So they indicted Trump. For giving money to a porno star to shut her up. Goodness gracious! The long and circuitous elephant hunt has now bagged itself a trophy squirrel to proudly display.
I am not an attorney, but after years of official investigations, two impeachments, endless rumor mongering, and the bloodlust of liberal journalists and cable news clowns, I expected significant charges that justified the endless quest to indict former President Trump—for something.
The stench of partisan prosecution is hard to avoid here.
Given that Democrats would rather scoop out their own eyes with a melon baller than live through a second Trump administration, the desperate need for an indictment was there, the compliant Manhattan D.A. was willing, and the corporate news media jumped at the bait like the trained seals they now are.
It also seems the case that Democrats needed to nail Trump before the Hunter Biden saga turns into a legal quagmire that sucks in our semi-lucid President. Other concerns could be that the revelations in the diary of Ashley Biden, the one where she details her forced adolescent showers with Daddy Joe, or the endless meat grinder of the war in Ukraine, now costing tens of billions of dollars and producing a humanitarian nightmare, will soon crash through the pointless celebrity bulletins and speculative nonsense used to distract and entertain us while our country rapidly goes bankrupt.
On my bookshelves is a lovely edition of “A Treasury of the World’s Great Speeches”, which was published in 1954. Reading through it at my leisure over the course many years, I have often been struck by the erudite prose of so many great figures of the past—and how poorly the thin gruel that passes for political discourse today compares. I have also wondered why this is the case.
It might perhaps be true that we have as a species grown stupider over time, but I suspect the reasons for the decline of our oration lie elsewhere.
In our modern media age, one that lives by the sound bite and privileges personal rants over deep thought, I find it difficult to believe a truly brilliant individual has any chance of success at swaying public opinion. Speakers and thinkers such as Cicero, the greatest orator of ancient Rome, or Wendell Phillips, a young lawyer who spoke for the abolition of slavery at a public meeting in Boston many decades prior the American Civil War, would do very poorly on a cable news scream-fest or in a Twitter fight because their ideas are too complex and sophisticated to survive the distillation to an inane slogan or vicious meme. I am not even certain that Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, a masterly invocation that times out to under two mere minutes, could hold sway over our attenuated attention spans today.
We also must face up to our dysfunctional habit of believing that difficult problems—which have often been exacerbated by our previous attempts at solutions—can be solved without sacrifice. Fewer Americans than ever seem to understand that painless cures exist only in fairy tales. We should be far more suspicious than we are of glib assurances that all of life’s difficulties can be magically waved away—or simply ignored without any consequence. It would be interesting to hear the reaction to an American politician proclaiming he had “nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat” (as Winston Churchill told the British people at the onset of World War Two) in response to any one of the many problems facing our country today. Would we rise to the challenge? I have my doubts.
However, the crux of the issue is a simple and depressing one: We attach far too much importance to stories and not nearly enough to policies because we approach politics as a form of entertainment. We cheer for our heroes, hiss at those we deem to be the villains—and remain oblivious to the damage done by brain dead demagoguery.
In such a cultural and social environment the voices of reason and restraint are prone to be drowned out by those who yowl the loudest, and this is actively encouraged by those who profit politically and financially from discord. Although controversy and chaos in pursuit of a new—and generally unrecognizable—America might amuse and enrich some, this is a disaster for those average citizens who simply want to earn a living, raise their families, and live in peace. We are all lab mice in a massive effort to create crises in order to justify massive and unwarranted intrusions into our daily lives that are predicated on the belief that more government is always for the best.
If you still have your doubts that the agents of division are hard at work in our nation, pay keen attention to the relentless marketing campaign already in progress to derail our democracy by removing the current Republican front runner, Donald Trump, from the electoral process through prosecutorial harassment and media gaslighting. Whether one is a fan of our nation’s former President or not, the never ending public burning of an individual who won election to America’s highest office is amazing in both its scope and savagery. Contrast this with the happy talk that ignores the many missteps and scandals surrounding Joe Biden and his incredibly incompetent minions, and you can see the clear outlines of extremist groupthink that is dedicated to destroying anyone who stands in the way of their social, cultural, and political revolution.
The key strategies of those who want to force their way into unlimited power over our nation and people are to make certain that their enemies are clearly defined—and endlessly attacked. We are being trained to bay like hounds at those who are identified as the approved targets for our ridicule and rage, and the outcome is chillingly similar to the frantic mobs at an old Soviet show trial or a Chinese Communist parade of counter-revolutionaries during the dark days of Chairman Mao.
Democracy is a drag for those who believe their remarkable enlightenment gives them the right to rule, and they are completely uninterested in swaying public opinion with thoughtful orations. Because their preferred weapons are empty slogans, it is little wonder that the great speeches of our past are now reduced to scolding and snark meant only to activate an angry mob that will be intent on shaming and silencing anyone who dares to stand in their way.
Those who ask questions or resist—or are the leaders of those who do—must be destroyed and banished by any means necessary, which is certainly the biggest threat that our democracy faces today.