Injury Beyond Recovery

On Sunday, the Washington Post published the first of a series of editorials “on the damage President Trump has caused — and the danger he would pose in a second term.” It’s titled, “A second Trump term might injure the democratic experiment beyond recovery.”

The “democratic experiment” means the establishment of the American nation, the United States, by the founders to enshrine democracy and freedom of choice as its underlying principle. At the time of the U.S.’s creation, no other nation had ever been so formed. Would it work?

Abundant historical evidence shows that the experiment has worked very well if not perfectly. Complete fulfillment of the principle of democracy was undermined from the beginning by the nation’s acceptance of slavery. That ended with the civil war, but racial prejudice has continued to erode democracy and still does so today. With every decade, we make progress. The experiment has been working. Until now.

The Post editorial lists the worst of Trump’s crimes and condemns his Republican supporters for their failure to take action to stop him. The editorial concludes, “These are high crimes and misdemeanors, as the Framers of the Constitution understood the term. But this time it is up to us, the American people, to remove Mr. Trump from office.”

I believe that Biden will defeat Trump in November by historical margins. I pray that I am right. The organization Vote Vets, a group of American military veterans, regularly refers to the president as “Traitor Trump.” They’re right. Trump has betrayed us. My greatest concern is that he might refuse to leave the presidency when he is defeated in the election. He has expressed his unwillingness to say whether he would give up his power. His retention of the presidency would be fascism writ large.

And so we stand warned. Will the Republicans finally face up to Trump? Or will they contribute to their own destruction by going along with Trump’s crimes? The evidence I see in the Republican National Convention, now underway, is that they will continue their complicity. If they do, the GOP as we know it will cease to exist in 2021.

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