For almost two-and-a-half centuries we have been the country of can-do. Get knocked down? Get right back up and fight. Now our greatest battle is against one of our own.

By Andrew J. Pridgen

The thing that has struck me most about this new administration and this almost two-week waking nightmare we are currently in the midst of is whatever happened to positivity, especially when a new leader takes office?

America, if anything, is the land of eternal optimism, hope and renewal, of faith in the system and belief in one other. We are the great engineers of false confidence even when, especially when, all seems lost. But from “American carnage” on, we have been anything but a land of promise.

We have, instead, been beaten with a blunt instrument of divisiveness and hate. And no matter what ‘side’ you’re on, that vision and tone comes straight from the top.

The administration thus far has gone on a full-court press against humanity, full stop.

Racist and bigoted undertones have been rampant in every aspect. From drafting and signing executive orders to ban Muslims without the slightest agency review or legal vetting, to insulting entire allied countries (Mexico, Australia) for no apparent reason, to the muzzling and pending defunding and destruction of agencies charged with protecting lands, promoting science, supporting the arts and humanities, providing health care, making it possible for women to determine what happens to their own bodies and perpetuation of public lands, national parks and our best public institutions of learning — and that’s just on a Wednesday.

Make no mistake, our most vital alliances are on the verge of collapse. Domestic discord, protest and escalating violence is this group’s goal and a breakdown of international relations is the end game. War and the control that comes from it at the top, either domestic or abroad — or both — the sole desired outcome.

The world sees this, clearly, and is actively, and rightfully, turning their backs on us and classifying us as a threat.

In exchange for leaving the American Way to rot in the lost-and-found box underneath a pile of single gloves and old coats, our appointed leader distracts constantly by threatening the media, going after those who dissent and puts “on notice” enemies foreign and domestic with problems that don’t exist but for in his own craven and decayed mind.

The very institutions we have worked for centuries to build in this country — despite disagreements and differences across the aisle and at the lunch counter — are about to be broken beyond repair.

This isn’t alarmist. This isn’t some overblown scandal or a point of view that is irrational, unnecessary or reactionary. Rather, it is a reaction to the irrational and reactionary. Add to this the fact that he nor his surrogates have no idea how to accomplish anything but for the singular goal of their profiting and the system’s destruction — with seemingly no elected officials currently in government willing to make a stand, either side — and, well, we have a problem. A crisis.

The New York Times’ conservative political columnist David Brooks wrote this week, “to say that it is amateur hour at the White House is to slander amateurs…a small clique of bloggers and tweeters who are incommunicado with the people who actually help them get things done. Things will get really hairy when the world’s problems are incoming.”

Yes, that’s the sympathetic point of view. It gets worse from there.

This should scare everyone, Trump voters especially — those who traded in health, safety, education, women’s rights, our standing in the world, foreign relations and security for the wrath of a miserable reality TV show star who promises tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and corporations and a return to a time before automation bringing back jobs that no longer exist in the world — should be concerned.

We are about to witness total annihilation of what we grew up knowing using free markets as a way to funnel tax dollars to pad the coffers of corporate enterprises that gamble and lose, constantly, instead of creating jobs and goods. A system that will be skewed toward keeping its people sick, uneducated and ignorant. A Christian-first theocracy and mandate. A continued attack and slander on institutions and individuals both public and private who dissent and are armed with the truth. The beating down and tearing apart of fiscal security for those who get up and actually do the work — keeping the majority hungry, tired, poor and unwell.

The laws and regulations will promote the raping of whatever’s left of the land to profit the few, starting with the secretary of state who actively sits on the board of one of the biggest oil companies in the world

There is no redemption here. No good news. No reason for optimism.

The only solace we have is for impeachment or removal under the 25th Amendment which provides an avenue for an impaired president to be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of Congress.

The single question that remains: Will he be taken out for his impairments before we are too impaired to do so?

Andrew J. Pridgen is the author of the novellaBurgundy Upholstery Sky”. His first full-length novel will be released in late-2017.

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