This may be indictment season, but let’s not lose sight of the bigger prize: a healthier democracy
I can hear my father saying, “I don’t care what everyone says, you do what is correct”. He was not a perfectly behaved person but he had a conscience and knew when to be quiet and listen. Thank you for your words this morning .
I still cannot understand the fascination and support of DJT. So many of the people who are in this camp are from red leaning states, who's personal and civil rights are being stripped away everyday by GOP legislatures and governors. I no longer read any major newspaper, something I have done since I was in middle school. The MSM has become a tool that is used by our politicians to spread mistruths and false representations of actual work for the people who elected them. The frenzy reported these past two weeks about the impending indictment was invented by DJT and fed by the MSM. I suggest we all turn off the noise and demand that our elected officials do the business for the people who elected them.
Spot on as usual. How to quiet the maddening crowd, must not be with maddening voices. Being persistent in exposing the facts, the potential harm to our country, and supporting those in the public light who have the confidence in themselves and wisdom to rebut the falsities, is path to light.
So wise, insightful, and eloquent.
Thank you Steven, for your astute and reflective writing. It cannot be denied that the Trumpism has had a deleterious effect on the country. As you wisely state: 'the more the country’s attention, energy and resources are spent fighting each other, then the more we lose the chance to marshal our resources, activate our capacities and fix what’s broken.' For those of us who believe in justice, it has been a slow road as the legal wagons circle in around Donald Trump. His rhetoric has always been base and destructive, and his words like 'Rat' and 'Scum' are characteristic of a Mafia kingpin. I believe you are correct to NOT allow the words and actions of 'Individual 1' to dominate civil discussion. I tuned into CNN the other day, and watched in dismay as virtually all their programming was consumed by discussions around Trump. They just can't seem to sever the cord of fascination they have with America's former criminal President. It was for this reason that I ended my viewer support for their media platform, some time back. I don't see Trump as a leader of the GOP, but rather as a deceiver and illusionist, masquerading as the Emperor of his alternative facts Universe. Too many sycophant Republicans staunchly stand by him, and as Liz Cheney observed: 'defend the indefensible'. People who are aggrieved, misguided and misinformed seemed to find a haven in his world of delusion. Trump's last stand is coming; I can see it. His hand will come up empty.
So true. Less coverage of those who yell, threaten and lie. When will tv ratings stop being the main determinant for hyper coverage
It's so easy to get caught up in the drama of the moment, as you rightly say, Steven, and of losing sight of the larger goal.
What we sorely need is for historians and writers, such as yourself, to engage in an ongoing and deep analysis of what has brought us to this point: a new low where people of little education and less character, driven only by their venal and corrupt desires - like McCarthy, Jordan, Taylor Greene and Trump - can actually get elected to office. And what does this say about the fear, ignorance and racism that is rampant among those who vote for them?
I contend that a nation under the yoke of religion, that treats education as a commodity designed to serve economic interests at all costs, is doomed to fail.
Thank you for this thoughtful piece! It made me wonder about the “product/process” argument.
Recreating a democracy that works for all is going to be an arduous journey and it’s going to take time. Do we collectively have the patience and stamina? Many (most?) want the instant gratification of the product as our society seems to dictate. What collective understanding do we all have about democracy’s meaning? We have a lot to learn about the Founding Fathers’ processes toward their ideas of democracy --the give and take--the time required--the uneasy compromises--the lack of the definitive. And we have more to learn about the ever and and ongoing process of keeping a democracy! Do many like a theocracy or autocracy because they are products? Little thinking -- just follow and obey. Perhaps easier? I’m just remembering doctoral students wanting me to just tell them what to do rather than turning their thinking and learning over to them. Which leads to my thinking of the prolific testing we do in our US education system. Learn this, spit out that!!! It requires little to no thinking! Easier? For some or most! Thanks for making me think today Mr. Beschloss!!! Might you just tell me the answer to our issues? It would make my head hurt a lot less!
Your words to the almighty ears when is enough going to be enough with this inhuman sycophant.
Steven, of all the writers that I read on Substack I listen to, think about what is said and patiently wait for my heart and mind to click together over YOUR words.
Your soul is so often on display in them. I appreciate that part of you. I think and resolve to try hard to be and say what you might find appropriate in this maddening time.
