alexanderhamiltonMr. Trump, the President-elect, ran on a slogan, “Make America Great Again”. Unless I am missing something, America was and has been great for a couple of centuries. For many across political lines, ethnic backgrounds and religions it has been the beacon of light and hope for billions of this planet’s inhabitants over the years. Have we always been right? No. Are we perfect? No. But we have enjoyed a nation where people of different value systems have the freedom to express themselves and to follow whatever path they choose without fear and without intimidation by a dictatorial government. We have accepted the premise that any democracy by its very nature moves slowly largely because we have learned to recognize and honor those fellow citizens with whom we may disagree. That is the true essence and ongoing challenge of our democracy. We have learned that a small step forward is better than a giant leap backward. That is what has separated us from most of the world’s nations. That is what has made America great. But the founders of our nation could never have predicted or provided advice for the age of the computer and the instant distribution of unedited information. Harnessing this new technology in the interest of the common good is the great challenge facing this nation in the next decade and beyond.

For now, there is an issue threatening our way of life that can and must be confronted. It is present; it is real; and it is dangerous. My favorite student recently reminded me of what our founders (probably Alexander Hamilton) said in Federalist 68:

“Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?”

The revelations unanimously agreed upon by the non-partisan intelligence community of this nation revealed that Mr. Putin and various government-encouraged agencies in Russia have meddled with the American electoral process and has done what it could to get their man in office. In doing so, it attempted to take away the voice of Americans from Main Street to Wall Street and their unfettered right to cast a sovereign vote for whichever candidate they wished. In short, a foreign power tried successfully to manipulate our great democracy and in doing so it struck at the heart of our very being and stained the outcome of our electoral process. The very fact that Mr. Trump doesn’t accept or even recognize the gravity of such an intrusion or is dismissively averse to pursuing a serious investigation of it undermines his moral authority to lead this nation. His lack of concern and that of his most devoted followers are not likely to “Make America Great Again” because they don’t understand what made America great in the first place.

It is impossible to make Mr. Trump deal with this because, among other things, his attention span at any given moment apparently can only extend for 140 characters or fewer but let me try including the use of some of his favorite adjectives.

@realDonaldTrump Foreign meddling with elections=bad. US voters come from Main St. not Kremlin. No response=crooked&weakDJT #votersremorse

The link between Mr. Trump, his inner circle and his Russian enablers is there either directly or through back channels. All the intelligence community has to do is find it. If we can pinpoint the bedroom of Osama bin Laden with him in it halfway around the world then surely, we can uncover the winding path of what appears to be a snake in the grass in our midst. Then we can all boast regardless of one’s political loyalties that together we “Made America Great Again!”

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1 Comment on Keeping America Great: A Short Note

  1. Betsy Stein Medinger says:

    Oh! What I would do to be sitting in your class room to have you lead us thru conversation to try and understand what is going on around us now. If only Obama could stick around a few more months until we figure out what the heck is happening!! Anyway, Thank you for teaching me at a young age to stay aware and thoughtful.

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