If I had any doubt that woolly-headed Democrats are just as responsible as heartless Republicans for America electing this cretinous president, it was removed by a young 40-year-old man from Sacramento who started a "Philosophy and Politics" Meetup group in the capital city six years ago.
Though Brandon prides himself on being a philosopher, he's actually a software engineer that showed no willingness to question his philosophical or political assumptions.
Twenty years ago if you said you were a philosopher you were met with blank stares. Now every other person thinks they're a philosopher.
"Trump is not a legitimate president," Brandon said vehemently after evincing the characteristic American deadness for the first half hour of our talk.
What do you mean by legitimate, I queried.
"He was elected by fraud and treason," he pronounced.
Have you fallen for the party line that it wasn't Americans who elected Trump, but Russian agents aided and abetted by 'treasonous' Trumpians?
"He isn't legitimate," he repeated, as if saying it again made it so. How is that any different than the mentality of Trump and his supporters, I asked?
Brandon then threatened to hang up. So I took a different tack and asked, Trump won the electoral college, right?
"I don't believe in the electoral college," Brandon declared.
That's ridiculous. It's the system we've had in the United States for electing a president since the country was founded, the political reality we have to accept until and unless it's changed.
At that point Brandon, who bragged about having 750 people in "my Philosophy and Politics Meetup group" (though only 10 or 15 come per week), hung up.
And this is California, where we supposedly have some perspective on the madness in Washington.
Trump is right about one thing, the Russian collusion and 'treason' trope is intended to delegitimize his election, and convince people that can't believe America elected such a man that the Russians did it. Denial still rules.
Trump is not a fluke; America elected him because the body politic as a whole had become so corrupted and dysfunctional that after Obama's "hope and change" con that many people wanted to blow up the system, and most quit caring altogether.
Until that truth is faced, and Democrats stop looking beyond our borders, or entirely blaming Republicans for why the American people elected this lying authoritarian, Trump is going to continue to run roughshod over our institutions and continue to defile the body politic.
So what is the core reason this unfit, ignorant, bigoted two-faced son of bitch was elected President of the United States?
As I've said many times in this column, the American people perished as a people over 25 years ago. The first Gulf war was the straw that broke the American spirit's back. That gave rise to the Bush-Cheney malignancy (with the invasion of Iraq, torture and rendition, and a permanent, self-fulfilling 'global war on terror'), which President Obama whitewashed.
Obama's phony Lincolnesqe "team of rivals," naming Hillary as Secretary of State and promising to support her as his successor, became the Clintonian dead weight that opened the door to Trump. The surface competence and classiness of Barack Obama could not contain the rot at the core of America, which then erupted in full splendor with Trump-Pence.
Rather than face up, Democrats have been focusing on Russian collusion and Trumpian corruption, believing that Mueller will ride in on a white horse and save the Union. The way they're going, they may not even win the House.
And even if they do and Trump is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors before and during his presidency, there's no way Trump is going to convicted by the Senate.
Brandon betrayed himself as a philosopher, as a citizen, and as a human being when he shouted just before hanging up, "I don't care about the facts, you're not going to change my mind."
Sound familiar? That's America today, across the political spectrum.
Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He welcomes dialogue. firstname.lastname@example.org
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