For the last five years, one word has dominated the national psyche, “TRUMP,” the guy’s actions literally dominate every news cycle, and finds their way into almost every conversation.
Now he is gone from office, but is he really gone? On Thursday, February 25th, CNN reported that the Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has in his possession the tax returns of the 45th president of the United States, something he fought tooth-and-nail to keep out of the hands of Vance and everyone else, until the Supreme Court was forced to rule on them just days ago.
This is a matter that the court would have ruled on earlier, (speaking on whether they should’ve handed over the returns to Vance); the ruling delay by the high court caused raised eyebrows, and prompted questions from astute Journalists like Rachael Maddow, she bothered to ask the tough questions,” like what exactly is behind the long delay in handing down a ruling on this matter”?
It almost appeared that the high court was waiting to see whether Donald Trump would somehow find a way to remain in office, before handing down a ruling, but that is a conversation for another day.
Despite the Biden win, America is indeed at a crossroads politically, racially, and probably existentially.
At issue is the raw power that Donald Trump commands as the person who best speaks to America’s white population that views the rise of previously constrained minority groups as a threat to it’s survival. Juxtapose that fear with their old fear that Blacks, in particular, will reciprocate what they meted out to them for hundreds of years, and the palpability of those irrational fears is manifested cumulatively in what occurred on January 6th, 2021.
In fairness, it does not mean that all of the people who follow Trump are despicable racists; at the very least, we must understand the fears many people harbor through their religious beliefs that taking the COVID vaccine, wearing masks and other Government directives leads inexorably to further government control of their lives, something they will not stand for.
Those fears have not always been unfounded; the Government has mainly operated on the notion that no tragedy should go unexploited.
Americans saw their rights and freedoms seriously abridged after the Terror Attacks of September 11th, 2001, by the Bush Administration’s Patriot Act. Bush and his cronies knew exactly what they were doing when they named the law the “PATRIOT” Act; they marketed the law along the lines, ” either you are with us, or you are against us.” Democratic Senators who received the transcripts in the dead of night, mere hours before they were forced to vote on it, had no time to read what was in it.
Without reading what was in it, and deathly afraid of being labeled, ‘unpatriotic,’ they voted for a bill they did not read.
Some of these very citizens fear the government will immediately insist on a litmus test; if you have not taken the vaccine, you will not be able to enter a restaurant, not be able to board a flight, not be able to enter public buildings.
People equate that with Biblical prophecy; it would be arrogant to insist that they are foolish when they hold these beliefs. The government has a history of engaging in such activities.
There is a legitimate conversation to be had on whether the trust they place in Donald Trump is misplaced. Those of us who stand in the middle looking at both sides, may be able to see that Trump ignored the virus as part of his own calculation on how it would impact his political fortunes.
However, the saying ’ a drowning man grasps at straws’ may be appropriate in describing some of these voters; by refusing to do anything, as COVID raged, Trump was not forcing them into any government mandate; as a consequence, they see him as an ally to their cause.
Understanding that not every crisis should result in a slew of government mandates, may well help Joe Biden to navigate the difficult political waters that lay ahead.
Understanding these nuances may well impact whether Trump remains viable as a candidate for 2024, or becomes a footnote on history’s dust heap.
Mike Beckles is a former Police Detective, businessman, freelance writer, black achiever honoree, and creator of the blog mikebeckles.com.