Fasten Your Seatbelts

Author: Gary Hart

“Fasten your seatbelts.  It’s going to be a bumpy night,” according to the movie.  Or perhaps lots of nights.

Donald Trump does not respond to pressure well.  Pressure, in the form of Pelosi and Mueller among others, has increased virtually overnight.

He now has an interim Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, and a temporary chief of staff.  “His” generals are gone.  His National Security Advisor contradicts him on a Syrian withdrawal, saying it would occur over an undetermined length of time.  Then the Pentagon starts moving equipment out despite that.

His border wall, which many in his own party do not support, has become an obsession of Melvillian dimensions.  Since popularized in the age of Gingrich, the party responsible for a government shut-down, and in this case it is not the Democrats, has been punished at the next election.  Republican Senators faced with re-election in 2020 are beginning to bail.

There have been no indications that anyone who has his ear has had the courage to point out to him the implications of both Houses of Congress, with subpoena powers, in the hands of the opposition party.

This would be a fresh hell for which he is not emotionally or psychologically prepared.

The domestic warfare now opening is not of the scale of our Civil War or two World Wars.  But those world wars united us and, after a long period of healing, even the outcome of the Civil War made us a better nation.

The unprecedented Trump war now beginning has no historic precedent.  Absent a presidential resignation, it has no possible positive outcome.

We are beginning to see a confrontation between Trump and his “base” and the rest of America.  Those who consider themselves conservative but not part of the “base” will be caught in the middle.  Trump can prevail only if Democrats overplay their hand.

Protecting the nation by restoring our first principles must be the central theme of this struggle.

We must prepare for an intense campaign of distraction, threatening words uttered and actions taken to draw media, and therefore public, attention away from the impending confrontation between Trump and the truth.

New evidence, mostly from insider leaks, arrives daily.  Is it possible, as reported very recently, that the President of the United States has acquired sole ownership of all notes, including from interpreters, of his five meetings with Vladimir Putin?  If so, why?  There is no precedent in American history for this.  What transpired in those meetings that he conducted ostensibly on behalf of the American people that he wishes to sequester?

Trump does not own those records.  They belong to us.  There are no possible good reasons for hiding these historic records.  The new House of Representatives has subpoena powers.

Absent newly-demonstrated sobriety by Trump, there are no possible good outcomes from this looming confrontation.  Elements of the “base” are extremists.  They will not retire quietly.  Law enforcement agencies must be prepared for bad outcomes.

Our nation has faced many tests, assassinations and civil unrest not the least.  The coming test will be without previous precedent and may well determine who we are as a society and who we insist on being as a nation.


2 Responses to “Fasten Your Seatbelts”

  1. Paul G Says:

    Senator Hart,

    Your statement that “Our nation has faced many tests, assassinations and civil unrest not the least. The coming test will be without previous precedent and may well determine who we are as a society and who we insist on being as a nation,” prompted a few thoughts:

    * JFK was a courageous and enlightening leader whose benevolent judgment saved our air and water – and thus our society – from nuclear destruction;

    * Nixon was a trumpian leader whose strategic brilliance was overshadowed by his reactive instinct that war was our silent society’s preferred solution;

    * Reagan was a kind, likeable and eloquent leader whose judgment that our government was our “enemy” – continues to poison the JFK idea of society;

    * Thatcher was a strongly cruel leader whose judgment that “there’s no such thing as society” – made her Reagan’s perfect soul-mate;

    * Clinton was a triangulating leader whose strategic brilliance whose judgment ensured his political survival at the cost of any enduring legacy;

    * Bush II was as unenlightening and cowardly as JFK was peaceful and heroic;

    * Obama’s eloquence and transformative potential was constantly squandered on the unLincolnesque compromise of his stated principles;

    * 2016 was expected to be the Year of the Woman (“Madam President,” the socio-politico media intoned); but ‘Houston, we have a problem’ failed to register as none of the bullied candidates or the watch-dog media challenged a leading candidate’s response that UK’s Brexit hero replace a US founder on $10 bill.

    Therefore, “the coming test … of who we are as a society and who we insist on being as a nation,” may be better informed if we reflect on the kind of heroic leaders we had but slowly forget. Decade after decade our recurring crop of unprincipled leaders belatedly reveal the soul-destroying corrupting influence of certain foreign business entanglements. At stake may be our founding idea of a benevolent government; our hard-earned American society.

  2. Paul G Says:


    Please allow me to clarify my response (to the question of who are WE as a society? – specifically the 2016 element as follows): Imagine the uproar in UK aristocratic circles if a subject for UK office suggested that an American replace their monarch on a coin of their realm? No such imagining is needed in America. In a 2016 debate among a circle of 17 candidates, Jeb! nominated a foreigner (PM who declared “no such thing as society”) to replace a revered US founder on our $10 bill. What’s remarkable is no one found it remarkable. Thank you.

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