It is so true that someday this hysteria and mental anguish which 45 has brought onto us all will end. The people will settle back in to a fairly normal routine again but please keep reminding us that the work to change our society and our world will not be completed just because one is tried, convicted and sentenced.
I have slowed my pace as the inevitable results get closer and closer. Thanks to your words and some other's words via their comments here I am calming down and I try to calm most of those near me as well. We must be calm, thoughtful and forgiving for our Country to survive these days ahead.
Keep the faith and keep your thoughts out here for us.
I am reminded of the song A tisket, a tasket with wagons of the squad (as opposed to the quad ) plus Manchin & Sinema, circled with trump in the middle. Ruled by vanity, he pushes out like he did at the NATO summit against the PM of Montenegro, a dastardly dope mouthing I won, I won, phishing for power and money, and a won by a whisker Kevin McCarthy chasing after him, crooning You did, you did, embracing him and leading the chorus to sing Go Down Moses. After all, not only is Alvin Bragg going after their master (and Republican vote getter) he is black. Black and a Democrat and a political punishing Democrat walking down the halls of justice singing BB King's Hold On I'm Coming. What kind of person would do that?( Certainly, Once in love with Amy does not apply. )
But Lady Liberty, her torch held high, sings across the land, I'm Still Standing, and stand she will. The Star Spangled Banner will fly rightside up.MTG's call for the darkness of a divided nation will be replaced by Here Comes the Sun. Democracy is not perfect, like a marriage, it takes work. As Winston Churchill said " democracy is the worst form of government-except for all the others that have been tried."
Distress and anxiety will be replaced with honor and dignity. The nation will be Dancing in the Street.................until next time.
What and when were the inflection points in the last century till today that took us to this point?
My thoughts on probable events.
The the Civil Rights Act?
Nixon's unprosecuted crimes? (Ford's betrayal putting Nixon above the law)
Reagan's Imperial court, killing anti-propaganda rules & vetoing attempts to make it law? (1987)
Rush & his ilk? (From the GQP Reagan gift).
Faux News, owned by 2 foreign nationals, making Americans hate America since 1996? (Also from the GQP Reagan gift).
The Nasty Newt era?
The Hastert Rule?
The Dumbing down of the citizenry of red-states. (Cuts to ed or redirecting it to Private schools & religious madrassas). Texas Republican platform under Scott Perry - We oppose the teaching of higher-order thinking skills. Critical thinking is a threat to the GQP.
Did it culminate in the stacking of the SCOTUS to elect Bush-Cheney in our current century?
The manufactured war in the middle east that followed?
The white-lash from Obama being elected twice? (Things really became agitated then)
The final result of the dumbing down campaign seems to have climaxed with the election of Trump.
Everything taught is whitewashed. We always wore the "white hats". Always the good guys.
History is not like that...
Schools should be required to tell the truth, not lie to students.
The metastatic cancer that is Trump and Trumpism needs to be eradicated otherwise our democracy is not in good health.
Like you, I want to see accountability for crimes that were committed. Indictments will start that process and then the justice system, the courts and the juries, will do their work. While this will give me some satisfaction that we are all equal under the law, that truth is what counts, even while the liars yell louder, that it doesn't matter what political office you held, you still must abide by the Constitution, that the justice system is working, it is still very sad in a way. Sad, that this period in America was marred and tarnished by someone who thought only of himself and his narcism and need for power, and didn't serve the people he was elected to serve. However, you are right to stay away from the mania. Indictments and possible convictions are not something to celebrate. They are part of a process; and it will be good to see that process work. The real prize is getting our Democracy back. And returning our country to the highest ideals under which it was founded.
Your closing paragraph says it so well that I must quote you s I often do:
Instead of continuing down this dark path, pay attention to the noise and mania as an opportunity to remember this is only a moment in time and we are capable of regaining our compassion, repairing what ails us and reinventing how society can prosper.
To me Trump is a weather vane. The closer the storm the more it swings about wildly. His rants on Truth Social are, to borrow from Jeff Tiedrich, wingnut batsh!tery ! If the vile Trump diatribe against Bragg was from any other citizen the FBI would have him under the microscope. Why is it ok for all of us to have to go through the meltdown of this one revengeful manic man without sayin he is a danger to us all? That is why some of the J6 defendants are locked up. Trump is a danger but is in Waco tonight spreading his filth instead of in a cell.