“Torture works.” I actually heard those words out of mouth of the person who most clearly represents the United States of America.
Here are some other things that work. Murder. You don’t like a guy, so you get a gun and you put a bullet in his heart. That works. Rape. You want to brutalize some woman so you drag her into some secluded place and violate her. That works. Bank robbery. You want some money, so you take a gun to a bank and force the people to empty their cash drawers into your bag. That works.
We are Americans. That means that we are fully committed to the American ideal. We hold, without question, that all human beings are created equal and that each human being is endowed by his or her creator with inalienable rights. We are Americans because we are, at our root, in our very essence, moral. Donald Trump has, speaking in his official capacity as president of the United States, renounced our very roots.
Think about what kind of person judges things by whether or not they “work.” Think of the moral orientation of a person who would judge an action by whether or not it “works.” Just like the rapist and the bank robber and the murderer and the tyrant and the ruthless dictator, the only question about any proposed action is whether it serves his or her own interests. If you judge your actions solely by whether they serve your interests, you are announcing that you don’t give a damn about the rights of others. And that, in my book, makes you not just unAmerican; it makes you anti-American.
We are faced here with the actions of an anti-American tyrant. He denounces the press and suppresses their access to our government. He orders federal employees to refuse to share their work with the public. He lies over and over again, and he fixates on anything he thinks diminishes his image. He, and the Republicans working with him, may be dismantling a whole list of programs that assist all Americans, including those who voted for him. But, horrid as his and the Republicans’ destruction of rights may be, far worse is this blatant attack on the very essence of being American. Change legislation and the solution is clearly to vote out those who made the changes. But what do we do when the head of the nation throws out our ideals?