I genuinely wish President Donald J. Trump a speedy recovery and good health.
It has not been lost on me the similarities and overlaps of what some call “Trump-ism” with the old rhetoric and campaigning strategies of former Alabama Governor and Presidential candidate George Wallace. Former Republican Senator from Missouri, John C. Danforth made astute observations on this as well: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-exactly-what-republicans-are-not/2017/08/24/9909a320-8832-11e7-a50f-e0d4e6ec070a_story.html
Like Trump, Wallace shook the establishments of American politics and previous alliances by stooping to the type of racist reactionary populism you might call the ‘worse demons’ of our nature. He knowingly and openly used his oratory and charisma to whip his live audiences into a racially-charged fervor, the old confederate battle-flag even becoming a popular and common symbol hoisted by attendees at his rallies. George Wallace left a legacy of xenophobia and white supremacy that would last at least another generation in the American body politic. He left behind a ‘built-in’ political base of sorts, and helped lay the groundwork for the ‘southern strategy’ that has been a major, as well as ugly, reality of American politics ever since. Richard Nixon appealed to this unfortunate base of political Americana to obtain the office of POTUS, as did Ronald Reagan. By the time we get to Donald Trump; we now have a POTUS who is not only perfectly happy paying homage to rhetoric and campaigning strategies reminiscent of George Wallace, but who unapologetically embraces the newest version of that political base as his own.
An interesting note here about George Wallace is that he eventually apparently realized at least some of the damage he’d done after being shot during a political campaign, and spent his subsequent retirement years with regret and contrition. Wallace became famous for having a change of heart, and doing what he could the last few years before he died just trying to make up for the toxicity and suffering he’d spread during his political career. American voters really never got to vote for Wallace for POTUS during the height of his heyday and pre-shooting health in a seriously competitive race for the highest office – but time only to coalesce as a voter base for future political operatives to employ.
Although the prospect of a young hate-spewing Wallace winning the office of US President seems terrifying, there is something to be said for having him on the ballot as a serious contender only to be passed over by the voters and soundly rejected. It’s almost as if Americans were somehow denied an important opportunity to reject the politics of the good ole’ dog a-whistlin’ Dixie. And that unfortunate ready-made voter base has continued to linger in our national politics… eventually experiencing another ‘revival’ as the voter base embraced by a megalomaniacal demagogue of a glorified second-rate slimy used car salesman – propelling him into the Presidency on the historically suspect phrase, “make America great again.” Now it is time for the American people to vote again and see what kind of referendum is issued to this vein of authoritarian and xenophobic politics today. It is time for President Trump’s employee review – his ‘report card’ from the country. And I, for one, want to make sure Trump and his brand of politics get the failing grades they deserve. America deserves to vote a referendum on the political poison of Trumpism, and make it abundantly clear that from here forward it is political suicide for any candidate to embrace the politics of George Wallace and Donald Trump.
I don’t revel in the prospect that Donald J. Trump could potentially die from complications related to his now-confirmed infection. And even if you see him as an evil political enemy deserving of whatever he gets, I think it more prudent that you don’t rub the salt in our fellow American’s wounds either. Like it or not, Trump is currently beloved by a large number of Americans; and they will be deeply grieved if their dear leader dies. For Trump’s opponents to celebrate in such a grave event, should his death take place; it would forever embitter Trump’s followers and potentially elevate him to a martyr in their eyes. Without Trump around to participate in next month’s election; he would be ‘sainted’ by his large and loyal cult following, and they would forever be able to claim that Trump was never defeated in a POTUS election – and they would be correct. Without Trump in next month’s election, the American people would not get our referendum election on Trumpism.
Yes, I want President Trump to enjoy a full recovery from COVID-19. I want him to feel fully restored to health and strength as quickly as possible. Then, I want him to lose re-election in the worst landslide in American history. I want Trumpism to be resoundingly defeated and left in the past for the embarrassment that it is – the blight it’s revealed itself to be. I want Trumpism to be obliterated. Yes; I sincerely want the man Trump to be healthy and vivified with life, but I want Trumpism to summarily die.
And, who knows? Maybe Donald Trump will follow in more of George Wallace’s footsteps, and Trump will also become repentant and change his tune during retirement. Maybe contracting the deadly disease at the center of a global pandemic and losing a presidential election will be enough to finally make an old nasty bully reevaluate his life and correct course. And if that be the case, I wish Donald J. Trump many more years to thrive in his old age. May he become a messenger of warning about the folly of xenophobic demagoguery, an elder statesman who cautions against employing the rhetoric of western chauvinism, and an echo of how even people like George Wallace can evolve and attempt to make recompense.
Dear President Trump – please get well soon.
My fellow Americans – please vote.
Kru Adam G. “Brick” House is an Afghanistan war veteran and former licensed minister (UPCI), who has become an outspoken skeptic, peace advocate, and libertarian activist. He currently resides in Leander, Texas, where he is a licensed Muay Thai Kru and owner of Peaceful Warrior Muay Thai Academy.