It may have been lost in all the tears and gnashing of teeth in the lockstep liberal media, but there was a heavy, almost audible, sigh of relief in much of the country when Donald Trump won the election last November.
Mr. Trump’s upset victories in former Democrat strongholds such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania stand in evidence of it. But if they were relieved last November, many of those Trump voters are, today, back to living in fear for our country.
We visited with just a few of them here in Augusta last Friday.
Completely independent of each other, an Augusta woman and an Augusta man and his 62-year-old son reached out to The Chronicle’s Editorial Department to express their fervent concerns for the future of America.
They’re worried about this besieged and self-consuming administration, about a dysfunctional and deadlocked Congress, about Democrat attempts to impede and even impeach – and about a deeply divided American society that seems to be continually at its own throat.
It’s unsettling enough for adults to see what’s going on in Washington. But our kids are seeing it too. Our female visitor on Friday, a single mother of three, is horrified by what she’s been seeing on social media and on her kids’ phones (prior to their confiscation). Violent, profane memes suggesting the assassination of the president and other antisocial material is running like an underground sewer through society, and past our children, in vast social media posts, many unfit for young eyes.
Hollywood has warnings on its adult-themed movies, the woman notes – but there are no such cautions online and on phones.
Pre-election dread that the country is unraveling has returned.
“I think the country is gone,” said the 62-year-old man, who traces the cause of death to Johnson’s Great Society and the subsequent erosion in the work ethic, self-reliance, responsibility and other longtime American values.
His father bemoaned that succeeding generations have failed to be taught faith, frugality and the beauty of the free enterprise system.
Last November’s hope that those things could be resuscitated have faded, due to the fratricidal warfare we now see being played out in Washington, D.C.
“It’s almost an embarrassment being an American citizen traveling around the world and listening to the stupid (stuff) we have to deal with in this country,” JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said in the company’s earnings conference call Friday.
Mr. Trump and his associates hold the key to the hope of millions. A photograph of Mr. Trump being prayed over in the Oval Office last week by a group of evangelical leaders is symbolic of that fact.
We hope the president, and Providence, take those prayers to heart.
If Mr. Trump wasn’t humbled enough by the laying of hands upon him, then what’s on his shoulders ought to concern him. And the angst of our Friday visitors, and likely millions more like them, ought to mortify him. The hope his election engendered is giving way to anxiety about the future.
There need to be no more Russia revelations. No more divisive, combative, curious tweets. No more distractions that cripple our own government and embolden our enemies’.
Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress – since Democrats are staging what looks to be a four-year sit-in – need to get their stuff together and get the public’s pressing business done, and now. Health care reform, tax reform, infrastructure projects – all wait as many Americans worry.
Washington, get a grip on yourself.