The only way we’re going to put the nails in a coffin that keeps opening from within is to defeat Trump and all of the Trump endorsed candidates at the polls. Unless Trump is indicted, which he should be, he has a right to run for office. If he does run as he is threatening, he will continue to spout whatever lies he figures will dupe and defraud the electorate. That’s fine. That’s Trump being Trump. That’s how Trump, the snake oil salesman, extorts money from his sheep. The only thing that will stop him, as it did in 2020, is a defeat at the polls. Of course even defeat will not shut him up completely, but it will go a long way in disempowering him and his supporters, especially if those supporters too can be defeated.
His running for reelection will enliven a Democratic majority that is, sorry to say, downtrodden, deadened, and slightly depressed from the events of the past two years. On Facebook, people respond more to puzzles and pets than politics. On Twitter, there’s a lot of nastiness in general. Same with Instagram. With Trump leading the way over the past four years, social media has become a cesspool of human disparagement. The country is deeply divided. Latest polls show that at least half of people who voted for Trump in 2020 are unvaccinated, with many of those making up the majority of those down with Covid and quickly filling up ICU hospital beds in hotbed red states. In essence, many people will chance death rather than appear they are against Donald Trump. This is insanity’s colloquial definition (usually attributed to Albert Einstein): “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
Similar divisions around slavery led to the Civil War. It’s unlikely that such a war will repeat itself, but there could be increased incidents of violence as we saw on January 6 at the Capitol. There’s been a spike in the purchase of guns. The rhetoric is getting more virulent. There’s been an increase in hate crimes and incidents. Trump even praised Robert E. Lee and criticized the removal of his statue in Richmond, Virginia. That kind of toxicity from a former president will embolden white supremacist groups as his actions encouraged the attack on 1/6. Republicans in Congress are blocking all Democratic legislation, continuing their lockstep support of Trump. They’re even calling on Biden to resign, claiming that he botched a withdrawal from Afghanistan which Trump laid the groundwork for. Even the Democrats in Congress are divided, possibly leading to the failure of key infrastructure and voting rights bills, a failure that would be disastrous for the country and could eventually lead to a collapse of our democratic system.
Amidst this disarray and chaos, the 2022 midterm election looms like a dark figure emerging from a dense nighttime forest.. Some 13 Republican-controlled states have enacted legislation restricting the right to vote, legislation blatantly aimed at African American Democrats. This will almost assuredly return the House of Representatives to Republican control and effectively block Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda for two critical years. Again, this will embolden Trump even more to make another run in 2024.
Our only hope lies with the vote and the determination of Democrats to vote regardless of any roadblocks Republicans erect, as they just did in California. This will take redirected anger, grit, and perseverance. It will take courage. It will take vigilance. It will take a rededication to the values our country was built upon. It will take staying awake on all levels of our humanity. It will take suspending the opiate of social media and focusing on a political process that, at its core, gives power to the people–if only the people know it and exercise that power.
Trump and his cronies and puppets are running again, and his cult members are willing to take the Covid Kool Aid for him? I’ve never seen a cult that doesn’t eventually dissolve. In America, political extremism eventually falters and fails. We’re not stupid. Bring it on!