observations and opinion
The USA is a civilization unto itself. It still bestrides the earth, with its commercial power, its military might and the tradition of its democratic institutions and constitution. It is still a shining beacon to the world, even in the darkest days. And it would be fair to say that the USA cannot be defeated, except by itself.
Not since the Civil War has the Great Republic faced an existential crisis like the Trump Presidency. At best, Trump is a loathesome stooge, a megalomaniac with a hollow moral core; at worst he is that, and he is a paid foreign agent.
But Trump is not just a person. He is a persona, a personification of the ugly boiling juices of historical hate, ignorance, division, racism, sexism and the worst gross excesses of capitalism. He is a huckster but he is also a product — the distilled essence of what Roger Ailes cooked-up and exploited over decades at FOXNews and before, in the GOP.
The news this morning is that Ailes is dead. Civility demands of us that we give condolences to those who loved him — family, friends, etc. But history demands that we issue condemnation of Ailes’ impact on the body politic. Whether sincerely or through sheer cynical opportunism, Ailes identified, milked and grew rich off the poison stirring under America’s skin. White skin.
Roger Ailes created the machinery which created the mythical fantasy land where Trump voters reside. He sold them “alt facts” long before that was a word, he exploited their faith in that fantasy world and opened the door for the great, dark, orange terror that now squats in the Oval Office.
If there is a God, may He have mercy on the soul of Roger Ailes. And may He do something, soon, to rid America of this pestilence. And if there is no God, let’s hope the constitution and the voice of the citizenry can come together as a weapon against Ailes’ terrible child.
Should that happen, as many Republicans now hope, there will then be a new issue.