For all the dismaying damage Trump has done, he has also misstepped and misspoken with regularity. In doing so he has galvanized opposition among a growing majority of women and awakened activism among millions of previously complacent and distracted Americans of all stripes. His catastrophic regime has hastened the implosion of the Republican Party and will most likely deliver the House into Democratic (and hopefully more progressive) hands in the midterm elections. At this rate the Senate could go the Democrats’ way as well. May they grow spinal vertebrae and develop the ethics they’ve lacked to rise above their historical shortcomings.
Perhaps best of all, Trump has very likely set back the ascendance of an effective authoritarian for some time. For even if his presidency survives the growing (and largely self-inflicted) onslaught, and even if the rightwing media and the truly treasonous gang of congressional Republicans ready to sacrifice country for party prevail in protecting him from legal disaster, too many truths have already emerged for him to fully seize the power he covets. In reality, too many Americans have had enough of him and will find a way to remove him or at least render him politically impotent.
And so, in an unpredictably serpentine manner, my song may have gotten it right the first time. Trump has put us through hell. But he’s clumsily revealed for all to see the depths of his dark and immoral vision. Our awful struggle with him, which may have months or years to go, may yet serve as a cautionary tale and strengthen us for battles to come.
Steve Klinger is a veteran community journalist and college English instructor based in southern New Mexico. Frequently skeptical about the capacity of the written word to inspire activism, he also writes songs, hoping to add the power of music to his topical lyrics.