What is particularly disturbing is the total lack of respect for the President of the United States. Granted, he has done little to engender love and affection of late, but the office itself deserves some measure of respect which appears to be lacking among elements of our society and even members of Congress.
Making matters worse, there are some very wealthy individuals who appear more than willing to inject their economic might into the political world to foment discontent and unrest. They fund demonstrations. The true motivations of these individuals should be evaluated, is it greed? Both Huey Long and Andrew Jackson advanced the notion that the accumulation of too much wealth translates to an accumulation of too much power.
The application of economic warfare against those who believe differently than you is a new phenomenon. Companies being boycotted, individuals being ostracized, and all forms of economic punishment for free expressions of belief is un-American. Much the same for refusing to hire people with opposing political views. It IS discrimination, illegal, and un-American! Interesting, those most vocal about freedom of expression seem the quickest to suppress opinions in opposition to their own.
If our nation continues along this path the divide will become unmanageable and the potential for real violence grows. Americans must consider what has happened in nations like Syria and Ukraine to fully comprehend the consequences of allowing the radical elements on all sides in our society to run unrestrained.
America has already witnessed the damage such individuals can commit when peaceful demonstrations have been high-jacked by masked anarchists throwing rocks, bottles and Molotov Cocktails. We have also witnessed outbreaks of anti-Semitism. Suddenly, expressions of protected political thought are turned into riots and vandalism causing damage to property and persons.
Furthermore, this divide makes America vulnerable to actions by foreign governments. They perceive this weakness and will take advantage of it. If America is so divided that it cannot heal in an emergency… real danger awaits us.
There has to be some means of bringing our nation together before the breach can no longer be mended. A measure of “civility” must be returned to the national debate for our democracy to survive. It is that serious.
The person most charged with this responsibility is the President of the United States. Trump must put aside his persistent attacks on his opponents and focus all of his energies to solving the nation’s problems. That cannot be achieved unless he learns to compromise and work with others… even those with whom he disagrees.
Vicious attacks on members of Congress and the media will not serve that end. In fact, his actions reinforce the pre-election accusations that he lacks the disposition to be President. He has to calm down or the nation loses.
As for Congress, the Democratic Party must learn to accept that they lost the election. Taking the position that Trump is “illegitimate” because he did not garner a majority of the popular vote is tantamount to stating that Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton, both of whom did not win a majority of the popular vote, also were also illegitimate. In fact, nineteen Presidents were elected without a majority of the popular vote. Were those elections invalid?
The media is making matters worse. They somehow believe that they are not biased. Amazing. All one has to do is watch how they present stories, the stories they elect to cover, the people they interview, and the questions they ask. President Obama was never treated with the disrespect Trump has experienced and some of Obama’s actions and inactions deserved strong examination: Libya? Syria? Ukraine? China? Civil Rights? Race Relations? Inner city crime? Inner city poverty and joblessness? Deportations? Etc.). The questions never came. The media uncritically loved him.
With this President it seems that the media is on a tear to outdo one another in the attacks without even taking the time to check their sources. Sadly, in their rush to judgment they have made some significant errors in reporting. This is bad journalism! They have to police themselves to prevent errors. We need an honest, unbiased press.
The rancor has to stop on all sides. The President has to behave more Presidential and less confrontational. He has to realize that he represents ALL Americans.
Congress must understand that they too represent the entire nation and its constitution. Personal feelings and the desire to advance a partisan agenda must not cloud their responsibility to the American people as a whole and the future of our Republic.
The media must stop its quest to destroy this Presidency and accept their responsibility to inform the American people in an unbiased manner. The fact that 61% of the population no longer believes them should be a matter of concern. Objectivity and trust is the coin of their realm. Presently, they are bankrupt. The Fourth Estate is critical to maintaining democracy.
Lastly, the American people have to understand that in these days of intense Social Media presence, much of what we are exposed to is inaccurate. It is harder now to discern the truth about that is happening, but the effort must be made. We cannot allow ourselves to be emotionally manipulated by a small collection of people intent on disrupting our political discourse.
Despite all that is being said, the United States is still the greatest nation in the world. If it weren’t, we would not be having an immigration problem. Americans have to acknowledge that we live in a great nation, admit its shortcomings, work to solve its problems, and develop a more civil attitude towards one another. We have more in common that what divides us. Perhaps a little more attention to that might help. Americans have to work together. The alternative will lead to terrible consequences which are unacceptable.
Ron Chapman is an award-winning columnist, businessman and college professor from Chalmette La.