The current presidential campaign is not the normal election of two or more political parties vying to determine who leads our country for the next four years. The Republican/Trump Party is a forced marriage between the Republican Party and the renegade candidate Trump, an “I can do it myself” autocrat. In fact, he is a rebel against the entrenched bureaucracy that includes his own party.

The GOP/Trump marriage is unraveling as of this writing, threatening not only to destroy Trump, but severely wound the party in the process.

Many people consider Trump and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders rebels against an entrenched bureaucracy. That is valid, but they miss the crucial point: Trump would develop an autocracy to realize his ambition of making deals on a national and international scale for his personal benefit, while Sanders leads his “revolution” to excise the cancer of corruption and return control of our country to “we the people” and our Constitution.

A Trump supporter waves his sign at passing traffic in Honolulu.
A Trump supporter waves his sign at passing traffic in Honolulu. Kimo Sutton

The U.S. Constitution is the legal construct devised to attain the hopes of the people, expressed in its preamble:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The preamble remains inviolate; it is the heart and soul of “we the people,”, of who we are, while the Constitution can be amended as conditions and people’s priorities change over time and has been, 27 times.

This election is an existential moment in American history: Will our democratic form of government survive, or will it slip into the money-driven autocracy of Trump? We are already on the slippery slope of corruption, and Trump would accelerate the slide of America’s downfall. True, one election might not accomplish that, but once we go down that path, reversing course to restore American democracy would be much more difficult.

Spreading Cancer Of Corruption

Our government is afflicted with widespread corruption. Stopping Trump does not cure the corruption. Business as usual is the root cause of the revolt by young idealists who support Bernie and Trump because of their attack on the corrupt establishment.

The focus on the fight to save democracy must shift from defeating Trump to corruption in government. Intentional disregard of the public interest by those in political power is a cancer that threatens our constitutional democracy. The loss of trust in our government by especially the idealistic young is no accident.

More than a few outrageous examples have led to the condition we find today, among them:

  • The U.S. Supreme Court deciding to halt the counting of ballots to give the 2000 election to George W. Bush, instead of allowing the counting of votes to conclusion in the Bush vs. Gore race.
  • The court deciding in the Citizens United case that corporations are people and that money is free speech, and therefore cannot be restricted. The result was the avalanche of anonymous money that corrupts our political system.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell obstructing the filling of essential appointments by President Barack Obama, based not on the appointees’ qualifications but solely to inflict damage on the president. Literally hundreds of key presidential appointments are stymied, due to McConnell’s blatant attempt to disrupt and destroy the president. There is an ugly side to this unprecedented episode. The president is black, and and the racial context of his opposition can’t be ignored.
  • Republicans in both chambers using the budget process to shut down our government in order to achieve their political aims. The chaos caused in and damage inflicted on our country contributed to the rise of the anti-establishment revolt.
  • Political leaders doing the bidding of the super-wealthy corruptors, such as the Koch Brothers, to gain personal power and wealth for themselves instead of serving the public interest.
  • Congress giving itself special privileges not available to other federal employees or the public, e.g., Senators giving themselves a pension after serving only one term.

Can you blame the idealistic young and older disillusioned citizens for feeling that a political revolution is the only way out for them?

Can you blame the idealistic young and older disillusioned citizens for feeling that a political revolution is the only way out for them? If they excise the spreading cancer of corruption and dysfunction in our government, what will remain is a healthy, working constitutional democracy. Revolution will destroy democracy. Reformation is what we want, not revolution.

The first order of business is to defeat Trump, and that means the defeat of the Republican/Trump party. If they are defeated, the collateral damage could lead to the demise of the Republican Party and disengagement of millions of anti-establishment Trump supporters who may give up on the future of our democracy. They need to be rescued also, to continue their fight against the corrupt establishment.

What about the victorious Democrat Party? It is also tainted with corruption that has to be removed. It is possible but highly unlikely that reform will be self administered; they might say “Now it’s our turn” instead, and continue the corrupt practice endemic in American politics. So what can we do?

All living presidents, Democrat and Republican, have already formed a non-partisan coalition to oppose Trump. They can be the rallying point for the rescue mission. A suggestion: create the Country Above Party Coalition. All like minded politicians and citizens of any party including independents must be urged to join the coalition.

The unavoidable result of this election will be President Hillary Clinton. After Trump is defeated, America must unite under the banner and belief of Country Above Party to root out corruption wherever it is found and bring reform rather than revolution to our democracy.

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