The following is an editorial by PoliticusUSA’s co-publisher Sarah Jones.
If you’ve been feeling vaguely hysterical, what I like to call hysterical-adjacent, at the idea of Donald Trump running the U.S., you’re not alone.
It’s so uncomfortable to feel the simmerings of hysteria that we are prone to deny it, stuff it, pack it away, and choose even to gaslight ourselves in order to convince ourselves that the ground underneath our feet is solid. Gravity is real. Democracy will check this.
And yet Donald Trump is already causing international incidents and we now know that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) hid from the American public the fact that the Russians hacked into the DNC and Hillary Clinton in order to interfere with our elections.
Putin wants Donald Trump in office for a reason, and it’s not because he’s so smart.
Monday morning, the Russian ambassador to Ankara was shot and reportedly died due to his wounds. Reuters noted the attack, “appeared to mark one of the most serious spillovers of the Syria conflict in Turkey. Relations between Moscow and Ankara have long been fraught over the conflict, the two supporting opposing sides.”
Trump first offended China with his Taiwan call, and then when they retaliated by taking an underwater U.S. drone, Trump hit them with a misspelled tweet.
The adults in the Obama administration managed the precarious situation.
Who will help us when Obama is gone?
The checks and balances inherent in our system have been undermined by Republicans to such an extent that even our Supreme Court is suffering and will be immediately subject to Trump’s pro-Russian stances.
Just like the fall of the Roman Empire can be partially attributed to an incompetent and corrupt Senate that wouldn’t check the Emperor, the fate of the United States is in the hands of an incompetent, lazy, Machiavellian corrupt Congress. This check and balance is all but destroyed right now.
Our Senate is run by Mitch McConnell (R-KY), a man who obstructed President Obama for eight years for no reason other than partisan gain, including refusing hearings on Obama’s Supreme Court nominee – a man, Merrick Garland, equally respected by both sides of the aisle. The nomination of Justice Garland could have been an Obama legacy to bipartisanship and sanity. A huge drop of hope for our republic.
But Republicans weren’t having that. They wanted Donald Trump to pick the seat, even though the people had voted for Obama by a real landslide. Republicans wanted a corrupt, sexually-assaulting, failed know-nothing, who is empowering Putin with his cabinet, to pick the next Supreme Court Justice.
There is no reason to discuss the House of Representatives unless you’ve been sleeping for six years, because that chamber was an easy takeover for extremists and has been dysfunctional for years. Its dysfunction caused former Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to retire, and no doubt he’s quite pleased with his prescient move, given the coming Age of Trump.
Trump supporting Republicans pretend that Donald Trump is like a Jeb Bush in many ways, but the truth is that while we might worry about war with Jeb Bush and worry about oil and policies with which we disagree, we would not be vaguely terrified. This is not a partisan terror.
We are terrified for a reason, and we are sadly correct to be terrified. Republican national security experts agreed that Trump wasn’t fit for office for a reason.
It seems our nation’s viability might actually hinge on the whims of Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and while I’d like to have faith in them, John McCain is not known for staying the course. So his calls for a bipartisan investigation into Russian’s hacking into our election are promising, but I’m not holding my breath.
What will stop Trump? I suspect only Trump will stop Trump. The toxic combination of Trump’s fragile ego with his general low level of intellectual functioning is his Achilles Heel. This weakness has already been exploited by Putin. This combination suggests he will be his own downfall.
Think Nixon, but without the intelligence.
Trump will go after Republicans who don’t kiss his feet, and one day he will go after the wrong Republican. Putin will have the goods on this Republican, and his relationship with Wikileaks could prove helpful once again, or perhaps things will be so distorted that Trump will just be able to dump documents directly with the media instead of taking the Wikileaks route. It isn’t a stretch to think that Trump will have a cozy relationship with a publicity arm for his “government” that passes as media like Putin’s RT, or much like Breitbart already is.
But this will be the wrong Republican to do this to, and Trump’s ego will blind him to this. This will awaken the slumbering “patriotism” of the Republican Party and finally the nation will see real investigations into Trump, for whatever. It won’t matter to Republicans. They will have gotten what they needed from Trump, an assist even down ballot in an election they should have lost. A Supreme Court seat they violated their Constitutional duty to give to Trump. And who knows what other horrors for climate change, human rights, etc.
This is the only scenario through which I view the country might be saved, unless the CIA drops some damage on Trump that can’t be ignored. But being a Putin puppet seems like it would be damage enough in sane times. If our democracy weren’t already undermined to a frightening degree, this would be a real problem, even for Republicans.
But Republicans are okay with Trump having gotten into office through the help of Putin and a partisan move by the FBI. These are the same people who flipped out and pretended the IRS was targeting only conservatives. But they are proudly standing by their man who was the clear product of abuse of power and even the interference of a foreign power with an agenda to undermine western democracy.
Hang on to reality, it’s all we have. Do not gaslight yourselves. You are right to be vaguely hysterical but we must all prepare to fight the onslaught. We must not allow complacency and exhaustion to whittle down the screech of our alarm bells.
It is time to scream. Things are that bad. The country we love is under attack from a foreign entity who has infiltrated an entire party or at least has that party covering for their attack, and that party is in control of all branches of government.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.