• Charlie Teljeur

How Donald Trump Saved America



How did he do it, they asked.


When they would look back at the turbulent years of the early 21st century they always want to know how we all got through it.


How did America survive?


America survived because of Donald J. Trump.


Donald Trump saved America.


In reality we really should have seen it coming. Those who study history certainly saw it coming. Trouble is very few of us study history or anything that really matters for that matter. Too many distractions out there to draw our attention away from something as trivial as democracy.


America was ripe for the picking. It had actually been ripe for quite some time. An apathetic populace, a crumbling infrastructure, unparalleled economic disparity and a system entirely rigged in favor of those who had rigged it.

It was the reborn businessman and reality TV star who actually changed America. The country was never the same after him.


It wasn’t so much that America wanted him (although many did). It was more that America needed him. America had to clearly see what it had become.


It needed to recognize that it was actually the people themselves who had created President Donald Trump. Created by both the people that loved himand the people that loathed him. It was a complete Team America effort.


For a nation that metaphorically stands so strongly united under one flag it was as divided as any nation could possibly be, short of an actual civil war.


The citizens of America the Nation couldn’t seem to agree on even the most basic of principles. And it wasn’t just the hot button subjects of abortion and gun control. This went well beyond that. These disagreements touched on basic human rights, basic human values, freedom of speech, everything.


Even the basic right to live and let live, that old life, liberty and pursuit of happiness stuff.


You could only be happy if it didn’t make me unhappy. My right to smile is also based on my right to make you frown.


Hell, we couldn’t even find a consensus on something as basic as locking children in cages. What did we now fundamentally stand for? The United States of America, the so-called beacon of the free world, was changing its own playbook.

Real freedom and justice wasn’t considered a universal concept. It was an American concept with distinctly American takes on what it should look like. Democracy is what America says it is.


We all believed in democracy at one point, at least to start with. The Founding Fathers seemed to agree on that from what we’re told.


They even warned us about what it would become if left unchecked.


Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.


We sort of followed that game plan. For a while anyway. Then life happened.

Most of us badly misinterpreted that whole “pursuit of happiness” thing to mean “pursuit of wealth” because, after all, money buys happiness, right? Devout capitalism became our de facto ethos.


It wasn’t that we deliberately did things in the name of our pursuit of wealth and liberty to harm our fellow citizens, it’s just that nobody did the math to figure out that that would be the ultimate end result.


Check that. Some did do the math. They knew exactly what the game was and they knew how to play it. They had fast forwarded to the end of the movie and saw that, through the law of averages and the entirety of human existence, there will always be Haves and there will always be Have Nots and, if you were savvy enough to see this clearly enough, you could not only play this game, but win it. The Haves controlled the table after all. It’s pretty much written in stone.

This isn’t to say that the pursuit of the almighty dollar destroyed America on its own. It’s more that the utter fixation with the pursuit of the almighty dollar minimized the importance of the democractic principles of fairness and equality. Democracy was starting to take a back seat to economics.


There had never been any real counterbalance to capitalism. The allure of wealth and fame and stardom and autonomy far outshone the desire to have a happy and thriving populace. There was never any real push to maintain this tenuous equilibrium.


Originally governments had been in charge of upholding the noble principles of justice, equality and fairness while business had been the economic engine that drove a nation. Government hoped to provide the pushback to the cold objectivity of business and commerce, and for a while it seemed to work.


But then business started to complain about how much government was seen as impeding progress and, in their mind, that proverbial pursuit of happiness. If you would only untether people, they would say, and allow them to find their own financial happiness they will not only be happy, but free as well. Hence the advent and extension of The American Dream.


In theory this argument worked. In practice though, this would only work for a precious few, the precious few who knew exactly what to do to get ahead. While the general populace foolishly believed that we would all move forward together they would soon realize this was just a pipe dream. That dream is only possible when you have mechanisms in place to ensure equality’s survival and, more tellingly, when you have people in power who woull adhere rigidly to those principles.


It was a blind trust and a belief in something that seemed to have long since passed for most of America.


The belief in government, in democracy itself at this point, was founded on two distinctly divergent points of view. The first believed in the flag and defended the flag, and even died for the flag. To support their government through strict obedience. The second group saw government as a means to an end. A pliable legislative body that could be sculpted to serve the purposes of commerce and wealth. Instead of seeing government as the hindrance it was they who recognized the need to become part of its process. To be part of the machine.

I can have more influence if I’m on the inside, they thought, than I can being stuck on the outside.


Furthermore, what better way to influence my government (and subsequently my life) than by bringing to it the best resource I have at my disposal: My money.


That money would lead to influence and that influence would lead to power.

And, they were right.


To be fair, President Donald J. Trump was not the first to recognize this. Not in the least bit. But he became the most ardent defender of its validity and held the biggest disregard in American history for anything that impeded its veracity. He became the first CEO in Chief of America Incorporated. Americans were no longer citizens, they were now shareholders.


He packed his cabinet with lobbyists and he put people in powerful positions that would streamline the desired status of business as usual.


He found international diplomacy to be a worthless cause. He made his decisions based solely on what was good for America and when we say America, we mean the business previously known as the United States Of America.


