Good day, Editor,
Much of what passes for news, entertainment or even culture reeks with an unrefined commonality that is as tedious as it is devoid of serious intellectual content. And what is worse, it seems to becoming more and more imbued in the cultural fabric; acceptable to many in a society who seem willing to accommodate such shallow interpretations of the events which decide their fate.
Take, for instance, what was recently billed as the State of the Union address; in essence a prime time extravaganza at infotainment. Just another in a long line of these annual January “We Gonnas,” despite whether the huckster is a Democrat or Republican.
Trump tweeted that at 45.6 million TV viewers, his January 30 sermon generated the “highest numbers in history.” Typical example of fake news disseminated by the Deceiver in Chief. Among Baby-Boomer presidents, Clinton in 1993 logged 66,900,000 viewers and, generated 53,077,000 in 1998. Bush, Jr., tallied 51,773,000 in 2002, followed the next year with 62,061,000. In 2009, Obama attracted 52,373,000, with 48,009,595 in 2010. Donald Munchausen also claimed that his inaugural in 2017 was the most attended; but, when compared to the installation of Chicago’s favorite son, you could have heard the crickets. And so his recent sales pitch did not attract the grandest of audiences either.
Like many of his predecessors, Trump imported folks, many of whom had experienced trials and tribulations which were truly compelling, to accentuate the points he was trying to make; among those points was fear, fear of immigrants, continuing to paint many of those seeking our shores in a light most distasteful. But instead of just one or two or even three, he trotted out eleven such cases. Rather, such time could have been spent on specifics of various aspects of policy concerning the voting public. Instead the reality show mentality took center stage, which in the end was every bit as much an insult to the intelligence of the viewer as are scripted press conferences.
The current occupant of the Oval Office is not the only one who needs to be called on the carpet; how about Democrats . . . a noticeable amount of same did not even show up. A bunch of fair weather players who shirked their duty to represent their constituents for one of the few instances every year when there is such a gathering of all branches of government. An assembly that is not only broadcast nationally, but beamed globally. Together with such elements of dysfunction as government shutdowns, shows this nation to be what it actually is, politically a failed state, one devoid of a functioning system of representative government. They did not have to applaud; or even stand at certain times. But show up. It remains to be seen whether this tactic will backfire. Of course, prior knowledge of in-attendance certainly afforded the Republicans the opportunity to fashion the address to take advantage of the lack of Democratic no-shows. Example . . .
. . . Trump, as stated in his homily, “All Americans deserve accountability and respect — and that is what we are giving them. So tonight, I call on Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers — and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.” Every profession has good workers as well as those not worth a tinker’s damn. But this seemingly innocuous remark is actually code for the continued attempt to deconstruct the government, in lieu of privatization, a sordid agenda at corporatizing government. And Democrats understand this continuum quite well. Yet those who chose to go AWOL could have reconsidered and offered mild but respectful disapprobation.
The continued suborning of Representative Government is a bitter foretaste of what is in store unless the American public takes a hard stand to preserve the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Great Wall to the encroaching Weimarization of America — an agenda based on an inordinate and obscene passion for power, a pornography of power contrary to the Rule of Law — is its citizens; a barrier of flesh and blood that would not cost the taxpayers $18 billion to erect. A form of resistance based on Consent of the Governed. And just what is Consent of the Governed? It is that check by the masses on government, made by quite plain by Noah Webster in his “A Citizen in America,” during the Debates of the Constitutional Convention. He wrote, “On the first view of men in society, we should suppose that no man would be bound by a law to which he had not given his consent. Such would be our first idea of political obligation.” Of course, this idea of political obligation is possible only with a people who are cognizant of that obligation and ready to engage, in by whatever means necessary, to enforce their demands.