A guest blog from my fictional reporter Sam Keene.
October 25, 2017
Those of you who read my column know that I have expressed extreme dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump and everyone around him. I was profoundly disappointed when Hillary Clinton lost her opportunity to become the first woman President of the United States. Since that fateful evening last November, my mindset has mirrored that of millions of Americans. However, I have had an epiphany. Of course, all epiphanies are personal, and as I write my opinion here, I am not attempting to change your behavior or beliefs. I am only telling my story.
What is a scapegoat? With regard to American politics in the year 2017, a scapegoat is a person who serves as a vehicle of repentance, a sacrificial offering to the gods, a metaphoric goat who could be said to represent all the sins of America. The goat must be publicly slaughtered by the all-knowing high priests of the news media, the entertainment industry, and of the government. To save us from our painful recognition of America’s failure, deceit, and corruption, we needed a scapegoat to transfer our guilt. We needed a national sacrificial ritual to free us from our sins. Mockingly, we planted the thorny presidential crown on the head of this marginalized but well-known person and then subjected him to total public humiliation. His physical qualities and his character, history, family, thoughts, and deeds were assassinated for the entire world to see. Our scapegoat was Donald J. Trump.
The virtual blood-letting worked for a time. We attempted to demonize him by connecting him to our former Cold War enemy, the Russians. We accused him of working with the enemy to rig our most important election. This was treason. We listened to every word he uttered and condemned him for not conforming to our high level of ideas and compassion. We called him a buffoon, incompetent, and dangerous. He was the perfect scapegoat. All of our sins could be transferred to him and then washed clean.
He and his people were called “deplorables” by Hillary Clinton. We thought less of the citizens living between the coasts and the people in rural areas who appeared less-sophisticated, uninformed and simple. These sections of America were breeding grounds for the non-elite: the non-thinking, rude and crude people. President Trump represented the leader of these stereotypical racists, homophobes, misogynists, and low-brows who populated the land like mindless, diseased rats. The recognition that we participated and supported the obvious crimes of America was buried deep in our subconscious. Somehow other “deplorable” people were to blame—not us. The blame, shame, and guilt associated with America’s massive thievery and corruption, the perma-wars, the overthrow of governments, the drone attacks, the shootings, and the torture of other humans were suppressed into our collective unconscious. That was not us. We were righteous. We were good, politically-correct, logical-thinking Americans.
We attempted to use the sacrificial goat, Donald Trump, to cleanse our sins, but now that effort is failing. It’s obvious. The entire “Russian collusion” illusion has melted away. Now, we can only call him names. Legal procedures we created are now being used to attack our precious sanctimonious symbols. The Special Prosecutor we created has turned his attention away from Trump, and he is focusing on the alleged crimes of our heroes. The politicians and leaders we believed in are now under scrutiny. The corruption of previous administrations and government representatives that we supported is now being exposed.
I can no longer live in denial. The naiveté of my previous opinions is something I now recognize. I may never approve of President Trump’s personal behavior, his demeanor, or his self-righteous attitude. But I will now admit he is the duly elected head of the Executive Branch of the United States government. I will view any attempt to remove him from office with caution. This country is navigating extremely treacherous waters. The captain of our ship may be unlikable, but the seas of politics and government bureaucracy are filled with dangerous sharks and pirates. Those who steer the ship of state should not be burdened by a misguided mutiny fomented by elitist subversives and supported by fearful, guilt-ridden and malleable citizens. I, for one, will no longer support the personal, exaggerated, unfounded, organized self-serving attacks on our president. I intend to use this space to vigilantly report on any people in power who are corrupt, selfish, devious and evil. I will also strive to accurately report on those people who support America in an honest and constructive manner.