^ symbol of today’s US politics as a kind of mass shooting : Dylan Roof, the accused Charleston, South Carolina murderer
—- —- —- —-
With the rise of Trump, our American Constitution faces an existential crisis. For thye past seven years,m the Republican opposition in Congress has done everything in its power to keep the Federal government from operating. As a result, power has devolved to the 50 states, where one-party governments, of one sort or the other, have set up policies to their liking overwhelming the opposition.
I happen to approve the policies established by Democratic party majorities; they carry forward the progress promises enacted into national law 70 to 160 years ago. The opposition to them is so total that there no compromise is thinkable. The same, I admit, is true in states ruled by today’s version of the Republican party. Majorities there impose policies that cannot be compromised with.
We have become two nations, rendering the Federal government almost moot. It operates many many agencies but does so in what feels like a sleepwalk, their legitimacy rejected., their effectiveness vitiated by lack of funds. The Federal judiciary, too, has been stymied. No nomination to the Supreme Court will be entertained at all ? That is rebellion, but only half our people seem to care or realize.
Thus glued to a stop, the Federal government soldiers ahead on neutered auto-pilot, and half the nation doesn’t seem to mind one bit, because the states still retain all their power and are using it — for good or for evil.
Into this devolution walks Trump. He spits hate at everybody and every institution, uses the power of his mouth to destroy our democracy, and gets cheered by those who want it destroyed, who hate it, hate every office holder, hate their jobs, hate their unions, hate themselves even. It’s like a mass shooter who kills everything in sight, including his family who, not that long before, he had loved; and then shoots himself.
Little wonder that mass shooters now define America, distinguish it from all other ordered nations, define us as a people. Our politics is a mass shooting politics.
Once Trump has wreaked his destructions, on the mission voted him by his millions of destroyers, and there is no Federal government left to tear down or zap, and he himself stands at bay hated by the people who empowered him, the 50 states will still remain; and they will be the foundation upon which a new version of Constitutional America can be rebuilt. It will surely not be what we grew up with. It will be more devolutionary; in parts of it, civil rights and economic fairness will reign; in other parts, oppression and injustice. But it will be a nation, of sorts. I am not sure I want to live in it, but some people will find said halving as comfortable as the Abolitionists expected of an 1840-60 America from which the slaver states had seceded.
—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere