Post-Trump: The Three Imperatives of Healing American Democracy

Biden

Today, with the end of the presidency of Donald Trump, history’s most dangerous domestic assault on the fabric of American society and democracy is over.  Yet the wounds remain.

From the time Trump descended down the steps of Trump Tower during the summer of 2015,  I had warned in my columns of this pending nightmare for our nation (https://observer.com/2015/08/george-corley-wallace-and-donald-john-trump/).  I was the first mainstream New Jersey columnist to define him in print as an outright fascist. (https://www.nj.com/opinion/2018/11/i_left_the_gop_because_trump_is_not_a_reaganite_he.html ) And during the Fall, 2020 campaign, I noted that Trump was now fully engaged in utilizing such fascist techniques as 1) racist voter suppression and conspiracy theories (https://www.insidernj.com/trump-fascism-suppression-vbm-promotion-rac); and 2) threats to jail his opponents (https://www.insidernj.com/clasical-fascism-trump-proclaims-intention-jail/).

Recently, a number of Republicans have contacted me to apologize for not heeding my warnings.  Yet the polls indicate that a majority of Republicans still believe Trump’s lies that the election was stolen from him.

The following was perhaps the most typical of Republican responses I received to my efforts against Trump.  It came from a former friend who was very prominent in state government from nearly three decades:

I resent the implication that I am a fascist, racist and anti-Semite merely because I do not share the depth of your irrational hatred for Donald Trump.

This person turned out to be a phony, a fake, and a fraud.  I never once made the implications against him that he claimed.  When Trump totally fell from grace after the election, he spoke as if he knew the truth all along.  And now that the truth about Trump is fully known, no serious thinker believes that my feelings towards Trump constitute “irrational hatred.”   Of course, I hate Trump – I hate racism, misogyny, and fascism.  But only a self-denying fool or a fraud, which this person was and is, could claim my feelings were irrational.

I have written the previous paragraphs not to dwell on the past but as a prelude to going forward.  During the transition, our new President, Joe Biden and his chief of staff, the supremely competent and ethical Ron Klain, have demonstrated their intention to bind up our nation’s wounds from Trump fascism and bigotry.  Yet the healing will not be accomplished overnight.  In restoring our nation’s sense of national unity, Joe Biden will have three imperatives.

The first is a complete and total repudiation of the Trumpian strategy and tactics of intolerance, be it racism, gender preference discrimination, misogyny, or ethnic hatred.  Joe Biden is a profoundly decent individual who has dedicated his personal and political life to eliminating discrimination in all forms.  His appointment of a Cabinet that looks like America reaffirmed his commitment to these ideals.

The second is a willingness to listen to all points of view in making decisions.  Joe Biden, a man of the Senate for nearly four decades has been a model of openness in government and a seeker of consensus wherever possible.

The third is the most sensitive for Biden to handle: the reestablishment of the primacy of the rule of law.

The incitement and encouragement by Donald Trump of the insurrection of January 6, 2021 constituted the worst acts of outright treason and lawlessness of any president in American history.  These two days warrant a Senate trial to ensure that he may never run for office again.

It is not Biden’s responsibility to intervene in those proceedings but simply to safeguard them from improper outside interference.  The same is true of any proceedings conducted by the Justice Department on account of any criminal conduct of any member of the Trump family or his administration.

America is a good and great nation because her people are good and great.  Joe Biden is a good and great American, blessed with the unique combination of both competency and humility necessary to guide and heal our nation.  May we offer every prayer for his success.

Alan Steinberg served as Regional Administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and as Executive Director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.

 

 

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  • Hancock212

    He has to remember his name, not drool on himself and not wander off or they will invoke the 25th Amendment in a second. He is the progressive’s Pawn and they will keep him there as long as he is their useful idiot.

    • Kathleen Demarest

      ………………………YIKES!!!
      Personally, I think President Biden projects gentle strength,
      true inner strength.
      Also, I saw TV coverage of President Biden getting the vaccine.
      His upper arms are really buffed.

      Men often use a big mouth or a big gun thinking that they
      project strength and masculinity when basically they are
      just weak and immature.

      I have been observing men for 90 years and am really quite
      fond of them. To me President Biden is mentally and
      morally fit. I am sure he will remember his name for many
      more years.
      PLEASE DO NOT WORRY!

  • Kathleen Demarest

    ………….POST TRUMP……….JANUARY 21, 2021
    I thought that I would be delirious with happiness, dancing in the streets.
    INSTEAD……… I am subdued, emotionally drained, quiet but with a
    deep, deep sense of gratitude.
    So thankful that we have a President and Vice President who care for
    our country and its residents.
    So very grateful for the voters, volunteers, donators of time and money,
    columnists/journalists who informed us of the truth, anyone and everyone
    in ways large and small who helped to elect President Biden
    and Vice President Harris.

    Alan Steinberg, your last paragraph exactly states the hope I have for
    our President and Vice President.
    May President Biden and Vice President Harris guide us ever forward
    as a nation and, also, as individuals with insight and caring.

  • Bruce Todd

    Alan makes it abundantly clear that he disliked President Trump from way before he managed to work his way through the standard political types of Republicans. Was it because he said we needed to find better relations with Russia, which maybe i should remind him that that was exactly what President John F. Kennedy, one of my heroes, sought to do after the world found itself a hairs-breadth away from incineration. The same was true of Trump’s attempts with China, which i would remind everyone was true of Franklin D. Roosevelt who called for both Russia (then the post WWII Soviet Union} and China to be included on the Security Council of the United Nations. There are far more reasons for negotiations and areas of possible cooperation than there are i assure you, reasons for exterminating each other and the rest of the globe in thermonuclear war. Right now the World Health Organization and others are warning that if we don’t massively increase food production and health care, and mobilize all the necessary financial, production, and distribution capabilities to meet that, then across the globe some 270 million human beings will perish in the next 12-18 months. So one would hope unlike the former Obama/Biden administration’s touting of “The First 100 Days” which only concentrated on fulfilling the Dreams Of Wall Street by massive Bail-Outs and no real physical economic growth for the next 8 years, will we possibly see one of the Forgotten Planks of both the Republican and Democratic Parties, the return to the Glass/Steagall Banking Act of 1933 of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Democratic Party, aligned with Republicans, to finance the build-out from that economic depression, and who helped the rest of the world build itself out of the rubble of World War II. If we unify around that Just Cause, then we might just unify the nation and the globe in such a way that we might avoid the present danger to us all.

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