On the eve of the new Trump era of leadership, danger lurks.
Emboldened by Trump’s win and a series of stunning other victories in recent elections by the “alt-right,” tea party, conservative and ultra-conservative movements, in this country and in Europe, white tribalists are openly advocating the most dangerous ideas since the days of Wisconsin Sen. Joe McCarthy in the 1950s.
Trump and some of his inner circle of advisers speak in the most coarse and insensitive language, to put it mildly. Carl Paladino, an adviser to the president-elect, is typical. When asked what he would like to happen in 2017 he said he hopes President Barack Obama “catches mad cow disease” and dies after having sexual relations with a Hereford cow.
When asked what he would like to see go away, Paladino, a former Republican New York gubernatorial candidate, said he wanted First Lady Michelle Obama to “return to being a male and [be]let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie the gorilla.”
Really! Really. That is reprehensible.
Paladino’s comments were in response to a survey by weekly magazine Artvoice, according The Washington Post’s Abby Phillip. Paladino last met with the president-elect in early December at Trump Tower in New York City.
Trump is no slouch, rhetorically or Twitter-wise. His personal strategy may be what one historian calls Richard Nixon’s “Mad Dog” technique. Nixon wanted it known that he might do anything, like a mad dog, including the use nuclear weapons, in order to intimidate concessions out of the U.S. adversary in Vietnam.
Russia? China? Arms race? Bring it on, Trump says. But that rhetoric is irresponsible.
Sadly, folks who yearn for the Trumpian, “Ozzie and Harriet” world of White comfort within White privilege don’t take into account that what they wish for is wicked and cannot stand. It was wicked in the “Ozzie and Harriet” days when this country was destabilizing governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
In fact, all that Founding Fathers stuff is just stuff. They were slave owners, whose very presence in slave quarters struck unspeakable terror in the hearts of their victims. There was no social media to alarm the public. No. The offending murderers and lynchers would sometimes stake the heads of the victims as a warning to other slaves not to rise up against their masters.
Despite the frequent disavowals of the incoming Trump administration, I don’t believe Trump and his crew even have good intentions for the future, for world peace or for national security.
Which brings us to this moment. Even before taking any of the belligerence of Trump into account, a group of cynics, philosophers and other intellectuals who publishes “The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists” say that human life as we know it is just minutes from oblivion, according to their “Doomsday Clock.”
The Doomsday Clock is described by its creators as “an internationally recognized design that conveys how close the world is to destroying its civilization with dangerous technologies of their own making,” including nuclear weapons, climate-changing technologies, biotechnologies and cybertechnology that could “inflict irrevocable harm…to our way of life and to the planet.”
“The probability of global catastrophe is very high,” the scientists said. “And the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon. That probability has not been reduced. The clock ticks. Global danger looms. Wise leaders should act immediately.”
But this country’s greatest liability is the sins of its bloody past. Millions and millions of souls kidnapped from Africa and made slaves. Their three centuries of free labor made this country rich. That slave trade and its aftermath constitute a “crime against humanity.”
And then there is the genocide committed against the native people whose land the European settlers and slave traders stole. That unconscionable act constitutes genocide. Those crimes were stopped before. They will not prevail in the 21st century, no matter what Donald Trump and whatever combination of four-stars and billionaires he can assemble around himself.
White tribalism, profit, comfort and ease at the expense of non-White people of the earth cannot prevail.