The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
History will remember Donald Trump.
But it will not remember him kindly.
Pop quiz – think about the great people you remember, both in your own life and in history.
Maybe the names that come to mind include Amelia Earhart and Harriet Tubman and Joan of Arc and Copernicus and Paul Revere and Jim Stockdale and the Chinese kid who stood in front of the tanks at Tienanmen Square and Florence Nightingale and Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela and the Mothers who march in Argentina demanding to know what happened to their children and that Naval Academy guy who walked into the protest in Portland with his hands up and was beaten by armed goons and every firefighter and every cop who have ever rushed in when others are rushing out and every schoolteacher who has sheltered children with her body while a shooter stood over them with a gun.
The list is long. The list of brave people is long. The list of brave people who, at great risk to their own safety or their own financial security, have taken a stand on the behalf of right is long.
Now think about all the rich people you can remember.
I mean, people who are known for being rich.
Not for doing anything positive with their wealth.
Just – for being rich. And having gold toilets. Or whatever.
Even better, think about all the people you know who became rich through inheritance. Through someone else’s ideas or labor, not even through their own work.
And – I can’t think of anyone.
I mean, there must be people in history – lots of heirs and heiresses. But – they do not stick in my mind.
They do not stick in my mind because they are insignificant.
Who cares about them? Who cares about what they did? It’s not even that nobody cares about what they did – it’s that they didn’t do anything for anyone to care about.
But there are worse things than to fade into insignificance.
Even worse than being forgotten would be to be remembered as a complete failure as a human being. As a buffoon. As a waste of space.
And that is how Donald Trump will be remembered.
And that is his great fear.
His biggest concern appears to be his TV ratings. He wants to know that he is – literally and figuratively – seen.
Oh we see you all right, Donald. We see you and we know. We know you are a pathetic little man who has never once in your entire life done anything brave, done anything for anyone else, done anything on your own. If it weren’t for your father’s money, you would be working at a 7-11 somewhere and you wouldn’t even be doing that very well.
Your great fear is that you are incompetent and stupid and incapable and that you are not great and guess what?
You. Are. Correct.
You think having money makes up for all of this but it does not.
I have no idea how much money Colin Kaepernick has but I do know this: 100 years from now – 500 years from now, I hope – I hope the United States still exists in 500 years, Kaepernick will be remembered as a hero and Trump will be remembered as the worst president this country has ever had, a loser so pathetic that his father had to buy his way out of the military (seriously – bone spurs?) and into college, and who failed at everything he tried.
In 1936, at the university in Salamanca, the rector of the university, Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo, gave a speech. General Franco’s chief advisor, General Millán Astray, heckled Unamuno, yelling, “Long live death!” which I think we can all agree is a stupid and confusing thing to say.
Millán also shouted, “Death to intellectuals! Down with intelligence!” so you see where he fits in here. (Millán is the Trump figure, just in case. 🙂 )
General Millán Astray is not one of the select minds, even though he is unpopular, or rather, for that very reason. Because he is unpopular, General Millán Astray would like to create Spain anew — a negative creation — in his own image and likeness. And for that reason he wishes to see Spain crippled, as he unwittingly made clear.
This is the temple of intellect. And I am its high priest. It is you who are profaning its sacred precincts.
I have always, whatever the proverb may say, been a prophet in my own land. You will win, but you will not convince. You will win, because you possess more than enough brute force, but you will not convince, because to convince means to persuade. And in order to persuade you would need what you lack — reason and right in the struggle.
And yes, they sentenced Unamuno to death for what he said.
But Unamuno was right. His words endure. And eventually, the fascists were overcome because THEY WERE WRONG. THE FASCISTS LOSE IN THE END, DONALD, AND THEY ARE REMEMBERED AS PATHETIC LOSERS.