From Your Mouth To God’s Ears…

When I was a girl, if someone made a rosy prediction, my grandmother would respond with “From your mouth to God’s ears!” It was her way of saying, “I hope you are right!”

That phrase came immediately to mind when I saw this Washington Post headline –“How Trump is Helping to Save Democracy.”

Ordinarily, seeing  a headline like that would signal that the piece was written by a pro-Trump apologist, but the co-authors of the column were Norman Ornstein, Thomas Mann and E.J. Dionne, all of whom I respect immensely, and the column itself made an argument that I have actually made myself, at least in my more Pollyanna moments.

The election of Donald Trump could be one of the best things that ever happened to American democracy.

We say this even though we believe that Trump poses a genuine danger to our republican institutions and has done enormous damage to our country. He has violated political norms, weakened our standing in the world and deepened the divisions of an already sharply torn nation.

But precisely because the Trump threat is so profound, he has jolted much of the country to face problems that have been slowly eroding our democracy. And he has aroused a popular mobilization that may far outlast him.

The article went on to enumerate the multiple points of resistance to the Trump Administration, and the recognition by previously apolitical Americans that apathy is no longer an option.

The election has also highlighted the importance of democratic norms of behavior.

Trump’s sheer disregard for the normal practices and principles of presidential behavior has cast a spotlight on the vital role that norms play in regulating and protecting our democracy. Only when norms disappear are we reminded of how important they were in the first place.

Trump has also brought the simmering divisions within the GOP to the fore; the defections from the party line from principled conservatives make it more likely that the party will have to face up to the reality that white supremacists and outright racists have become an important segment of its base.

A large group of influential conservative thinkers — Jennifer Rubin, Michael Gerson, Max Boot, George F. Will, Peter Wehner, William Kristol and Tom Nichols, to name just a few — has spoken out against the nativist and xenophobic strain in the Republican Party that gave rise to Trump and against his manifest disrespect for our institutions. They want a problem-solving Republican Party, a necessity for our political system to operate. Only a handful of Republican politicians have joined them, but their ranks are growing and include Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona.

Meanwhile, Republicans’ failure to pass any major piece of their legislative agenda, despite their control of the presidency and both houses of Congress, is a sign that tea partyism provides no plausible path to governing.

The column approvingly notes the pushback Trump has received from corporate America and the press, especially (but certainly not exclusively) his refusal to condemn the Nazis and Klansmen who marched in Charlottesville, and his rescinding of DACA protections for undocumented children brought to the U.S. by their parents. And it applauds renewed civic activism.

The Trump jolt has done more than force the country to a necessary reckoning. It has also called forth a wave of activism, organizing and, perhaps most important, a new engagement by millions of Americans in politics at all levels.

The entire column is worth reading.

It’s probably true that, had Hillary won, the U.S. would have experienced four or eight more years of what we had under Obama–a Republican-dominated Congress determined to block any and all Administration initiatives, no matter the common good or national interest.  Trump’s election has made the increasing evidence of the dysfunction of our government impossible to ignore.

I just wish I could be confident that the resistance these scholars describe will ultimately succeed in correcting our downward spiral–preferably, before the maniac in the White House triggers a nuclear war.

From their mouths and God’s ears…..

27 thoughts on “From Your Mouth To God’s Ears…

  1. “I just wish I could be confident that the resistance these scholars describe will ultimately succeed in correcting our downward spiral……”

    Your apprehension is well taken. Where have all these GREAT THINKERS such as George Will, William Kristol et al been all these years? Their mistakes are just now hitting them in their face.

    The maniac in the White House might not trigger a nuclear war, but he’s well on his way of starting a CIVIL WAR. All you need to do is take a look at the NFL and the NBA the last few days and the election Sunday in Germany.

  2. Ten plus years ago, down in a rural Indiana county, the locals voted into power a bunch of right wing nut cases complete with an agenda to match. Under the mindset of “we don’t want no regulations” they striped the local government of most rules and regulations. Among those hated regulations was the one forbidding the dumping of trash down the ravines. Word spread. Soon out of county dumpers were bringing their trash to the once pristine scenery. The state government, alarmed at last as to what their anti-government ideas really meant, stepped in and took over the county government. It took over ten years to restore all of the laws and regulations and bring the county into compliance with state and federal law.

    How long is it going to take to restore the laws and regulations of OUR federal government after Trump leaves office? One generation? Two? Will this old woman live to see the day? Or is the fate of the country already set and irretrievable?

  3. My thoughts about 45’s presidency (can’t say his name or capitalize his title) was the same – that it will wake up people to the reality of the damage that the far right can do. However, I never imagined that he alone could do so much damage to our country so quickly. I am truly concerned about how long it will take for our country to recover from the damage that has already taken place and the damage that continues to happen on a daily basis.

    Marv – re your comments “The maniac in the White House might not trigger a nuclear war, but he’s well on his way of starting a CIVIL WAR. All you need to do is take a look at the NFL and the NBA the last few days and the election Sunday in Germany” and “By the way, waking up to the fact that a Tsunami is about to hit doesn’t stop the Tsunami” – I agree with you completely. As you know, I have mentioned several times on this blog that I envision a civil war or some type of revolution is in our future.

