Trump rambles through the verbal wilderness, and I mute the TV. I know he will lie. I know he’ll denigrate the work and wisdom and warnings of experienced national leaders; I know he’s easy prey for Putin and Kim Jong Un and the Saudis; I know he has a damningly inflated opinion of his own brain; I know flattery works; I know…I know…I know. And some days I just don’t care.
I can’t respect the man or the knowledge and wisdom of those who put him there. And, while we’re on the subject, let me point out that the politicians who helped him onto his perch on the catbird seat aren’t only those of the Republican stripe. The blame lies with all those who, for years, have pandered to wealthy donors in order to serve their highest priority—holding onto their own powerful perches—rather than serving the true interests of their constituencies. The gaping income gap, the national debt, the stagnation (or reduction) of wages, welfare for the rich at the expense of those who live on the edge of survival, crumbling infrastructure, failing schools—all those and more are largely attributable to legislators who have failed us.
Remember that old saw? Which comes first—the chicken or the egg? Do we have failing schools because we have failing legislators? Or do we have failing legislators because we have failing schools?
Regardless of the answer, the dilemma we’ve created for ourselves is partially (but only partially) the result of two obvious factors: The first, a flawed system, which not only tolerates blatant gerrymandering but also holds the country hostage with an antiquated electoral college; the second, an inadequately educated populace, often poorly served by schools that fail to adequately teach history, the basics of democracy, and critical thinking skills.
Neither of these situations—or any of the other causes of our malaise—will be corrected any time soon. In the meantime, we need to fight Trump torpor.