America can once again breathe the purifying air of truth

“HE thought that he was god and thought that he could stop everything from moving. He thought that since he could, he had to. He cried out loud. He swore at the top of his voice.” (Thomas Merton, Atlas and the Fatman, Raids on the Unspeakable)

What a warring of tongues in Washington; such a welter of words from a washed-up White House. The writing is on the wall – the votes are counted and Trump found wanting. The Tweeter-in-Chief – never one for dissertation – is flailing, and the dissentient din of his death throes evidences the paroxysm that now grips the litigious “loser” in the Oval Office: he fires off lawsuits like flares from a sinking ship; attempts to hang on to power and privilege like the Emperor Nero – until the Praetorian Guard closed in.

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It is the pandemonium of the possessed being dispossessed: and all his screeching, and screaming, and squealing, as he flagitiously fabricates fraud here and fraud there – and all the while the flax burns and smokes before his face (which he does not see), and the wisdom, “sit transit gloria mundi” rings around the Rose Garden (which he does not hear) – signify the demise of a demagogue whose narcissism has been dangerously deforming democracy in the USA.

The democratic process, however, has asserted with poise and no little resolve its claim to legitimacy over the clamour; has called time on Trump; and now bids Joseph R Biden to assume office and set himself to the task of expunging the abomination that is Trumpism (“an authoritarian movement with fascistic markers”, according to Steve Schmidt of The Lincoln Project). Biden’s duty of care as president will require the revitalisation of the soul of the nation, riven and scarred as it is by the escharotic excesses of his predecessor. No surprise that the mission to heal and reconcile is a priority for Biden-Harris.

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Surely we here might look on in disbelief then, and wonder at the millions of Americans who have retained trust in Trump and his warped ideology (David Pratt and Wee Ginger Dug, November 5). Yet, such is the mesmerising power of demagogues, as history all too painfully reminds us. We may empathise with the American people: they have been insidiously deprived of the life-affirming air of truth, pure and purifying truth; and their vision has been impaired by the darknesses borne on the deceits insinuated into the very soul of American society – and they are legion.

Rejoice then America! Breathe deeply once more that which enlivens and invigorates the beating heart of freedom. For surely the greatness of any nation is founded on its respect, indeed its reverence, for truth – as it is too for the rule of law that within any authentic democratic state is its ever vigilant sentinel and guardian.

We have good reason to envy the USA.There is a foul and fetid air here also; under our very noses. It emanates from those who created the Internal Market Bill; who sat on the Russia Report; who peer insensate at fast-approaching Asteroid Brexit – in all its rough and ragged reality – and the incalculable damage it will wreak on impact; who shamelessly courted Trump and adopted much of his credo – in “historic” proportions. Alarum within! For it is a pernicious air, and one that suffocates freedom and endangers the common good. America has shown us how “government by the people” can overthrow charlatans and mountebanks with an invidious populist agenda. Recognise, O Scotland, your dignity!

So, America, you have rid yourself of Trump and his threat to all that is fine and praiseworthy in your great nation. For such work as that, your term “copacetic” is surely apposite! Now it is time for you, with the wise and prudent leadership of President Biden and Vice-President Harris, to embrace shared goals: to raze the walls and barriers he threw up in his xenophobic rage; to build bridges of social friendship and openness to all nations of the world in a spirit of fraternal love; to commit with renewed enthusiasm to that concern for our common home and an integral ecology. Joyfully discover again the riches of your history and identity and, united, look to the future with hope. God bless America!

Patrick Hynes

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