MORGEN DIE WELT
We are at a liminal moment in our political history when the least educated among us have been crudely manipulated by a comically villainous president – a Tartuffe for the working class. They cheer his acts of cruelty as if they were attending a monster truck rally; their rictus grins of triumph and retribution provide a blood-red backdrop at his rallies; they declare their devotion to him in their willingness to sell him their votes as payment for membership in his imaginary world of iconoclasm gone mad.
While to those of us who have followed every apostasy Donald Trump has chanted over the last two years – every “lock her up”, every accusation of “fake news”– this week sounds and feels like the final act in our 3-year national tragicomedy. We are beginning to speculate, not whether Trump can win again in 2020, but whether he’ll resign rather than go to prison.
The theme of the struggle between villain and hero defines much of American culture, and the process of identifying and defining these two characters is reflected in our religions, literature, theatre, and virtually all forms of our entertainment. In fact, if Donald Trump is determined by law to be the most famous political villain in our history, then Robert Mueller is clearly cast as our superhero – our Elliot Ness, our untouchable. This week we have a sense that we are about to be dropped from the jaws of an historic soft coup – and the moral dualism that underlies our American mythology will have, once again, triumphed. Truth will out.
But what if this villain is not vanquished like Nixon was? What if Trump doesn’t go anywhere and, instead, resigns to start a third party? He clearly threatened this during the Republican nomination in 2016. He already has his state propaganda machine in Fox News; he undeniably owns the 27% of the country that calls itself Evangelical Christians; he has an absolute monopoly on the interests of racists in the bigoted South. And worst of all, he still holds the current Republican Party in his thrall, and even with the help of central casting and Mitt Romney wearing a white hat, the numbers say that Trump’s their guy. The fact is that by owning approximately 1/3 of an American political party, he owns it all, and that’s why he won the nomination in 2016.
His rallies aren’t intended to unify the Republican Party; they’re intended to maintain his ownership of his 33% of the Republican Party. Every time he takes his Monster Trucks on the road, he tightens his grip on his mob of zealots, while strengthening his extortion of the Grand Old Party.
So, Mr. Mueller, if you’re listening, please lock this strong-man wannabe up, and throw away the key. We can take it. If there is even one leader left in the Republican Party willing to put his country before his own personal ambitions, one who finally says about Donald Trump what Barry Goldwater said about Nixon in 1973, “There are only so many lies you can take, and now there has been one too many. Nixon should get his ass out of the White House…today!”, then we can remove this president from office and restore our country to decency. But if Donald Trump is offered resignation instead of prison, like rust, he’ll never sleep – he’ll take his show on the road and simply pick up where he left off. Please lock him up. Morgen die welt.
Deborah Long is a Principal at Development Management Group, Inc. and founder of several non-profit charitable organizations. If you find her perspectives interesting, controversial, or provocative, follow her at: https://www.facebook.com/debby.long.98499?ref=br_rs