So long ago, there was Vietnam and Watergate. Experiences that profoundly altered the trajectory of my life. With innocence lost and illusions shattered, I couldn’t just go to college to find that day job to backstop my goal of being a writer. Instead, I embarked on a quest to reclaim my ideals and find a way to make the world a better place.
I despised Nixon as I never had any man before (well, perhaps not including the M. Sgt who was the bane of my Vietnam tour existence). Not only that, I felt cheated of my future. In the end, it all worked out for the best. The 20th century Candide found the faith and practice that has ensured his happiness and his fortune (not just financial–but health as well). You can read all about that in Waiting for Westmoreland, my memoir.
Nixon’s malevolence pales in comparison to Trump’s. Now I have another disruption to my existence. I am sorely tempted to spend days and nights railing about Trump’s cruelty, his narcissism, his misplaced belief in his own competence, his pride in his own ignorance, his assaults on the rule of law, his racism, his rapturous adulation of despots and disdain for democracy. I could go on and on. Instead, I’ll offer just one token image of contempt. This post is not simply another polemic about politics generally and Trump specifically. Read on after this faux Vogue cover.
Those of faiths other than my own Buddhism, might say “this too shall pass.” For me, as with Vietnam and Nixon, it will do much more than that. I won’t be diverted from my writing of fiction. I won’t be diverted from enjoying the fruits of my labors enjoying travel and other retirement pastimes. I’ve cited these words of Nichiren here on Views before, in relation to optimism:
After Vietnam and Watergate, the American people accomplished great things. Laws were enacted to prevent the worst excesses of Richard Nixon. Decades later, there are those who forgot them. George W. Bush talked of “compassionate conservatism.” It turned out to be just as much of an oxymoron as could be expected. Now America has the party of Trump–a cult of personality that formerly was called the GOP. What will result after Trump? What great good will follow?
After the great evil–the lies and deceit, the children sent to concentration camps, the corruption of “all the best (sleaziest, stupidest, most incompetent, most criminal) people hired to staff the Trump administration–here is some of what will happen:
- People will go to jail (many people–you’ve seen the list before)
- People (Trump, et al) will wind up with much less wealth than they claim to have)–it’s possible the Trump Organization will be dissolved (one could hope; karma is a serious thing)
- Laws will be passed to rein in an imperial presidency–excessive executive powers will be curtailed
- The justice system will be restored
- The GOP and its foolish followers will find a new path or splinter into new parties that won’t be of consequence for years to come
- America’s diminished role in world affairs and the world economy will eventually improve–but never to the point that it occupied prior to Trump
- Identity politics will be recognized for the positive and pragmatic response to the policies of elitism, racism, neofacism, White nationalism and the many other failures of both Trump and the GOP as it now exists
And then we’ll do it all over again. As someone has said, history doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes. We must relearn and overcome again the mistakes made before. It’s all part of the human existence. But from 2025 to 2060 or so, America and the world will be a better place–in my opinion. What will you do to make a difference? Don’t stand idly by or be too disturbed by the ugliness of today in Trumpistan. Engage with others with compassion and concern. Have hope. Don’t let this simply pass–make something good of it!