It is with feelings of exasperation and relief that we view the long-awaited (polluted) sunset of the Trump Administration. We do so with an acquired and instructive reminder of the systemic vulnerability, inherent in the rational concept and practice of Republican Democracy. The existential caution is not novel however, it has, at times in the past, and in the last four years been dangerously forgotten.
The experience of the past four- year Presidential term was witness to an attack on our Nation’s underpinning Constitution, including its protection of freedoms of press, speech, peaceful assembly, voting, as well as damage to the architecture of our governmental Separation of Powers, plus multiple brazen violations of our emolument clause, corrupt and possibly treasonable intercourse with our international enemies. His misrepresentation of the mortal danger of the pandemic was the proximate cause of tens of thousands of preventable deaths and sickness, and National economic disaster, his withdrawal from climate treaties and failure to credit the scientific world’s serious admonitions concerning global warning, his encouragement of right-wing violence, support of the NRA, not to omit mention of his serial mendacity and daily acts of demonstrable ignorance and incapability.
How did such an incapable, low-life and egocentric miscreant become elevated to the highest and most powerful office in the Nation, arguably the entire world, is the underlying theme of this writing? What we were again painfully reminded of is the toxic etiology of this undemocratic, unamerican tragedy.
Like love, the concept of Republican Democracy can be viewed as systemically, vulnerable. Love is vulnerable because it exists alongside with the unvarying expectation of the tragedy of loss. Republican Democracy systemically vulnerability exists due to its dependency upon the quality of its citizens. To quote Thomas Jefferson, yet again, “To succeed, a democracy must have an informed citizenry.”
Donald Trump did not arrive on the scene by some divine right, by the “luck of the draw”, or by religious designation. His ascendency was empirically caused by his falsified egotistical pretensions, subscribed to by a numerically sufficient uninformed voters to direct his selection by the Electoral College.
The costly ravages of the Coronavirus had an unexpected origin in Nature and will predictably be averted by the planned programs of administration of the newly developed vaccine. By contrast, the eternal threat to the institution of Republican Democracy which resides, essentially and systemically, in the nature of mankind and thus is not preventable nor ameliorated by means of medical chemistry.
It is far easier merely, to diagnose the pathology of the systemic challenges to Democracy than to prescribe a cure or a preventative, vaccine-like preventative. The serious and determinative threat is in sync with and related to the Jeffersonian admonition, concerning the existential need for a successful democracy of a literate and informed citizenry. A citizenry imbued with the latter standard would never have elevated a meretricious, unqualified, and neurotically egotistic, ex-host of a second-rate television show, to the esteemed and powerful Oval Office; leading to the well -known despicable and perverse results, which, like slavery, will no doubt be enshrined as a permanent blemish on American History.
No argument is required regarding the tautological assertion that a representative democracy manifests the will and philosophy of the voting public. The problem is that, as shown by Trump’s election to office, appears to be that, candidly speaking, too many of our voters, regrettably, are not of the Jeffersonian standard, viz., well- informed and adequately educated. In past essays, we may have committed the sin of being overly optimistic or naïve, in Pollyanna suggestions regarding conceived programs of educational advancement for those that needed it. We have been cured of such aspirations and effectively traumatized by the tribal divisiveness exacerbated by the travesty of the Trump Administration. We now see that the efforts to lift- up the flat-earth, reductive, inadequately educated and poorly informed voter, if at all conceivably possible, would take too long, and in such unlikely event, during a predictably slow and difficult process, the Nation might, as a practical matter, be obliged to undergo the traumatic nightmares of other Trump-like Presidents.
Upon further, and it is submitted, improved reconsideration, we would suggest the more pragmatic solution of an independent, and rigorous process of a prerequisite interview to qualify all potential nominees to run for the Office of President. A fair and objective, a bi-partisan committee with appropriate credentials, whose required unanimous approval of candidates, would result, in elections between two capable, morally qualified candidates, (presumably of different platforms) found deserving of the vote of any citizen, regardless of sophistication, and necessarily resulting in the election of a qualified Chief Executive Officer, of voters preferred political persuasion, on a consistently assured basis.
Pliny finds that it is bizarre to note that, at present, in an application for more mundane employment, e.g., a desired position as a salesperson for Walmart, a prerequisite interview is mandatory, but not for the determinative position of President of the United States.