05:21:08 pm on
Thursday 18 Jul 2024

America in Trouble
AJ Robinson

I wonder how the Roman Empire fell. It achieved the Pax Romana and for a time seemed to be eternal. After reaching its pinnacle, did anyone in the empire recognize taking those first steps toward decline?

The end of the American empire.

As Roman Empire collapsed, were people oblivious? Did large portions of the population realize they were collapsing? Did anyone try to avoid the fall? Did everybody just look out for number one? Did they figure, “Eh, I’ve got mine, I’m okay for now; let the future generations deal with it”?

I remember a sci-fi series by Isaac Asimov, the Foundation Series, which may be relevant, now. In the series, a group of scientists know the great galactic empire is going to fall. They worked to shorten the coming period of barbarism to a thousand years.

I wish we had some people like that now. I see the start of the fall of the American Dream, the American Era, a time when America was a beacon of hope and embodied high principles and ideals. I see the America Era in the testimony of Robert Mueller, before two Congressional Committees, and the reactions to it.

That the House of Representatives did not immediately form an Impeachment Committee, following the Mueller testimony, isn’t the most tragic aspect of the aftermath. No, it’s that people who don’t care and those that still feel total vindication of Trump is a fact. High principles and ideas may now be high crimes and misdemeanors.

Let’s be clear here, I am not calling for impeachment of Trump, not yet, anyway. Mueller, multiple times, made it clear Trump attempted to obstruct justice; the attempt is a crime, successful or not. That right there is an impeachable offense, so let’s review some recent history.

Bill Clinton had a carnal affair with an intern, told lies to try to cover it up and, finally, testified under oath. Republicans went bat-crap crazy and impeached him. Most of the world laughed at the USA for impeaching a politician for lying over a sexual escapade.

America survived the Clinton impeachment.

Next, Congress had something like ten investigations into the Benghazi attack, without a single indictment. Hillary Clinton bravely marched to the Capitol and sat, hour after hour, enduring lies and insults and answered every single question, despite the fact the Republican congress people asked the same questions repeatedly. Did the sixth or tenth investigation find anything different from the first; no, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State at the time the Benghazi attack, was not charged.

Now, consider Trump: people are saying there’s no need for hearings on impeaching or investigating him. Excuse me. Not only is there ample confirmation of obstruction, multiple members of his administration have refused to testify, despite being called by Congress to do so; moreover, he’s refused to testify under oath and release his tax returns.

Yet, no one seems to care. That’s what makes me think we’re beginning the fall. When we have a president and administration so openly corrupt and no one, not the general public or the media and, most especially, our leaders, will so much as lift a finger to do anything about it, we’re in trouble. We are thus in trouble.

Don’t forget one media outlet, Fox News, totally supports Trump, not matter what he says or does, and spews his lies 24/7; whatever it takes to generation one billion dollars in profit each year. This means many of his minions believe every word he says. Thus, we are in trouble.

To be honest, I don’t have a problem with America backing off, sort of, as world leader. After all, we’ve been leading since the end of World War II; it’s a heavy load. It is okay to ease off and let other nations step up to the plate for a while, but it should be a smooth transition.

Much as Britain is facing a disastrous exit from the EU, which could plunge it into a massive recession, I fear what will happen to America, as we crumble. I just pray our foundation remains strong. I’m not certain it will.

America has fallen before. We’ve had graft and corruption. America has battled back from the brink of despair, but when so many Americans are actively working for our collapse, well, I don’t know.

I see a multitude of memes and articles, protests and calls for progress as well as a true return to what we once were, whatever that was and when. Sadly, I don’t know if they’ll be enough. Between gerrymandering, voter suppression, voter apathy and foreign interference, I have serious doubts there are enough good people up for this fight. We are in trouble.

We are in trouble.

How many times have we seen some galvanizing event in the past, a school shooting or something, people organize, when there are many calls for action and pledges to act, but then nothing, crickets, no change, the same people stay in power and do not act. That’s what I fear most in the coming months, nothing, no hearings, no investigations, no one held accountable and too many no-shows at the ballot boxes. Hope I’m wrong and we’re not in trouble.

Combining the gimlet-eye of Philip Roth with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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