A federal prosecutor, Frank Figliuzzi, used a term yesterday that law enforcement employs in referring to the suspects involved in workplace violence, either before or after the fact of murderous rampages. It’s called “flashpoint of violence,” and he fears that the Donald Trump is nearing it.
Only Trump is the President of the United States, with a nuclear arsenal at his fingertips. As I’ve said for some time, when Trump goes down, he’ll take as many people with him as he can. That may well take the form of the use of nuclear weapons.
How did the United States go from the ‘leader of the free world’ to the most feared country in the world? We the people refused to face the fact and address the causes of America’s decline before it became too late. We were too caught up in our own self-pursuits. Those who still care at all became focused on ‘battles we can win,’ rather than speak to the deeper issues.
Denialism continues to rule. Joe Scarborough, the Republican host along with Democrat Mika Brzezinski of “Morning Joe,” ludicrously wrote yesterday in the Washington Post, “Historians will remember Barack Obama as the most significant president since Abraham Lincoln.”
No, historians will remember Barack Obama (as Scarborough contradictorily said earlier in the same op-ed), as the president whose “reflexive reaction to Bush’s military adventurism (“don’t do stupid shit”) led to U.S. inaction in the face of some 500,000 Syrian deaths and the greatest refugee crisis since World War II.”
Obama will also be remembered as an interregnum between Bush and Trump. He refused to hold the Bush Administration accountable for illegally invading Iraq, for its enabling a massive ‘Blackwater’ type mercenary complex, and for Guantanamo and the franchising of torture.
As a friend in town said recently, “we don’t have functioning democracy at any level in this country now.” Locally, authorities are hiring outside experts and making insular decisions on rebuilding Paradise. Fore example, they’re absurdly planning on the short-term fix of putting 2500- gallon plastic water tanks on top of every house rather than restoring the water infrastructure.
Liberals and progressives (which may be a distinction without a difference) continue to believe that the American people and polity are intact, that Donald Trump is an anomaly, and that the status quo ante will be restored when Trump is defeated in 2020 or impeached and convicted before.
“Things were worse during the Nixon era,” they intone, “and much worse at other times in American history, such as during the Civil War.”
The present parlous condition of the country is worse because despite the terrors and travails of the past, the people were still intact, and were capable of moral outrage.
Nothing surprises us anymore except goodness. Indeed, we’ve come to expect the worst, and assume we’ll get more of it. By the laws of nature, that condition cannot long last.
To meet any problem, one must first see things as they are, not as we want to see them. Donald Trump is merely the worst example of Americans believing that reality is what they want to believe it is. That habit and condition infects the entire culture and body politic to one degree or another.
We have to face the fact that we don’t have a functioning democracy in America because the people have perished, not because we have this poor excuse for a man and human being as president. Facing the fact, there can be a rebirth; continuing to deny it, and things can only get worse.
The urgency of the situation goes beyond America however, and even beyond the crisis of Western civilization (as Western intellectuals are quick to self-flagellate). The crisis is of human consciousness itself, and the dysfunctional democracies (which include India) are enfolded within the global crisis of consciousness.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. often said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
This has become wishful thinking. Though there have been exceptions, both individually nationally, the darkness at the heart of man is cumulative, and the human spirit is suffocating because so few people face and learn from the darkness within.
As the fiasco of Brexit demonstrates, and as even one of Theresa May’s ruling Conservative government, Sam Gyimah said, We have no idea where we are going.”
Nation-states have become a Procrustean bed in a global world. The world is one chaotically interconnected society. We have to first see and address it as such before national and local crises can be adequately addressed.
Question together, listen for insight, and pour the foundation a true global order. Because there is no escape, and a flashpoint of violence is inevitable.