The man who went bankrupt owning a casino is finally out of power after spending four years dividing our country and driving down our standing in the world. No single human has done more harm to the people and institutions of the United States of American than this abject failure of a president.
His effect on pop culture was, like his leadership, toxic and negative, but we should try to learn from this debacle so that we don’t make this mistake again.
The last four years have taught us that about a fourth of this country is gleefully and willingly misinformed. They choose to believe poorly-crafted, anti-democracy propaganda rather than the truth. Instead of seeking escapism in books, movies or music, they choose to live in an alternate reality where they’re always right, and the real world is evil and bad.
This is the result of two intertwined crisises facing the United States: Education and Mental Health.
We need to reform our educational system so that kids graduate high school with basic comprehension skills that will allow them to see past the BS and distractions that slick con men will throw their way. Kids need to be taught science, civics and ethics and analytical thought so that we never find ourselves in a mess like this again.
We also need to create some kind of Marshall Plan type program to destigmatize and treat mental illness. Clearly, a significant chunk of this country has a serious cognitive disorder and can’t properly discern reality. We need to make resources available so that these folks can be helped to deal with their mental issues.
The former president’s followers, in large part, don’t yet realize that they were tricked into hating American ideals and Democracy. Those armed lemmings who stormed the Capitol two weeks ago were brainwashed into thinking that what they were doing was justified.
For over thirty years people have had poison pumped into their brains by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and their ilk. Those ministers of disinformation have done far more damage to society than any rap or heavy metal album, or any slasher movie ever have. They have radicalized a couple of generations of white supremecists.
It’s going to be a huge challenge to reach these people and snap them back to reality.
Mark Twain said, “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.”
Deprogramming is a controversial topic, but we need to find some ethical and effective way to convince the cult-like followers of the former president to give up their deranged worldviews and rejoin mainstream society. We need some kind of national intervention. At the very least this country needs a strong lesson in accountability and consequences.
But today is all about looking forward to a brighter new future. We will be able to wake up, log into Twitter, and not see that all the trending topics are about the outrageous actions or words of one demented lunatic.
News programming will no longer dominate the television ratings. We’ll never have to hear about Scott Baio or Jon Voight again. Villifying education and scientists and doctors will be seen as destructive behavior, not “telling it like it is.”
It is my fervant hope that, with sane, intelligent and honest leadership in place, our country can get this pandemic under control, and we can look forward to a new normal that doesn’t resemble the last four years of chaos and incompetence that the curse of the last president visited upon this country.
Our incoming president will put this country back on the right track. His job won’t be easy. No president, with the possible exception of FDR, has ever inherited a bigger mess. But I believe that President Biden is up for the job. At the very least, he won’t be a daily embarrassment, like his predecessor. For the first time in my lifetime, the presidential agenda is going to be damage control.
I’m tried of living in interesting times. I crave boredom now. I’ll still find cool stuff to tell you about. I always do. Today is a day that all intelligent, sane Americans can finally exhale and breathe a sigh of relief that most of us survived the last four years of celebrated idiocy.