He ran his administration like a corporation, his decisions based mostly on ROI. If America is making money, the thinking goes, then America is doing well. And if America is doing well, then Americans are happy.


And some Americans were indeed happy. Aside from the obvious supporters in the world of high finance there were also those who had felt destitute and powerless for a long time. Those who had been marginalized. The ones struggling to pay the bills and determined to find dignity again.


Donald Trump appealed to those longing for a return to the halcyon days of yesteryear. Those who wanted to Make America Great Again. They were a ready and willing audience yearning to feel human again. To feel like they mattered again.


They bought fully into what he was selling, even though he was actually selling them — the citizens themselves. Ironically the same brand of salesman who had originally sold their jobs to overseas markets had now re-appeared with a shiny new object on offer. They loved it.


Their hope for prosperity had returned. The salesman was, after all, the very definition of The American Dream. They had seen it play out on television in front of their very eyes. He was them. They were him. He was America’s saviour. He was the CEO Preacher.


All those who opposed him — and those numbers would steadily increase — were considered strictly un-American. They didn’t believe in the new principles of the nation in which they lived. What kind of patriot questions his own government?


This political and ethical divide worked marvellously for President Donald J. Trump. Nothing rallies together the devout more than having a common enemy to focus on. Even better if there were multiple enemies. It’s much simpler to sell the Us vs. Them narrative that way. Divide and conquer. The oldest and most obvious trick in the book. Assuming, that is, that you’d bothered to read the book.


The opposition — the left — played right into his ruse. They set up their own camp, planted their flag deeply and prepared for the long war ahead. First of all foolishing dismissing the validity of his boisterous claims and ultimately his aims (Nobody could be that gullible to buy into this, could they?) and, even worse, disregarding his credibility to his followers.


It was an act of pure cerebral arrogance. Not only that of Donald J. Trump’s posturing but also in how his left-leaning opposition never really took his dire threat to democracy seriously because by trying to silence dissenting views you would only drive them further underground. They don’t go away, they won’t go away. They just disappear from the radar screen.


This is not to say that every ardent supporter with an opinion is right in what they say. It’s just that attacking another’s position and demeaning their right to say whatever the hell it is they want to say only emboldens their stance on the subject, facts be damned. If your opposition wants to play the game with a different ball you cannot force them to use yours.


This — the left’s stance — was intelligence assuming dominance and that was ultimately its undoing. You simply can’t reason with a pit bull.

President Trump knew this. He knew his followers eschewed facts and logic, preferring fire and brimstone and invigorating speeches.


Let Our President do the heavy thinking. We’re just here to support him.

But ignorance and stupidity aren’t the same thing. The left would eventually be forced to recognize this. How can you maintain a dominant posture over something when you’re the one being dominated?


The people of America needed to try a completely different approach. So when in doubt, you return to the basics. Start back on Page One.


If a house has a leaky basement you don’t paint the walls on the second floor bedroom. You gut the house and rebuild from the foundation up.


The House known as the United States of America was badly in need of an overhaul. CEO President Trump has shown us that. He preached that. He was elected on that. America Incorporated had shown us that. Ironically.

President Trump simply wanted the rebuild in a way that strongly adheres to his plans and his plans alone. His interpretation of democracy, that is.


People would soon realize that democracy and freedom isn’t something that is exclusively yours or something that isn’t exclusively mine. It’s proverbially, all of ours.


A democracy exists with an implicit understanding — an unsigned social contract — that we all own it and that no one person or group has wole dominion over it. It’s a supremely-nuanced creature with a fickle sense of balance. It requires care and nurturing for it to survive, and yes, eternal vigilance for it to flourish.


MAGA supporters had no more right to America than did say, new immigrants, which is the lesson they needed to learn. And the smarter, more intellectual individuals of the nation had no more of a right to America than did the (sometimes willfully) ignorant.


People would learn that America was a principle in action, not a cold corporate entity. At least it was if that was the definition of the America youbelieved in.

The people of America had to choose. And from that choice they would have to decide what they were willing to do to get it all back. What concessions were they willing to make to have true and unequivocal liberty and justice for all? Did they still even believe in liberty and justice for all?


They evidently did. The United States of America still had a heartbeat.


Thankfully.


Regardless of your position, President Donald J. Trump was indeed a man sent down from the heavens. Not so much in the Biblical sense but in the same way a belligerent alien would land on Earth and claim it all as his own. He was an massive entity thrust onto America.


President Donald J. Trump laid bare all that was broken in America. He showed us all what can happen to a badly-compromised system. He showed us an honesty and transparency never, ever seen before in politics.

He abused power where it could be abused and he tried to quash dissent like a Third World dictator.


He disregarded, whenever possible, the mechanisms that are there to uphold a democracy. The checks and balances that make elected officials accountable for what they do. He had little need for them and his disdain for the things most of us held so dear (re)ignited us.


President Donald J. Trump showed us how fragile the concept of democracy truly is. He laid bare what was at stake to lose if we weren’t willing to defend it and make the necessay changes to see it through to its resurrection.

He became the ghost in the machine, the virus in the system. And to fix a system for good, by God, you need to find a way to eradicate the virus. Once and for all.


And from the problem comes the solution.


That’s how Donald Trump saved America.


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