Wednesday, November 9, 2016

America's Most Dangerous Game

As everyone by now knows, a vulgar Reality TV host with absolutely no political experience governing was elected the 45th President of the United States. It was done so through a vile campaign of fear and hate inflamed by a reckless demagogue who has embraced our country's enemies and scorned our allies abroad. While the effects will not be immediate, fears of what may come in the form of future wars and disastrous policies at home loom large among the free thinkers and those who reject racism and culture wars brought on by the religious right. We have survived bad presidents before (George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon) and will do so again as we have in the past but first we must get through this with the eyes of the world nervously watching. It is not with bitterness that we write this but with sadness that the question of how a nation could elect such a man who lied with impunity and who had shown incredible disrespect for our outgoing president could come to life. Our worst fears of history repeating itself have only begun. While this is not Nazi Germany, this is not supposed to happen here in the United States. Those who vehemently rejected Barack Obama on the basis of the color of his skin (and not the content of his character or his polices) as some secret Muslim have now come out of the shadows and shamelessly helped bring racism into the mainstream. They have gone so far as to legitimize such vile behavior and violence as entertainment. Reality TV has replaced common sense and responsibility in the name of American Exceptionalism or as the rest of the world knows as Arrogance. It is also in part the failure of the Media who held the new President-Elect to a lower standard than his Democratic opponent that the facts were often ignored or sensationalized for higher ratings than fair reporting that this has happened. 

Where this ship of state will go now is anyone's guess. The United States has been up to until now a beacon of stability and a leader for World Peace. Never before had the outcome of an election brought about so much fear and loathing that our standing in the world is so threatened. We now have a man who regularly throws childish temper tantrums on Twitter at former beauty queens and anyone else he doesn't like at three in the morning in control of the Nuclear Codes. Worse, he has threatened during the campaign to use them without giving any thought of what that could actually mean. This is a frightening prospect that as of this morning became real. If your reading this from Russia or from The People's Republic of China, you should not be celebrating. This should worry you as much as it worries us. The World already has one Kim Jong Un and does not need another yet here we are. We who have stood against the "Trump Train" have absolutely no confidence that the weight of such responsibility would temper such a man given the keys to the world's most powerful military. Particularly since he has vowed to fire the entire General Staff because as he puts it "they know nothing." This is as Bill Maher called it "A Right Wing Coup." Sounds a little too dramatic? Arguably it is when you consider the forces that backed Trump that include War Criminal Allen West famous for violating the Geneva Convention in Iraq with the use of torture of prisoners. It will be now up to our standing Military Officer Corps to live up to their oaths of protecting us from all enemies foreign & domestic (and I do stress the word Domestic) should things go terribly south. We are counting on them to reject illegal orders such as the promise during the campaign use of torture and far worse that our fragile democracy will need to survive this Right Wing Coup that threatens not only American Democracy but World Peace in an already unstable world. 

At some point we will get past the shock of this electoral outcome and come to grips with the new realities facing the home front. We now have a new leader with a hot temper and a fragile ego who will likely come after us who criticize him as he routinely threatens to do like some two bit third world dictatorship. Well, America is not a Banana Republic and we still have many good people here despite this nasty election. (Good going John Oliver!) We hope that those who still view Americans favorably do not judge us as a whole for what folly our recent election has done. And perhaps those who have fought for freedom will one day forgive us for embarking on this Most Dangerous Game Show where people don't just get kicked off the island, they go home in flag draped coffins or they are strung up by ropes and hung from trees in the amber glow of burning crosses. While some Americans will rejoice, the rest of us are filled with dread and nausea and unyielding sense of national shame that this has happened in our country. We are better than this but it seems we may take a hard fall from a self inflicted wound to realize this. The brief unity that brought this country together after 9/11 has been long forgotten and the nightmare of a Trump Presidency has only begun. It's like a bad dream we would like to wake up from but can't. Thus, the Free Thinkers of America will continue to write and voice their opinions and people will find a way to go about their lives. But will it be the same? It's too soon to say but it is clear we are now a more polarized divided nation than ever before that must together endure what we have so foolishly wrought. The Far Right has no interest in uniting the nation or representing all of its citizens nor does its new leader. We've lived through bad presidents before and hopefully we will get through this again. As actor Robert Whul once said in his famous HBO Assume The Position lecture: "Bad Presidents are as American as Apple Pie." In the unlikelihood we are offered a slice in Mr. Trump's Noninclusive America, We at American Mishima shall pass.

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