America’s on a death defying rollercoaster ride – how will it end?

By | September 12, 2018 6:02 am

Democratic Dialog – By Debra Wines

We’re in the season of county fairs and carnivals, with roller coasters that would make a sane adult think twice before risking life and limb for a few minutes of “terrifying fun.” This is also true of the wilder roller coasters in popular amusement parks. Sane adults will take into consideration the reputation of the ride operators, the safety record of those rides, and the laws of gravity before making a commitment to get on one of those rides. If you happen to be with your children or grandchildren, you will weigh the pleading looks, the begging, and even the teasing before you decide what to do. Your overwhelming desire to make your child happy by swallowing your own concerns and fears will put you into one of those seats. At the same time, you hope and pray you will survive the stomach-churning ups, downs, twists, and turns. You convince yourself the ride will eventually end, and you’ll be walking on solid ground again.

America has been on one of the most figuratively terrifying roller coaster rides that I can ever remember since Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. That is not to say America has not had our ups and downs over the past 60 years. We have experienced unpopular wars; assassinations of popular leaders; civil rights challenges; terrorists’ attacks; several recessions; and numerous natural disasters. We’ve also had good times, successes, and, in many cases, we were able to pull together as a country and as fellow human beings to help each other. We have struggled to find a common ground for the betterment of America, yet we have also failed in some of those attempts for numerous reasons.

Every one of us has ridden our own personal roller coaster – it’s called life. That’s just the way things happen. We all have had our ups and downs, sometimes we’ve experienced twists and turns, and a few of us have suffered total derailments. How we handle those challenges is different for everyone. Right now, whether we like it or not, all of us are on “The Donald J. Trump Presidential Rollercoaster.” Mr. Trump promised he would take America to new heights. He promised he would change things in Washington D.C. by “draining the swamp.” Mr. Trump promised he would hire only the “best and brightest people” for his administration, and we would, once again, be respected, admired, and feared throughout the world. Donald Trump wasn’t going to take crap from anybody or any country. People loved his “tough talk.” They believed he would bring them prosperity and he would make them rich, as long as they trusted and believed in him and his power. He took the pages out of the evangelical “prosperity” televangelists’ manual and used them well.

Donald Trump ran his campaign touting himself as a successful businessman, a celebrity with an abundance of name recognition, and emphasized the fact that he was not a politician. People responded to his message. He was different, and his supporters wanted change. They believed he could and would clean up Washington. They were willing to climb on board “The Donald J. Trump Presidential Rollercoaster.” When he won the election, the rest of America was forced to get on that ride, whether we wanted to or not. On the first day of Donald Trump’s presidency, many people felt that ride was going up to hit new heights, others felt as if we were on another track, slowly going down hill and still hoping somewhere along the line we would rise again.

For the past year and a half, all of us have watched Donald Trump in his role as president, and there is a vast difference of opinion among us as to where his rollercoaster is taking us and how the ride will end. We have seen Mr. Trump’s meetings with other world leaders, and some of us have wondered why he wasn’t behaving more “presidential.” We’ve heard him speak, over and over again, and wondered why he chose to say the things he did because they weren’t very “presidential.” We’ve read his tweets and have wondered why he feels the need to address us in such an “unpresidential” manner. At times, he has reminded me of a carnival barker, promising amazing shows, rides, and thrills for only the small price of admission. Yet, we are learning the price for admission to his carnival is not small. There is a large cost to all of us who are not integral members of his show. Those who are part of his carnival are the winners. They get whatever they want, while the rest of us pick over whatever is left after the carnival moves on in another direction.

Donald Trump’s carnival and twisting, turning rollercoaster ride is still functioning, and he is doing everything he can to make sure it never closes down. In reality, the wheels on his coaster ride seem to be coming loose. Mr. Trump is digging in deeper to maintain control, while some of the people around him seem to be seeing the signs that perhaps the entire carnival was built in an expanding swamp and with inferior materials. The way Donald Trump thinks he can remain in the White House is to get rid of anything and everything he believes stifles his ability to control and maintain his power. He has made it abundantly clear he does not like to be told “no.” He demands unquestioning loyalty. Perhaps that is one of the reasons over 60 people in his administration have been fired or resigned since he took office 20 months ago. This is a phenomenon unheard of in any presidential administration that I can remember.

Donald Trump has repeatedly said he doesn’t like America’s Constitution because he believes it is too constraining for the type of presidency he has envisioned. He doesn’t feel it is relevant any longer. It is obvious that he also believes the three branches of government shouldn’t have the power of checks and balances, especially over the office of the president. Lately, we have seen and heard that he claims the department of justice should be under the complete control and power of the president. He has expressed his desire to ban any protests of his actions and to limit the media’s reporting of anything negative about him and his administration. He wants complete control over who is allowed into our country and who can stay in America. Now, with his choice of a new Supreme Court judge, he has made it clear he wants a man he believes will protect him from any legal charges that may be brought against him. He expects this new judge will support everything he does as long as he remains the president of the United States of America.

We currently have a Congress that is led by a majority of Republicans who have allowed Donald Trump to bully his way into systematically making America no longer a democratic republic, slowly destroying our rights and freedoms. They have enabled Mr. Trump to take this rollercoaster, which we are all on, down a very fast track with gut-wrenching turns that leave our heads spinning and our stomachs churning. With the mid-term elections quickly approaching, Donald Trump’s fears, paranoia, and desperate need to remain in power is adding more twists and turns to the track and spinning out of control. The question becomes, “How long can we tolerate this, and how are we going to get off this ride?” It becomes even more essential for every voter to participate in this upcoming election if we want to protect the America we claim to love.

comments » 1

  1. Comment by Lesley Lee

    September 12, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Excellent piece.

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