obama could have used the same passion and oratory that made him president to speak to “the better angels of our nature,” as Lincoln put it in his first inaugural address.
Instead he divided campaign mode from governing mode, and set the bar nearly on the ground with his motto, “Don’t do stupid stuff.” Lincoln tried to avert the Civil War; Obama didn’t understand what was happening in America, and ushered in the Cold Civil War we have under Trump.
Of course, Donald Trump makes no distinction whatsoever between campaign mode and governing, since he’s in campaign mode all the time, as his mob rallies attest.
When Trump finds himself down in the polls in a year, he’ll do the one thing that he believes will “unify America”—start a war. This will not be some glorified police action like Iraq or Afghanistan, as many people as America massacred in those misadventures. This will be a real war, probably with the use of nuclear weapons.
That much is foreseeable and probably not preventable. A portion of history is pre-written by the inertia of human history. It’s what we do now to prepare for the inevitable that will make the difference after the predictable event occurs.
In the United States, ‘polarization’ is a euphemism for Democratic denial that America elected this tyrant-loving president, not just Republicans. The failure of Democrats to impeach Trump in the House of Representatives, despite no chance the Senate will convict and remove this stain on the presidency, proves they are morally paralyzed. They will share in the responsibility for the coming calamity.
The question for human beings all over the world at this point in human history is this: Can the psychological revolution essential to change the disastrous course of humankind ignite now, or will the stultifying darkness of the old consciousness of man continue to rule?
Mistaking one’s people for humankind, and one’s age for the future of humanity, are existential errors of the highest order. When one’s people perish,
humanity does not die. When one’s age becomes saturated with darkness, it doesn’t mean humanity is doomed.
The vast majority of Americans emotionally perceived the death of this nation’s soul over a generation ago as the death of humanity. They adapted to the deadness by becoming dead themselves.
A college teacher in Oregon, who has a great deal of contact with young women and men 17-22, said to me recently, “I have high degree of regard for them, but they don’t have a light, because they believe that humanity has no future.”
Though ostensibly a philosopher, he then sanguinely and contradictorily went on to give the usual, comforting bromide: “People don’t see the transition is happening, that the species is already in transition.”
If we are to adequately respond widespread despair in America and beyond, especially the general nihilism in young people, we have to have the humility to feel ‘I don’t know,’ and authentically ask the question: Is it too late for our age, or can we respond before it is?
There is still a window of opportunity, six months to a year, to prepare, and not just personally. Nothing can be done to prevent the coming war probably, though we should still to do so, without that being our sole or primary focus.
The international order is crumbling, and a tangible foundation for a true global order, giving rise to a non-power-holding global consultative body of great moral suasion that supersedes the UN General Assembly in principle while politically complementing it in practice, has to be poured before the old order collapses completely.
Individually, we can and must end tribalistic identification with particular groups within. We can and must do our own spadework, which is a very different thing than ‘taking care of me’ and the self-care rage.
Above all, take the time to simply observe thought into stillness, and ignite insight alone and with others. Insight, which is the flame of understanding, is always of the present, and it is the future of humanity.
“Is Trump Destined To Win?”: https://www.costaricantimes.com/is-trump-destined-to-win/48571
“How Obama Can Win”: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0809/S00121.htm