Where are the Maccabees now that we need them?

It is a well-known story that once the Maccabees vanquished their Greek oppressors, they purified and rededicated the Great Temple by annointing it with oil. This may have sufficed in ancient times, but today we have a more pressing need to purify our system of government and defend it against further degradations.

When all is said and done, it will take many years to undo the damage caused to our revered system of government by the current Administration. Similarly, Israel has much soul-searching to do for herself when addressing her own government and its curious level of corruption that never seems to end. In the case of America’s government, everyone continues to see our vaunted institutions under constant attack by various right-wing media outlets with deliberate and malignant attacks on the truth. Each news source in Israel leans this way or that; but to date, collectively, they have not begun assaulting the truth in the same manner that Fox News is doing in our country. When principled people of honor are daily castigated in viral form, the biggest loser is democracy. It is like George Orwell’s 1984 but on steroids. The problem with attacking our historical institutions such as a free press or our legal system is that once those foundations are breeched, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to repair them.

For the better part of a year, Donald Trump has been trying to destroy our judicial system. Why? The simple answer is because he is soon to be adjudicated by it and feels he needs the courtroom advantage. People cannot say they did not see this coming. Trump began insulting American-born judges while still campaigning for the Presidency. If his unguarded misogynist comments were not disqualifying enough, voters should have seen his attacks on justice with a much more jaundiced eye. They missed the boat on this point and now we have the daily spectacle of the Trump machine bashing law-abiding and law-administering judges nationwide. It matters not to them if what is being mouthed from the desks of Fox News is accurate or not. They believe if they repeat something often enough, it will be believed by their “base”, those misbeknighted souls who actually thought Trump meant what he said about anything during his campaign and voted for him accordingly.

Trump’s favorite tactic in governing is to appoint people to his Cabinet and to the government with zero qualifications for that position. Thankfully, Congress put a stop to some of his more egregious nominations; but many slipped by unchallenged. To date, some who passed the vetting process and were made the heads of various agencies had to resign following press reports of their behavior since nomination. Abuse of government planes is one thing. Charges of unsuitability have followed some from their previous positions in private industry. The spectacle of watching congressmen and congresswomen asking basic legal questions of someone Trump wants to give a lifetime judicial position to who could not answer them if he had been subjected to Inquisition-style questioning are both astonishing and depressing.

What makes someone like Donald Trump so dangerous is that he has no moral or ethical standards of any kind, and what is worse, seems proud of this fact. The list of attacks on individuals and institutions appears limitless with him. He has managed to insult veterans, war widows, minorities, everyone in the intelligence community whose soul purpose is to protect America (and his own life) from enemies both foreign and domestic, women, sitting politicians of both parties, foreign leaders, his own nominees and most dangerous of all, the American rule of law and its current figurehead, Robert Mueller, III. The only people with whom he appears to have an affinity are Russians, pedophiles and the dregs of politics and media who think like he does and admit to it openly. They are Trump’s enablers and he believes they are part of his “base”. When he is removed from office, he will realize they couldn’t care less about him and are as self-serving as he once was.

Sadly, we will have to wait until next November to begin the process of healing our nation. Israelis don’t have to wait that long thanks to a parliamentary form of government which responds more rapidly to public pressures than does the American system of government. I predict that the pendulum will swing wildly back towards the Democratic party which will feature a massive overhaul of laws and the introduction of new regulations and rules which will protect our cherished institutions from future abuse by future Trump acolytes — everything from judicial nominee qualifications and environmental regulations removed in order to help big business stimulate their own bottom lines at the expense of the country’s well-being.

A few of the more active anti-Trump organizations have put in place a kind of early warning system which would be triggered by Trump removing Robert Mueller before he has finished his investigations and sent his recommendations to the Department of Justice. This entails hundreds of thousands of loyal citizens taking to the streets in protest. The fact that the highest law enforcement officer of the U.S. is the Attorney General Trump selected who has already lied under oath to Congressional committees on numerous occasions just highlights how much purification will be required to bring back the glory of the American system of government to pre-Trump times.

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".
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