[Part I of this two-part piece, posted here yesterday, used the contrast between the Democrats’ conduct during two recent Supreme Court confirmation dramas — the first, at the time of the Republican stonewalling of the Merrick Garland nomination in 2016, contrasted with the present Republicans’ attempt to put Brett Kavanaugh onto the Court — to demonstrate how the Democrats (and Liberal America) have lately gone through a profound spiritual transformation.]
The Trump Factor
How did this transformation — from weak to strong, from reticent to bold, from pushover to able warrior — come about?
The answer would seem to be: the election of Donald Trump to be President of the United States.
Trump displays an impressive array of vices. But he has one important virtue: he has made things clear.
The gravity of the threat from the force on the right is now clearer. The ugliness of that force is now more blatant. There’s no longer much room to dispute that Republican politics have become almost fully allied with the force of brokenness – of lying, of cheating, of cruelty, of greed, of the lust for power.
“Was blind, but now I see.” (“Seeing” can lead to more than one kind of “spiritual awakening.”)
Liberals — seeing– have been moved. Passions have arisen that put people in the streets, that drive multitudes of voters to turnout in special elections, that emboldens leaders like Cory Booker there in the Senate the other day.
Movement of a kindred sort is discernible in the electorate generally, as the polls show a drop in support for Trump and the Trump Party, and a mounting possibility in the coming midterms for the Democrats to swamp the Republicans (who reportedly now are worried they might even lose the Senate).
People are roused to fight against this more visible force of brokenness – epitomized by Trump, with his incredible array of ways of being broken, and by the Republican Party whose moral bankruptcy has been demonstrated so many times, in so many ways, that we’re hardly surprised when they make the choice to become the Trump Party.
(The Trump Party is but the more extreme and exposed manifestation of the same forms of ugliness salient in the Republican Party for years. Same wolf, less sheep’s clothing.)
The spirit evoked by this new “seeing” expresses itself when a majority (55%) of Americans see Trump as “unfit for office” –a kind of opposition way more fundamental than the usual policy disagreements citizens always have with our various presidents.
The Democratic Party has become a voice and an instrument of this rising spirit. This is really change we can believe in– change exemplified by the surprising decision of former President Barack Obama to break precedent and step forward to join the fight.
This rising spirit gives good grounds for hoping for the Blue Wave will crash on our shores come November– a Blue Wave that would be a major victory in the quest of Liberal America and the Democrats to take back the ground that has been lost.
But however big that Wave may be, it will be just a beginning.
May We Have Awakened in Time
To quote Churchill, who managed to hold off the Nazi power and begin to turn the tide of war: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
Our battle, like the struggle of which Churchill was speaking, will need to be fought continually and likely for years. A turning of the tide of war, but with much war left to be fought.
There’s another way we must hope we will also be like Churchill. (Our fate depends on this):
It was very close to too late when the British finally saw how dire was threat Nazi Germany posed to their nation and to the values of its civilization. But close call though it was, the British did become the heroes they needed to be. And, ultimately, they did prevail.
England Slept, as JFK put it, but it awakened just in time. May we prove that we, too, awoke in time.
The Garland battle was a kind of Sudetenland for the Democrats. A failure to fight, a shrinking from the battle, that ultimately made the war that much more of an uphill struggle.
And now, with our backs against the wall, we fight for that Big Blue Wave where the battle gets turned, and “the end of the beginning” is marked.
And then we must do as Churchill’s forces did, and Press the Battle — with all-out determination, as the Democrats are now doing with Kavanaugh — for some time to come.
The Cause of the Good
Seeing the other side for the ugly, broken thing that it is, Liberal America and the Democrats are now activated and impassioned — inspired (a word whose root it share with “spirit”) — to ensure that such an ugly and broken thing does not get to decide what kind of world we will live in.
This spiritual transformation in the Democrats is one of the most important ways that “the good” is working to see to it that this force of brokenness — that presently commands so much power in America — will not get to decide America’s destiny.