Donald V. Watkins
A Divided Nation
By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published on November 9, 2018
The Midterm elections are over. It’s official -- America is a divided nation. There is a political and cultural “cold civil war” going on in America. We are divided into two political tribes -- Republicans and Democrats, and neither tribe is taking prisoners.
Next January, Democrats will control the House of Representatives, while Republicans will control the Senate.
President Donald J. Trump is not trying to unify Americans. In fact, he is the “Divider-in Chief.” Leaders who typically start every sentence with “I” have no cognitive concept of “We the people.”
On Wednesday, the White House press core was decimated after President Trump angrily trashed CNN’s Jim Acosta on live TV and in front of his media colleagues, who were petrified and paralyzed by the President’s unprofessional conduct. Trump constantly reminds Americans that the free press is the “Enemy of the American People.”
While Trump and the far right members of the Republican Party have focused on 7,000 migrant men, women, and children from Central America who are marching slowly toward the Southern border of the U.S. and whom Trump declares (without supporting evidence) are “thugs”, “drug dealers”, “gang members”, and “rapists,” the serial mass murders of innocent Americans by gun-toting fellow Americans continues unabated.
Jeff Sessions was fired as Attorney General the morning after the elections even though he dutifully licked President Trump’s boots in a manner that would have made any self-respecting man or woman sick. Thereafter, President Trump installed Matthew Whitaker as Interim Attorney General. Whitaker is a known Trump loyalist and a staunch critic of the Russia investigation.
The Justice Department is now officially politicized. The FBI is divided into two camps – those loyal to President Trump and those who are loyal to the U.S. Constitution. U.S. Attorneys and career federal prosecutors fall into the same two camps. Justice Department attorneys now interpret and prosecute U.S. laws in a way that advances Trump’s political agenda. The Department and its resources are also used as tools to punish political dissidents and Trump's critics.
The U.S. Supreme Court is in jeopardy of being packed with political cronies who are loyal to an outdated ideology instead of the U.S. Constitution. Two Trump cronies have been installed on the high court since he took office in 2017. The rest of the federal judiciary is politicized in much the same way.
State and local governments in the Old South are under the firm control of Republican officeholders. These officials specialize in creative ways to disenfranchise African American voters [e.g. (a) the illegal gerrymandering of voting districts, (b) the politically-motivated purging of voter rolls, (c) the passage of new and restrictive voter ID laws, (d) the passage and application of impermissible “exact match” voter signature laws, (e) the failure to count legitimate votes cast, etc.].
Women, African Americans, Native Americans, gays, Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, and migrants of color are at risk in this new political paradigm. They are the targets of a rising sea of hatred in America.
This paradigm reminds me of the poem "First they came…" by the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). It is about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis' rise to power and subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group.
Here is Niemöller’s poem:
"When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
And there was no one left to speak for me."
A divided nation cannot sustain itself. It will eventually crumble under the weight of its divisions and the government's persecution of targeted groups.
What will be American's fate?
PHOTO: America Divided.