A Sad Day for Democracy and Hope for Tomorrow

Former U.S. President is Flanked by Four Lawyers Defending Him Against a NYC Grand Jury Indictment for Nepharious Business Dealings with a Porn Star

Professor Joe Goldblatt

This week, a U.S. Congressman who was recently elected upon a platform of proven lies and exaggerations defended the leader of his political party, a former U.S. President, who has been arraigned and charged with a felony. He sombrely stated that it is “A sad day for America.” Well, he should know, perhaps better than most, because he and many others were among the many alchemists whose evil actions contributed to this unprecedented toxic cocktail of sadness in our society.

It is indeed a sad day when one liar, a former U. S. President, is flanked in court by four defence lawyers whilst also being extolled out – with the courtroom by a lying U.S. congressman and a deceived public including one gentleman who told a television reporter “If Trump shot someone I would still support him because he is the only President to ever to stand up for America and make us great again!”

After I recovered from the shock of these terrible and perhaps indelible stains upon the country of my birth, I finally am able to catch my breath and ponder how did America, once the shining beacon of democracy for all the world, tumble into the darkness of seeing a former president in the dock, an elected official who is a known liar defending him and voters who have been misled and are resorting to accepting murder as justifiable homicide by a maniac who minute by minute uses social media to promote, in his own words “death and destruction”?

Perhaps I should have seen it coming when I produced the opening of Donald Trump’s largest casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Prior to the ribbon cutting I noticed that there were dozens of helicopters hovering low in the sky over the event site. When I inquired, I learned these were news media hoping to catch of glimpse of Trump’s new girlfriend Marla Maples with whom he was having an affair while still married to his first wife.

I realised that in a few minutes time Trump would order the ribbon to be cut and tens of thousands of U.S. dollars in fireworks would explode behind him in the night sky. These fireworks were located directly underneath the helicopters flight path. Therefore, I rang the local airport traffic control tower and told them to inform the pilots that if they did not clear this air space I would issue the command to the fireworks company to commence firing and they ultimately may be in danger.

As if I was watching the concluding seconds of a James Bond film, the helicopters immediately began to scatter and eventually disappeared in the night sky and a few minutes later, exactly on schedule, the fireworks exploded above to delight the thousands of guests invited to witness the opening of what Trump modestly described as his “eighth wonder of the world”.

When the helicopters once again this week hovered in the sky above their target, a first time ever, indicted former president, I was reminded that one of the basic problems with our democratic system is that celebrities such as Trump often seamlessly shift voter’s attention and allegiance from considering in depth their policies to instead welcome bread and circus type entertainment. Trump has been mastering this type of diversion and deception ever since he first raised his finger to announce “You’re fired!” on his popular television series “The Apprentice”.

I suppose the only hope for developing and encouraging a more rational and logical approach to political analysis in the twenty – first century is to continue to inform our young people about the importance of scepticism and questioning so that they are not suckered into accepting the politics of personality versus policies based upon evidence. During the recent SNP leader contest I lost count how many times one of my very intelligent friends said to me “I just don’t like him or her!” When I asked them if ‘likeability’ was a primary determinant of worthiness to hold public office? They replied by shrugging their shoulders saying “I do not know, but liking a candidate is also about trusting their judgement and behaviour. Therefore, in the end, I must like them to support them.”

One way we may restore trust in our public officials is through greater transparency and the current court case involving a former president, although painful to view, is a further example of how no one in a democratic society is above the law and therefore must be held accountable for their actions. The evidence produced in the courtroom may be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back of civil society because it empirically presents facts versus accepting the the transient fiction of likeability.

As I wait and watch for the outcome of the New York city case against Mr Trump along with the multiple other potential trials in Georgia for interfering with voting and in Washington, DC for the potential sedition charges resulting from the riot at the US Capitol, I shall need to practice holding my breath and looking for the evidence that our broken system is indeed reparable, even if we must patiently tolerate multiple future court cases.

From this unprecdented experience, we may learn to be more careful when supporting future candidates and seek greater integrity, ethical consistency, and moral authority that may result in something more enduring than their personal likeability. In fact, as the helicopters tracking celebrities clear the night sky revealing the stars above, we may also re – discover that character actually matters if we are to protect, preserve, and promote our democratic ideals for future generations.

Professor Joe Goldblatt is Emeritus Professor of Planned Events at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland. His views are his own. If you would like to learn about his further views visit www.joegoldblatt.scot

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