Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What Trump Can Learn From Ants

If there was any doubt that President Donald Trump’s words and actions foster division and violence in the country, the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, should put that notion to rest. Whatever efforts President Barak Obama did to promote a climate of peace and understanding (which were, in different ways, undermined by the Republican legislators) is now being rapidly undone.

The big question now is: where do we go from here? Is it still possible to create a climate of peace and understanding or are we doomed to an even darker future? Given the circumstances and the actors at play we have reason not to be optimistic. Change is only possible if there is an acknowledgment of wrong and the need to modify behaviors which increase violence and promote confrontation.

I received today a phone call from a friend in Tel-Aviv. She was very upset and she asked me, “What is wrong with you people in America? Are you crazy? How can you stand a President like that?” I felt at a loss for words to answer her, except to tell her that many people here in the U.S. share her level of frustration and fear.

We have a president who mourns the loss of ‘beautiful statues and monuments’ in wake of the Charlottesville rally over Robert E. Lee statue, but has no feeling of sadness for the lives that were lost in Virginia. Predictably, David Duke, the former KKK leader, tweeted to thank the President for his “honesty and courage” for denouncing “leftist terrorism”.

However, how honest can a person be who has been sued multiple times for his dishonest commercial practices and is still being investigated for shady commercial dealings? How courageous can a person be who manages to avoid military service to the country in time of war preferring instead to devote his energies to organizing beauty pageants? Decency and lack of empathy are, precisely, qualities that President Trump obviously lacks.

This is a special moment in history. It is time for President Donald Trump to rise to the occasion and signal, unequivocally, his total repudiation of racism and violence. But I also realize that asking a noble gesture from our President is like trying to get oil out of a dry fig. I wonder if it is not too late for him to learn some nobility from the noted Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano’s short vignette in his book “Mujeres” (Women):

The ants

Tracey was a little girl in a Connecticut town, who practiced a game frequent among children of her own age. One day, along with her classmates, Tracey set fire to an anthill, which everyone enjoyed. But Tracey was impressed by something the others did not see, or pretended that they did not see, but which impacted her and left, forever, a mark in her memory: in front of the fire, facing immediate danger, the ants separated in pairs, and, two by two, stuck together, very close, awaited death.

(Translation by Alicia Bliffeld)

More articles by:

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”

May 22, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card
Andrew Levine
November’s “Revolution” Will Not Be Televised
Ted Rall
#MeToo is a Cultural Workaround to a Legal Failure
Gary Leupp
Question for Discussion: Is Russia an Adversary Nation?
Binoy Kampmark
Unsettling the Summits: John Bolton’s Libya Solution
Doug Johnson
As Andrea Horwath Surges, Undecided Voters Threaten to Upend Doug Ford’s Hopes in Canada’s Most Populated Province
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Surprising Election Results
Kathy Kelly
Scourging Yemen
Dana Cook
Canada’s ‘Superwoman’: Margot Kidder
Dean Baker
The Trade Deficit With China: Up Sharply, for Those Who Care
John Feffer
Playing Trump for Peace How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
Peter Gelderloos
Decades in Prison for Protesting Trump?
Thomas Knapp
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State
Andrew Stewart
What the Providence Teachers’ Union Needs for a Win
Jimmy Centeno
Mexico’s First Presidential Debate: All against One
May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
Amitai Ben-Abba
Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide
Patrick Cockburn
Israel is at the Height of Its Power, But the Palestinians are Still There
Frank Stricker
Can We Finally Stop Worrying About Unemployment?
Binoy Kampmark
Royal Wedding Madness
Roy Morrison
Middle East War Clouds Gather
Edward Curtin
Gina Haspel and Pinocchio From Rome
Juana Carrasco Martin
The United States is a Country Addicted to Violence
Dean Baker
Wealth Inequality: It’s Not Clear What It Means
Robert Dodge
At the Brink of Nuclear War, Who Will Lead?
Vern Loomis
If I’m Lying, I’m Dying
Valerie Reynoso
How LBJ initiated the Military Coup in the Dominican Republic
Weekend Edition
May 18, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi
Robert Fisk
How Long Will We Pretend Palestinians Aren’t People?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Wild at Heart: Keeping Up With Margie Kidder
Roger Harris
Venezuela on the Eve of Presidential Elections: The US Empire Isn’t Sitting by Idly
Michael Slager
Criminalizing Victims: the Fate of Honduran Refugees 
John Laforge
Don’t Call It an Explosion: Gaseous Ignition Events with Radioactive Waste
Carlo Filice
The First “Fake News” Story (or, What the Serpent Would Have Said)
Dave Lindorff
Israel Crosses a Line as IDF Snipers Murder Unarmed Protesters in the Ghetto of Gaza
Gary Leupp
The McCain Cult
Robert Fantina
What’s Wrong With the United States?
Jill Richardson
The Lesson I Learned Growing Up Jewish
David Orenstein
A Call to Secular Humanist Resistance
W. T. Whitney
The U.S. Role in Removing a Revolutionary and in Restoring War to Colombia
Rev. William Alberts
The Danger of Praying Truth to Power
Alan Macleod
A Primer on the Venezuelan Elections
John W. Whitehead
The Age of Petty Tyrannies
Franklin Lamb
Have Recent Events Sounded the Death Knell for Iran’s Regional Project?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail