What do I think about Trump? Not too much. Maybe I should stop there. But I won’t.
I liked him and his party more than the alternative brand from the Democrats. But today, a mere few days removed from the inauguration, Americans are reacting in ways that only make things worse.
How Americans are reacting to the Trump Presidency is to their own peril as a nation
One thing is true. When Trump declared over the last eighteen months that the division in the country was not of his doing, he was correct. He did not divide the country. He merely exacerbated it. It has been divided and pitted against itself for several decades, getting worse through the presidencies of Bill Clinton, G W Bush and the resulting division caused by Obama really sealed the deal.
The problem is internal
If people refuse to deal with their own junk, they will pursue external distractions. America is not the greatest country in the world for one simple reason. The nation is wealthy and powerful and because of that, it is also in peril. America has fallen in love with wealth, power and empire. These are the things which are destroying America.
Trump is the embodiment of what ails America
Trump is the personification of these lived out ideals of success upon which the American dream is built upon and fostered in their national identity. Every American knows the creed if the “American dream.” You can be whatever you want to be, walk over whoever is in your way, do whatever you have to do in order to be successful. The very measurement of defining what success is in America, has now become not only the leader of the pack, a reality TV star, but now the leader of the free world.
Wealth and power rule the day
My dad was right. People ultimately get the leader they deserve who is a mirror reflection of themselves. You don’t have to look far to realize that as a nation, America doesn’t know how to handle wealth or power deftly. They are rather clumsy when it comes to diplomacy, the wielding of economic and military power. They are like the proverbial bull in a china shop. They don’t seem to know how to navigate the waters, trying to accommodate the changes and making headway that benefits everyone concerned. They appear to want their own way, even if it means crashing in the process of trying. They think they can do better than the rest of us. To people like Trump, compromise is a dirty word. He needs a clear cut win, when he wins, it is a good deal, and when you both win, he views that as a loss. This is what makes Trump difficult to deal with. Yet I have met in my lifetime more than my fair share of Americans who think the same way. I especially found that to be true when I served in the Canadian military. American arrogance and boasting was not invented by Trump. It seems to be a natural out flow attitude of the American psyche that thinks America is the greatest nation on earth. Nothing new here. That is how many think.
The grasping after wealth is fed by greed
The pursuit of power by US governments and businesses have mistakenly been placed in military might and American multinational corporations, rather than political and economic influence through partnerships mutually beneficial to all concerned.
The national obsession with wanting to be the best has led to empire
All empires eventually fall, and the fall starts internally. America is in decline. It really began to decline with Clinton. In order for “America to be great again” there needs to be a spiritual rebirth as a nation, and as people. This rebirth should be marked by humility, thankfulness, service to others, living in peace with the world and in sharing and making a better world for all, not just for certain Americans. One thing Bernie Sanders understood was that there was more than enough wealth in America to take care of all the ills and needs in America, if the wealthy, and the middle class all pitched in to help raise up the standard of living and education of others, which would eventually remedy the situation. But America does not want to do that.
Americans, both Republican and Democrat, do not want to do anything about the poor, or affordable education, or the social reforms necessary to make American great again. They all view that as socialism, as a precursor to communism. This is why America is not great. This is why America has never been great. This is why America is in decline. For America to care for its own and educate, heal and restore its own, America would have to cease and desist from maintaining and empire, it would need to close military bases around the world. It would need to stop the exploitation of natural resources of other nations to guarantee its supply of energy. It would have to cease making alliances with nations that continue to violate human rights. It would have to normalize relations with nations with which they are presently hostile with. It would have to negotiate for the benefit of all, not just America. It would have to treat others as equal partners in advancing prosperity, trade, and the enhancement of human rights and potential. But America can’t do that. America would have to sacrifice trying to maintain the illusion that they are the greatest nation on earth.
Trump won his campaign on that illusion. Trump won a campaign on a myth of American greatness that has never existed. Hillary Clinton lost a campaign on a myth that America has always been great. No, both are incorrect. A nation can accomplish great things on the world stage, but the mere accomplishing of great things does not make a country great. John F. Kennedy got it right when he asked Americans at his own inauguration on 20 January, 1961:
“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Bernie Sanders lost to Hillary Clinton because the DNC establishment knew what he proposed would never sell. Even Clinton adapting some of his platform was only a tactic to keep of of his supporters, and down deep she even knew it would never sell. For America to truly embrace what Sanders was selling, it would have to reinvent itself as as self-less rather than a selfish state. America would have to become a peaceful power that worked in partnerships with other nations for the mutual benefit of all rather than the self preservation of the superiority of American arms and industry. In short America would have to cease from both empire building and empire maintenance. And America is ready for neither, and that is why Trump won the election.
At the root of the identity of America is a very large ego, again personified by Trump
There is no room for ego, greed, or power if you really want a spiritual rebirth. Ego, greed, and power are the polar opposites of what a nation, what people need, if they want change and transformation. Neither Trump, nor the nation he now leads is interested in humility and serving others. They are after the illusion of greatness and the accumulation of wealth and dominance of others. That is at the root of the “American dream,” the unending self-serving quest of accumulating more and more for self gratification and preservation. This is the worst and most vile of illusions. It is a self delusion. When is enough enough? How much wealth and power does someone need? How much does a nation need? Why are there always perceptions of winners and losers? Why can’t one compromise so that all benefit? Why can’t those most wealthy help those who are not?
The American empire is rooted in acquiring wealth and exerting power to secure it for as long they they can, economically and politically
The American empire is eroding and will eventually implode. The British Empire lasted 500 years. America hasn’t even last 100 years and is already divided and in tatters. This past inaugural weekend revealed just how frayed the moral fibre is of the nation actually is. The United States under Obama had frayed even more than what had begun to unravel under Clinton and Bush. Under Trump it’s last threads will snap, and chaos, confusion, and loss of Empire will result.
Will America recover it’s own soul?
A good self-assessment will be necessary. Some real soul searching will be required. An honest self-awareness and a realization of how off the track the nation and its leaders have become will be a pre-requisite for change to even begin. It will require the earnest desire and will to change. And that will require the need for Americans to take God on God’s terms seriously. It will take introspection, self-examination, contrition, repentance, and in some cases humiliation, losing all only to gain the pearl of great price.
What America needs cannot be bought
People in America speak of the generation that came out of the Great Depression. The people of America at that time were not concerned with empire. America was fine as an isolationist nation. America and its involvement in World War 2 changed all that. America viewed the war as a some noble cause, and the economic boom that resulted through the war economy only fostered the hunger for empire and world dominance all the more. Isolationism was replaced by empire. With the loss of isolation, was the loss of the individual and the loss of caring for their own.
People longingly look back with nostalgia to the 1930’s and 1940’s looking at the Walton’s as inspiration. The Walton’s were the opposite of empire seekers. They were looking to get by and help others along the way. Some of that remains in America. But you won’t find it on the eastern seaboard or on the west coast. You will find it in middle America, in the places where people put their trust in Donald J. Trump to make things different in Washington, and in their own daily lives. Those people in middle America really don’t care about empire maintenance of the expansion of empire. They were hoping for return to a simpler life, and a life where they can get by and help others. They have have not been blinded by the American dream of success built on greed. This is why people still love the Walton’s, and they still love Little House on the Prairie. It is all about what America really needs and wants.
What America needs is only available through God
Americans, and yes even Trump says it, they all want good jobs, education, health care, and to own a home and be safe from harm. What American ultimately needs can only be found in and through God. God has promised to care for and provide for, all those who seek Him. God doesn’t bless greed or power. Merely having great wealth and economic vitality and military might does not imply the blessing of God on a people.
May America find the grace to wake up. Stop blaming Trump or Obama. Look in the mirror. You are what’s wrong with America, and you are what’s right with America. With God all things are possible. America can change. You can change. But it’s up to you to embrace your destiny. Please. Wake up.
Peace & grace
~ Samuel M. Buick