In the future, children across the United States will be sitting in classrooms listening to lessons about the country’s politics and governmental history. As they swipe images on their tablets and stare languidly at the blue sky out the window, a teacher will drone on about the succession of U.S. presidents. She will focus on the greats, and mention noteworthy accomplishments and events coinciding with each leader’s term. Then, there will be this unfortunate moment…
“O.k. class, we’re going to take a break from presidents for a second,” she will preface her instruction. “Following eight years of President Barack Obama, the United States struggled through four years of chaos when what was then the Republican party, colluded with the Russian government to install a reality TV personality as president and take over the country.”
As kids squirm in their seats, anxious for lunch or recess, the teacher will point to the screen at the front of the class.
“You can see there’s only one short article on your tablets about Donald Trump. If you want to read about him, you can, but we’re going to skip ahead to the next real president who helped restore and rebuild the nation.”
This is an unfortunate and troubling prediction stemming from last November’s usurpation and the rise of the Trump regime, but it may be the most optimistic of all scenarios for America’s short-term future. The damage that Trump and the corrupted republican leadership are inflicting on our nation’s shifting foundation may eventually topple over two centuries of progress.
The Washington, D.C. establishment has developed into an exclusive club that has lost sight of the people it is supposed to represent. Though he has by no means pioneered the movement, Trump has ambitiously joined those leading the charge for personal gain over public good — Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and the network of so-called “representatives” who govern by the value of dollars rather than the worth of people.
It is easy to vilify Trump for his laughable ignorance, his incessant whining, his loutish misogyny, and boorish abusiveness. He is simply an obvious target, like a rodeo clown wandering the streets of the Washington, D.C. circus. The entrenched Capitol Hill elitists know better than to dodder out into the ring for the audiences’ eyes and likely welcome his bumbling as a captivating sideshow distraction.
The Trump-Russia collusion mystery is no longer about one man, or his campaign team, seeking the favor of a foreign government to sway American democracy. Donald Trump, Jr.’s meeting with Russian agents had several attendees and the revelations keep changing. There is speculation that McConnell knew about alleged Russian intervention. Trump and close insiders suggested Friday that the Republican National Committee pay his mounting legal fees.
The increasing variables and many players in the expanding scandal of Russian interference will eventually cast a much wider web — exposing connections that we can only speculate about now, and some that may never be revealed. The drive for personal gain that brought the government to where it is now will be the same drive that compels our nation’s individual leaders to protect their self-interests as official and public inquiry grows.
In the future, society will look back and understand that Trump was not single handedly responsible for the corruption of America’s democratic traditions. The responsibility lies — like the actual involvement — more appropriately with a broader range of parties.
The destruction of America began with manipulation of the laws by 535 members of congress and special interest groups who buy Washington votes. It began with nine Supreme Court justices who opened the doors for lobbyist funding that corrupts elections. It began with millions of uneducated voters who swipe a screen, punch a ballot, or pull a lever because of a name and a party — and not because they care to understand the civic issues that influence our democratic ways of life, our freedoms, and our futures.
History is a fickle partner to a prosperous future. Ignore it, and the future shrivels and becomes the dark past we try to avoid repeating. As the drama that is America’s first dictatorship under Trump and the GOP unfolds, it is germane to the restoration of our nation’s future that every person be a teacher who will not minimize the current lessons.
Every era and every chapter in America’s developing history is significant — no matter how dramatic the cumulative errors and failures. When the history books are closed, and the classrooms are dark, the most important lesson is not about the singular presidents of our country, but whether our Constitution remains intact, because of, or despite those presidents.