  4. I do pray, from my mouth to God’s ear; I believe in a higher power but have no idea what form he/she/it takes but “God” is as good a name as any. I believe Jesus was a truly holy man; a Jewish Rabbi who had a message for all people; a message of acceptance, peace and humanity for all. That message got lost somewhere along the way as individuals decided to replace him, take over and change His message to fit their needs and their coffers.

    “From Your Mouth To God’s Ear” is a good message; “God Don’t Like Ugly” is another, and one the current administration should keep in mind as they “spread their pseudo-christian gospel” at their “revivals” termed political rallies. Trump has brought us many “firsts”; not the least of them is his campaigning for re-election weeks after his inauguration. You won’t find that in the Book of Revolution along with its many passages meant to scare us into preparing for the “second coming”.

    “The Trump jolt has done more than force the country to a necessary reckoning. ” Is his “second coming” what the Washington Post journalists are warning us of? They offer no guarantee of escape for this nation any more than the Book of Revelation offers to humanity. How many Republican members of Congress know the truth of Trump; use the health care bill as an example, but sit shaking in fear to speak up. What do they fear from this one poor excuse of a man but loss of the money behind him being funneled into their own pockets…or campaign funds thanks to Citizens United.

    It is imperative we take action to bring about a disruption in his control and that of Congress as REQUIRED by our Constitution. I am waiting to post my “Andre Carson For Congress” and repost my “Pence Must Go” yard signs for the 2018 election. Posting them too early, they will lose meaning and attention in my Trump filled neighborhood. The wait is difficult for me; “Lord give me patience and I want it today!”

  5. I live in the county Theresa Bowers mentioned. The county was a laughingstock, but unfortunately, the clowns did a lot of damage.

  6. Nancy,

    We need to understand that the Nazi Movement gained momentum first in the rural areas; It then spread to the urban areas like Berlin. The authors Sheila has mentioned have had little or no understanding of the rural areas in many parts of Indiana and also Florida.

    For example, despite having an NFL football team, the social/political mentality of Jacksonville is still rural. It’s much like Munich was in the 20’s and 30’s.

    George Will and William Kristol, haves taken their lead from big city newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post.

    The Guardian from England is now more relevant in addressing the political problems in the U.S. than either of the two above.

    “They’ve missed the boat.”

  7. I believe in God and history suggests providence expects us to act morally and suffer the effects when we don’t. It will be miraculous if we citizens grab the tiller and right our ship of state. Or we will go off the edge of the flat earth truth denialing rabble lust for.

  8. What I fear most is demonstration fatigue. There have been so many outrageous moments that have gotten people out to stand against whatever 45 and his minions have proposed, that I fear these events will become commonplace in the near future and will not arouse the level of indignation that they currently do.

    As bad as 45 is, McConnell is a thousand times worse. He knows better, but he continues to undermine the basic principles that have made the Senate a respected deliberative body.

  9. From Wikipedia:

    “The medium is the message” is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in any message it would transmit or convey, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.

    The phrase was introduced in McLuhan’s book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, published in 1964. McLuhan proposes that a medium itself, not the content it carries, should be the focus of study. He said that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not only by the content delivered over the medium but also by the characteristics of the medium itself.”

    The main medium for the divisiveness and hatred we’re now experiencing has come from many of the PULPITS of the fundamentalist ministers in the south, southwest, and parts of the midwest. Because of cable TV and the internet the message can be communicated EXPONENTIALLY WORLD-WIDE. And that is exactly the heart of the problem we’re now facing not only in the U.S. but also in Europe.

    Who can compete with God?

  10. Well balls, Marv; the message in all media today, also probably from the pulpits, is football and the current use of that once only religious act of kneeling. It’s a sign of the times; or is it another Trump distraction from him moving his stubby finger closer to that nuclear button?

  11. Today is the last day of work for 65 Rexnord workers. Trump visits us tomorrow. A supposed theme is tax reform. Will those 65 and their families be there to greet him? Will you? I wonder if 45 remembers the boast he made at Carrier. Will Jim Irsay be there among the plutoctats who need a tax break so the economy will grow, or will Jim defend the s o b Colts who knelt.

  12. The authors are trying to find the best-case scenario for a looming disaster. Yes, there will be more activism as a result of the disgusting display of bigotry enablement and outright hubris internationally. But, moving enough people off their couches will mean taking away their TV remotes and their Bud Light cans, and that isn’t going to happen any time soon.

    Moreover the visual news media are Trump, Trump, Trumping us to death while the undercard characters like Pruitt, DeVos, Mnuchin and Price are ravaging their departments to the point of putting us back to pre-WW II levels. Yes, some media mention their despicable actions, but that isn’t sexy enough for the non-voter, or the Trump-ites.

