Commentary: A welcomed departure

by E. Faye Williams

(—For the first time in over four years, I have awakened without the gnawing feeling of anticipated dread. I have moved through the day without concern about a new violation or elimination of a valued national tradition or governmental construct.

Moreover, I have not been worried about the imposition of a law or practice that opposes my personal values or misrepresents my participation and support as a citizen of the United States.

I feel a relief from personal threat that I can only liken, in some small measure, to the relief the ancestors must have felt when they learned they could come and go as they pleased. The obvious source of this relief and joy is the ignominious departure of Donald Trump. It is only matched by a single regret. (More on that later.) 

His election as president has always been in conflict with the principle of the “will of the majority.” Losing by millions of votes, his victory was predicated by the Electoral College, an archaic instrument of this nation’s original sin, SLAVERY!

He used his ill-gotten position as the basis of his announced goal—a “deconstruction of the administrative state”—a goal that he almost accomplished.

Four years of Trump and his administration did immeasurable damage to our democracy. Political scientists confirm that a party without a popular agenda will commonly resort to voter suppression.

In addition to common misinformation, Trump and his minions engaged in gerrymandering, voter roll purging, and fear tactics to reduce the participation of citizens likely to vote against them.

Before leaving on January 20th, Trump had whittled his cabinet down to, mostly, acting secretaries, assuring that his decisions would not be challenged. If challenged, he could easily “Fire!” the defiant offender without dispute —the recipe for a genuine despot.

While upholding the interests of the wealthy, Trumpers and Republicans systematically attacked democratic protections and practices, health care, and social safety nets.

I am confident that Trump will be considered the most virulent racist to occupy the White House since Woodrow Wilson. His litany of racist tropes include: calling Mexican refugees rapists and drug dealers; identifying the anti-Semites and White supremacists in Charlottesville among “Good people on both sides, identifying African and Caribbean countries as “S–t hole” countries.

His disrespect for people of color was matched only by the disrespect shown to the general public.

When he departed on Air Force One, the Washington Post estimated that he had lied publicly over thirty-thousand times! I’m unsure if this count includes his lies about the severity and management of the COVID virus. The Federal management plan for COVID is a travesty beyond belief that deserves its own singular discussion.

His last and greatest infraction was his televised incitement to sedition. He invited the masses to Washington to “Stop the Steal.”

The repeated lies and propaganda promulgated since the General Election convinced Trump loyalists that the will of voters in the states lost by Trump could be overturned with direct action. Trump, and others in his close circle, whipped those assembled into a frenzy causing them to assault, occupy and ravage our nation’s Capitol.

In addition to the loss of lives and innumerable official documents, countless artifacts and historical relics of our nation were damaged or destroyed.

I can only express a feeling of relief and anticipation of the return to some measure of normalcy.

Oh, BTW!! The singular regret I have about Trump leaving office is the amount of time, if ever, it will take to rectify the damage he has wrought on this nation and our evolving democracy. He definitely deserves all credit for the negative legacy he leaves in the wake of his destruction.

Good riddance!

(Dr. E. Faye Williams is President of the National Congress of Black Women.)



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