By now you’ve probably heard that Australian actress Nicole Kidman suggested to Americans that it’s time to get over their differences, and to start supporting Donald Trump as their elected president. Seems like there’s a lot of political advice coming from the Hollywood community these days.
Ms. Kidman has received plenty of criticism, but even some support, for her unsolicited comments. She has responded by stating, for the record, that her remarks were not meant as an endorsement of Donald Trump. She just thinks that it’s the democratic thing to do… to support the country’s elected leader, right or wrong. You know, all that “peaceful transition of power” stuff.
On the surface it sounds like a perfectly reasonable thing to say. And it would be, under normal circumstances. But the situation Americans face this time around is anything but normal. Hence, Kidman’s advice strikes me as somewhat off-the-cuff and ill-advised. But I’ll come back to that in a moment.
First of all, let me say that I think Ms. Kidman truly means well. It’s a very noble & patriotic sentiment to willingly accept the outcome of a democratically-held election, and to get on with more important matters at hand. But when the crucial issue at hand is the very integrity of the election itself, and the personal qualifications and suitability of the winner, ignoring these concerns and turning one’s attention to other issues just seems foolhardy. I believe her advice is therefore misguided, and fails to address the sad truth of the matter; that Trump is a dangerous, self-serving sleaze-ball who got into power by illicit means, and who could conceivably lead the USA down a tragic road that runs contrary to everything the nation stands for.
I point out that in every dictionary, democracy is essentially defined as “government as elected by the majority through a fair vote.” But the majority did not vote Trump into office. He was elected by what some now say is the skewed Electoral College… an election provision put into place by the nation’s founders to ensure that sober second thought is afforded to the outcome before allowing an unsuitable individual to take the country’s highest office, thus ensuring that no self-serving person will succeed in undermining the nation’s treasured values. But in this case, the Electoral College failed to follow through on this mandate, and voted in a man who is clearly in it for himself, not the country. The Electoral College has shown that it is merely an ineffective rubber stamp to the process. It’s therefore not correct to say that Trump was the people’s choice… he most certainly was not. Even American Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis has declared that Trump is not a “legitimate” president. And this man knows what he’s talking about… more, I dare say, than does Nicole Kidman.
And the vote itself was not fair, as it was influenced by an outside power for purposes that have yet to be determined. That, and interference by the FBI when it released confidential and damning information that swayed some voters away from Hillary Clinton. In both cases, the fairness and balance of the election has been brought into question. So, not a fair election, and not a reasonable individual with the best interests of the nation at heart. Either one of which should bring into question the validity of the results. And hence why John Lewis has asserted that Donald Trump is not a legitimate president.
I don’t question Ms. Kidman’s intentions. But I’d rather she had phrased her comments in a way that advised US citizens to be cooperative, while at the same time cautious, if not suspicious, of their new president’s methods & motives. It’s time for America to support not Donald Trump, not a questionable and volatile president, but their fairly-elected governments. Because there are a lot of good people in the House of Representatives. A lot of good people work in America’s national agencies and the military. And a lot of good civil servants are the real brains & heart behind the everyday operations of the US federal government. Plus, there are the individual State and municipal governments to turn to for leadership. And most of these duly-elected and appointed representatives want what every other American wants… truth, fairness, opportunity, and equality, which were the aspirations of the nation’s founding fathers.
So, for the time being, it’s perhaps wiser to support these people and agencies than the Executive Office. And don’t for an instant turn your backs on Trump. He’s a loose cannon and a petty, self-serving, power-hungry man who is not to be trusted. He has a thin skin, a hair-trigger temper, and an over-inflated ego that’s going to get him and America into trouble someday, if somebody doesn’t put a muzzle & tracking collar on him soon.
Now, coming back to that old “My country, right or wrong” attitude that most Republican’s feel is at the heart & soul of American allegiance. This old notion implies support and solidarity for those tough and less likeable federal policies (usually Republican policies, I might add) regardless of how one feels personally or politically about them. It’s a kind of patriotic, flag-saluting, hand-over-the-heart challenge made to political critics, whiners, and snivelers to bring them back into line. But think about it… wasn’t the founding of the Republic itself brought about by NOT supporting British rule that was deemed wrong? Had this “love it or leave it” policy been enforced in 1776, the States might still be under colonial rule.
I think it’s time to reconsider that old point of view. Because it’s a license to permit and tolerate inexcusable behaviour. I believe in holding law breakers and selfish opportunists accountable. If my neighbour beats his kids, I’ll not support him even if we’ve shared lawn tools in the past. If my best buddy rapes his girlfriend, I’ll not stand by him by saying that “she must have had it coming.” If a business I frequent is found to be using unfair hiring, firing, or sales tactics, I’ll not shop there anymore. If our Prime Minister commits Canada to fighting in an unjust or illegal war, I will openly speak out against him, and certainly not ever vote for him again. In short, I’ll not support injustice. I certainly don’t endorse rebellion, just the withholding of active support. Our world is screwed up because people turn their backs on the evil, selfish, and opportunistic actions of some individuals & organizations. Forgiving the unforgivable is not the way to make things better. Those who commit public infractions must be held accountable, and should especially not be given support or be permitted the opportunity to further spread their corruption.
Nicole Kidman’s advice would be appropriate were the new president Mitt Romney, or John McCain, or even Hillary Clinton. But to tell Americans to overlook Trump’s infractions and peccadilloes, and to “get on with it” is not the way to avoid the potential calamity of his upcoming tenure in office. This is not the time to forgive-and-forget. Trump’s many documented crimes and misdemeanours are already unforgivable… the guy has admitted to physically groping women, he has admitted to being hot for his own daughter, he has refused to pay contract workers for work rendered, he has driven elderly residents from their homes in buildings he owns so he could raise their rent, he has vowed to incarcerate an innocent woman for crimes never proven, he has lied about his close involvement with the leader of America’s sworn enemy Russia, he has made ludicrous accusations about Ted Cruz’s father’s involvement with the Kennedy assassination, he has bullied untold innocent people, he has vilified foreigners, he has accused one of the foremost respected news giants CNN of being “fake news”, he has equated the US intelligence community with the Nazis, he Tweets his every mood and opinion despite the risks to national security, he has accused the current CIA chief John Brennan of illegally leaking classified information, he has already circumvented recent sanctions imposed against Russia by the current Administration, he shamelessly mocked a reporter’s physical disability, he has disrespected a national hero of the civil rights movement… I could go on and on. How much of Trump’s outrageous and disgusting behaviour is America prepared to forgive? Because it will never end as long as the man holds the highest office in the land. Supporting him would only sanction his repugnant behaviour.
Resistance to supporting Trump has already become a movement amongst many Washington insiders. According to news sources, more than 50 members of Congress plan on boycotting Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday. Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York, among the many, has refused an invitation to attend Trump’s inauguration, saying “We cannot normalize Donald Trump, and we certainly cannot turn our heads and ignore such a threat to the institutions and values of our democracy.”
Support Trump? With all due respect, Nicole, I don’t think so. He doesn’t deserve support. Instead, Americans should be encouraged to support their House of Representatives and their regional governments, until such time as the new federal Executive Office demonstrates its integrity and trustworthiness… if ever.
I’m just sayin’