Ship of Fools

Before we have another election, we are going to have to address the “elephant in the room” that has led us to the most dangerous threat to our democracy in our long history. We are going to have to ask and adequately answer a few simple questions: namely, are we seeing a new phenomenon that people, feeling emboldened by our current leader, are saying things out loud that were once never espoused in polite society? If so, how do we put that genie back in the bottle and throw it out to sea? And if this is not something new and dangerous; but rather, something permanent and caustic, how can we heal the divisions that are tearing the fabric of our Constitution apart and stop ourselves before we lose our country once and for all?

Firstly, we appear to have millions of disaffected Americans that spend too much time watching Fox News and not enough time reading and thinking for themselves. The idiocy that spreads from Fox News to our sitting president is so blatant that it is almost laughable and would be funny if it was not so damned dangerous. These so-called “good Americans” do not grasp that they are getting their news from a foreigner with an agenda that is incompatible with our core values and ideals. The insidiousness of Australian Rupert Murdoch telling Americans what we should think and how to act in matters such as immigration, the economy, the poor, our social security and healthcare and our system of justice is pervasive. Why is a foreigner even telling us to “make America great again?” If we really want to make America greater, we could force the FCC to quit issuing Fox permits to operate in our country.

In addressing the contemptuous nature of our sitting president, we should ask ourselves whether he is the symptom of a hopelessly diseased society or the cure? In some ways, we can be thankful for his presidency. Why do I believe this? Because he is the canary in the coalmine of our government. He serves as the prime example of what happens when people relegate good governance to those with hidden agendas revolving around money. It is a fact that there has never been a more corrupt Cabinet in the history of our country. There have never been so many ethics violations by individuals with decision-making authority who have no goal in life other than the destruction of our carefully-crafted Federal system of checks and balances, rules, laws and regulations in order to enrich themselves.

Beyond the clearly illegal behavior of our elected officials in the White House, there is a more corrosive activity which threatens us more as a nation than anything else and that is the abrogation of our responsibilities in foreign affairs. America used to be the beacon of liberty and a symbol of freedom for those seeking both in other lands. Thanks to our president’s insistence upon enriching himself and his family at the expense of our moral high ground in international circles, we have lost that hegemony. Now, we cannot dictate to Somalia or Egypt or Yemen how to treat their own citizens when we allow Saudi Arabia to openly and without retribution murder our citizens whenever they feel like making a point. If this is a new feature of our democracy in action, it would be best if it ends sooner rather than later. Wars have started over less. Moral outrage over things like the murder of our people outside our borders by ordinary citizens has taken the place of outrage by our congressmen and congresswomen who are simply too busy running for re-election to pay any attention to why they were sent to Congress in the first place.

The election this month show that there are still decent and law-abiding Americans who want to right the ship of our government before she sinks. The people who voted for the current administration need to sit down and ask themselves what it is they hate about democracy so much that made them believe a charlatan and grifter could lead us to better times and a more “perfect union.”

About the Author
Rachel Grenadier was an olah from the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2003 who returned to the United States in 2015. She really wanted to stay in Israel, but decided that having family members nearby was better for her health than a bunch of devoted, but crazed, Israeli friends who kept telling her hummous would cure her terminal heart condition. She has her B.A. and M.A. from George Mason University in Virginia and is the author of two books: the autobiographical "Israeli Men and Other Disasters" and "Kishon: The Story of Israel's Naval Commandoes and their Fight for Justice". She is now living in Virginia with her three Israeli psychologically-challenged cats and yet, denies being a "hoarder".