MANSFIELD: The Test

As the year gratefully comes to an end, it’s certainly easy for progressives to feel overwhelmingly dispirited. As the legend on a T-shirt I recall once seeing said, “If you’re not outraged, then you’re not paying attention.” Indeed.

Nonetheless, the calamities that the country has been going through (and in all likelihood will continue to go through for the next two years) can, and probably should, be viewed as a test — a test of the Republic’s democratic ideals and values. And this is a test we can’t allow ourselves to flunk, the future of the nation rides on how well we recover from the ongoing nightmare.

The bright side of the current political upheavals is that the Republic has been though times far more troubling than what we are presently experiencing, and, while the founding fathers failed to forthrightly deal with the issue of slavery (a shortcoming that still is impactful even today), they did design a system of government that has resiliency baked into our Constitution and Bill of Rights. We have to keep our faith that we can and will survive the current trauma.

Of late I’ve been doing a substantial amount of reading about our Civil War, and the similarities between then and now are amazingly striking. The turmoil and chaos the country was going through (and not just during the years of the actual combat but also the decades leading up to the hostilities) far exceeds what we are besieged with at present. As a nation, we survived that struggle, just as we’ll survive our current strife.

Indeed, except for the damage being done to the environment by Trump’s wrongheaded policies (which unfortunately will have lasting effects), virtually everything else is repairable if progressives organize and retake the levers of government. The Supreme Court isn’t as big a problem as it seems if enough conservatives are voted out of office along with Trump. The Constitution allows for the packing of the court, something that should be given strong consideration at the appropriate time. We just have to possess the courage to do so when the opportunity presents itself, as it surely will.

The upside of Trump’s ascendency to the White House is the revelation of the mindset of many of our fellow citizens. We knew that some Americans were still refighting the Civil War, we just didn’t know how many. Now we know, and we also know how dirty they’re willing to fight.

But we also should know this: The fake Christian right, whose members will have something to answer to their God for on Judgment Day, the rock-ribbed conservatives who display a degree of greed that truly is sickening, and the small percentage of alt-right, neo-Nazis failures who couldn’t get laid in a whorehouse even with a fist full of fifties (no wonder they are so mean) are all in. They’ve shot their wad. They are as strong now as they ever will be in terms of numbers.

But the great thing is, there are more of us than there is of them. The census, as well as the future, is on our side. We just needed this test, this wakeup call that Trump has so thankfully provided, in spades. All we progressives have to do now is to come out swinging in 2020 and we can easily reclaim our Republic.

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier mansfieldfATgmail.com. Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsInc.

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