By Oscar H. Blayton
Joe Biden continues to assure the world that America is ready to take its place at the head of the table and lead the nations of the world. But this hubristic assertion makes one wonder if the soon-to-be 46th president of the United States has been dozing for the past 47 months.
The people who voted Donald Trump into office in 2016 and tried to give him a second term in 2020 are still running amuck in the “U.S. of A.” and they are getting more unruly by the hour. It does not take a great deal of scholarly research to realize that very few nations would be willing to follow the lead of the United States going forward.
It is too easy and too simplistic to blame Donald Trump for all the ill that befell the global community during America’s delinquency during the past four years. And no one, other than the smug self-satisfied proponents of the myth of American exceptionalism, is buying the argument that “this is not who we are.”
For four years, we have made it very clear that this is exactly who we are as a country – “greedy,” “ruthless,” “unempathetic,” “uncharitable,” “hateful” and “narcissistic.” These are just a few words that come to mind when describing the American character that has been laid bare by Trumpism.
Not only is America not deserving of sitting at the head of the world table, it will have to sit at the children’s table along with the other anti-democratic republics led by autocrats.
And if this country tries to use bullying tactics to bend other nations to its will, it will suffer the same humiliation that met the French government when it assumed it could return to Vietnam in 1945 and resume colonial control after abandoning the Vietnamese to the cruelties of the invading Japanese in the early days of World War II.
Under Trump, America abandoned the rest of the world when it came to working to solve global warming, poverty, human rights, the worldwide refugee crisis and many more problems facing humanity.
No one will willingly follow a fraud and a hypocrite. And every disgusting characteristic Donald Trump exhibited during his term in office reflects those of a large swatch of the American public that supported him with their votes. Even now, freedom-loving Americans hold their collective breath while Republicans try to lock in their hateful agenda by maintaining control of the U.S. Senate.
Those Republicans slavishly following Trump have made it clear that they do not care about American values to which we claim to aspire. Nor do they care about the U.S. Constitution or the American people it was designed to protect.
The nations watching us from the far shores of the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans and our neighbors to the north and south are keenly aware of the weakness of our character and our moral bankruptcy. We have squandered our good name on a cruel buffoon intent on bullying his way across the world stage with a huge economy and the largest military on earth to back him up.
We did not denounce him soon enough when he was clearly in the wrong. We overlooked his lies and his evil ways for months on end while they were in plain view.
It is often said that you show people who you are by what you do, not by what you say. No matter what Joe Biden says, the world has had ample opportunity to witness the harm America is capable of inflicting on our fellow man.
We can strut and preen in a self-congratulatory promenade celebrating the ousting of Trump, but we still will have to sit at the children’s table because it is clear that Trump was merely a boil that rose and erupted when the pus of white supremacy and other evils was allowed to fester beneath the skin of America’s body politic.
We have lanced the boil, but we now know that the corruption that gave rise to Trump is still in America’s bloodstream and we must work diligently to find the cure. Until we find that cure, we will be relegated to the children’s table.
Oscar H. Blayton is a former Marine Corps combat pilot and human rights activist who practices law in Virginia.