    Someone mentioned demonstration fatigue, and that is valid. But until we pester our representatives CONSTANTLY to build the case for impeachment and removal from office, the oozing boil of the Trump presidency will continue to fester. Civil war? Maybe, but the Trump-ites only consist of the most backward 30% of our nation. Somehow, I don’t see that as a major threat to our expected way of life. Besides, once the first rush of testosterone is over, the realities of anarchy will send them back to their Dixie beer cans.

    If we’re going to save our Constitution, we must promote activism amongst our neighbors. Read George Lakoff’s books on this subject and you’ll find that facts and figures don’t matter much to true believers, but emotional rhetoric and actions do. That said, he points out that over 60% of the population tends to side with what we call a liberal agenda.

    You can look it up.

  13. Vernon,

    “If we’re going to save our Constitution, we must promote activism amongst our neighbors.”

    I’m afraid, we need much more than reading George Lakoff for the motivation to take action.

  14. Marv, while I know nothing about Jacksonville I can assure you that the bulk of 45’s supporters where I live are getting louder and louder by the day with their support of him. He could cost them everything and they would still support him. I need to find a way to get out of this rural hell.

  15. It’s good to remember that everything that happens here is completely pointless.

    We are living on a dust mote in a remote section of an unremarkable galaxy in a remote section of an unknowable enormous universe. Even if we someday expand into the galaxy, our struggles today are akin to Grok and his fellow neanderthals arguing over who gets to sleep in the best corner of the cave.

    Your creation is your salvation. Do what you think is right, but let go of the outcome. There are no good outcomes.

  16. DT is coming to Indianapolis tomorrow to promote tax reform (and mostly, himself) rallying at the State Fairgrounds. How many will show up to let him know that the majority of Americans are not supporters of his rhetoric or his agenda?

  17. Counterpunch can be a little too lefty or screedy for my taste but in their piece “If Hillary Had Won” Paul Street makes a good point: if Hillary had won, we would be mired in at least four years of congressional hearings about nothing much, and obstructionism that would make the Obama years look like a walk in the park. Hillary truly makes these people unhinged.

  18. Clearly the first opportunity to limit the damage is about a year away. We will have an opportunity to paralyze Congressional legislation of Trump’s sorry legacy and not have to depend on a small handful of Republican revolutionaries to stop the mainstream GOP. I’d like to think after that the entire Republican brain cell will be occupied after that by deciding their candidate for 2020.

    One thing that I worry about is that the economy next year might still be humming because of belief in the misguided coincidence that the fact of Trump’s wealth makes him pro-business rather than pro-Trump’s wealth. While that would be a lucky break for Americans it might get the orange family enterprise some unearned votes.

    Another thing that I worry some about is what appears to be a shortage of leadership from the DNC. Gerrymandering by computers has made elections much more strategic than tactical now. The role of the national committee is crucial.

    Hopefully we can squeeze out one more year without a nuclear war or a complete collapse of our global influence and then end the McConnell/Ryan tyranny. That’s big.

    When that grunt work is done we can focus on the Whitehouse before the Trump family paints it gold. I suspect winning that will force the first eviction by force of the trailer trash living there and if so, we’ll get to finish the Trump era with a flourish.

  19. I, too, greatly respect the three authors Sheila named, and I admit to the possibility that had Hillary been elected we could have another eight years of a gerrymandered Congress, gridlock, and much of the peoples’ business left undone. However, bad as that sounds, in the present situation with an addled man at the helm and a bought Congress anxious to score for the rich and corporate class before Mueller brings the whole thing crashing down, I am not so sure that the conclusion of these authors fits the reality bill, since at the rate things are going with this continuous battering of our democratic institutions, there may not be a democratic superstructure to resurrect.

  20. “…effective action must be taken now.” –Marv Kramer

    Real action will not happen. Not now. Not until Trump’s takeover is in the final coup stage and forces the military leadership–the patriotic generals–to stand against him. What we will get from citizens “now” is rhetoric, social diplomacy, which is just another form of whining. While the boot of tyranny is on your throat, you cannot whine or reason or beg off the tyrant’s gun executing your coup de gras.

    What is needed now is preparedness to stand up with those generals when they act to squash Trump’s takeover. And I do not mean the kind of “stand up” that infers standing up to walk in a protest march.

    I mean the kind of stand up that organizes the secret codes, the armories, the supply trains, the training, the spy networks, the hospitals, the wound-dressing skills, the armament manufacturing, the underground support network, the forging of papers, the printing of money, the connections to and alliances with European countries, and finally, the chain of command. Our patriot generals will need that kind of support to defeat the traitor generals and traitor bureaucrats that Trump is putting into strategic positions.

  21. Larry,

    “And I do not mean the kind of “stand up” that infers standing up to walk in a protest march.

    I mean the kind of stand up that organizes the secret codes, the armories, the supply trains, the training, the spy networks, the hospitals, the wound-dressing skills, the armament manufacturing, the underground support network, the forging of papers, the printing of money, the connections to and alliances with European countries, and finally, the chain of command.”

    We have a minor difference of opinion. You’re looking forward to a CIVIL WAR, I want to help prevent one. That’s all.

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