January 7th, 2021


This post represents yet another delve into United States politics, so if that is not of interest to you, please feel free to click away now.

Yesterday, a friend of mine inquired on social media when the United States had become a place where what was happening at the Capitol would happen (that’s a paraphrase). This was my response:

“My serious and not the slightest bit sarcastic answer would be when the country collectively (citizens, electors, elected officials who should have understood and appreciated the risk) allowed Donald Trump to assume its presidential office. Political perspectives aside, Donald Trump repeatedly during the 2016 campaign season demonstrated a propensity for delusion, stark uncaring for and lack of knowledge about both citizenry and US governmental institutions, and an astonishingly (and disturbingly) undeveloped capacity to self-regulate, especially when triggered. He consistently continued to display all these characteristics upon assuming office, and he was repeatedly enabled by all manner of elected and government officials who appeared to feel that either political philosophy, party authority, and/or personal loyalty should take precedence over the real and clear risks these traits in an executive leader (especially the highest one in the country) posed. While horrifying, this course of events is not a surprising or unlikely result.”

This article from the Washington Post last night states that, “And so, on Wednesday, McConnell’s speech and Pence’s letter were notable mostly for the fact that Trump has so bent the standards of political behavior that their pro forma actions—their fulfillment of their constitutional responsibilities—seemed somehow defiant.” I’m glad to see this pointed out. In other words, as the article introduces in its opening sentence, “the fleeting crumbs of courage were four years too late.”

Meanwhile, this Post article says that former Trump cabinet member Mick Mulvaney asserted that Trump was “not the same as he was eight months ago” and that “[members of Trump’s administration] didn’t sign up for what you saw last night.” And what exactly is different in Trump now than eight months ago? I would really like for him to offer an example as such. I myself see nothing different about Trump now than I saw while he was campaigning in 2016 and throughout his time acting in the office he currently holds. What I articulated above is what I saw then and what I see now. I am at a loss as to what anyone would see as “different” in what we saw yesterday, when Trump’s actions and expressed perspectives have been consistent, if not in content, in their propensity to be based upon whatever Trump sees fit to make up and express at the moment, whether it aligns with generally agreed-upon reality or demonstrable evidence or not.

I feel (admittedly angrily) compelled to say that I am not impressed by all these officials’ apparent surprise at this course of events. I do not see any reason at all for anyone not to have foreseen that something like this would simply not be surprising. Trump’s actions have consistently demonstrated an utter lack of regard for the citizenry, Constitution, and governmental systems and processes of this country. For those who worked alongside him and enabled and abetted him, at the very, very, very least, their simple professional judgement is supremely in question. If they truly want to claim their sincerity and innocence, it is almost as damning as if they acknowledge that they were ambitious and/or simply cared more about party authority or even political philosophy than the integrity of the country’s government. That paints them as competent and unethical. To claim this as surprising paints them as maybe more ethical and, I find it fair to say, professionally incompetent to some degree.

Similarly, to the elected officials who “had a change of heart” about certifying the open election results of a democracy after people who feel resonance with Trump did what he has been encouraging them to do and physically showed an utter disdain for the government’s legal systems and processes: why the fuck did it take such an occurrence—which again was simply a group demonstration of what Trump had long indicated he condoned as long as it conformed with whatever he happened to agree with at the moment—for you to 1) acknowledge the voter-chosen results of a democratic election and 2) recognize the inappropriate and potentially disastrous actions and expressed perspectives of the person being allowed to hold the office of the presidency? And what’s more, for you to not indulge them?

In the same article from which Mulvaney is quoted above, former Trump chief of staff John Kelly mused, “We need to look infinitely harder at who we elect to any office in our land—at the office seeker’s character, at their morals, at their ethical record, their integrity, their honesty, their flaws, what they have said about women, and minorities, why they are seeking office in the first place, and only then consider the policies they espouse.”

Whoa—what a fascinating notion! Taking a deep breath and releasing the sarcasm representing fury in me, I will say I have felt this distinctly since the 2016 campaign. Recently I saw on social media someone bewailing that Joe Biden was a “return to government corruption,” blah, blah, and that Trump had “at least been trying to weed out the cronyism and corruption in national government” (paraphrase). Leaving a conversation about general corruption or ineffectiveness in government aside, I want to focus on that assertion about Trump. While I see it as so inaccurate that it is difficult for me to comprehend how anyone could seriously perceive it, I nonetheless felt an immediate response to it that would be the case even if I perceived it to be true. And that is, pretending for a moment that I found any validity in that perspective, I would hope that we would recognize that even someone’s taking such action would not supersede consideration of the character of that person. In other words, to me it seems of incontrovertible relevance when someone’s foundational character or intention demonstrates ill-will, fundamental unkindness, and a clear lack of caring about other human beings/forms of life. Such was always evident to me in Donald Trump, which is why I would not have supported his ascension into public office even if his policy offerings were in complete alignment with what I supported.* Someone who wanted to do the things I would like to see done politically but in whom I observed a character of fundamental unkindness is not someone I would want purportedly leading those, or any, political endeavors.

It is hard for me to understand or imagine that this was not obvious in Donald Trump to virtually everyone, and it has thus been truly saddening to me to observe that what I just expressed may not seem a universal perspective. Donald Trump’s behavior and the enabling of it by so many people around him, and the unwillingness of so many of those people to publicly acknowledge the delusion and expressions of literal insanity Trump has been known to publicly espouse, make an outcome such as occurred yesterday not hard to foresee. That has indeed been the reason so many of us have been consistently horrified to see both Trump’s being allowed to hold the office he has and also the repeated abetting of his malevolence by so many government and publicly elected officials.

This all may seem unrelated to the assertions I have made on this blog of the importance of love and of caring about our interconnectedness. It is far from it. In fact, it demonstrates once again the essence of the importance of those things. I continue to support them with all my being and to breathe consciously with the understanding that doing so supports the momentum for others to as well. Namaste.


*Obviously they are not, though I will note that I have never thought Trump knew enough or cared enough about actual policy to even have clear offerings; rather, almost anything resembling policy suggestion from him was simply based on the fundamental unconsciousness I perceived in him. That said, the point I make in that paragraph is, again, based on a theoretical notion.

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