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.”

Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
Robert Fantina
Yemeni and Palestinian Children
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Orcas and Other-Than-Human Grief
Shoshana Fine – Thomas Lindemann
Migrants Deaths: European Democracies and the Right to Not Protect?
Paul Edwards
Totally Irrusianal
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
Mark Ashwill
More Demons Unleashed After Fulbright University Vietnam Official Drops Rhetorical Bombshells
Ralph Nader
Going Fundamental Eludes Congressional Progressives
Hans-Armin Ohlmann
My Longest Day: How World War II Ended for My Family
Matthew Funke
The Nordic Countries Aren’t Socialist
Daniel Warner
Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Crime and Punishment
Dave Lindorff
Mainstream Media Hypocrisy on Display
Jeff Cohen
Democrats Gather in Chicago: Elite Party or Party of the People?
Victor Grossman
Stand Up With New Hope in Germany?
Christopher Brauchli
A Family Affair
Jill Richardson
Profiting From Poison
Patrick Bobilin
Moving the Margins
Alison Barros
Dear White American
Celia Bottger
If Ireland Can Reject Fossil Fuels, Your Town Can Too
Ian Scott Horst
Less Voting, More Revolution
Peter Certo
Trump Snubbed McCain, Then the Media Snubbed the Rest of Us
Dan Ritzman
Drilling ANWR: One of Our Last Links to the Wild World is in Danger
Brandon Do
The World and Palestine, Palestine and the World
Chris Wright
An Updated and Improved Marxism
Daryan Rezazad
Iran and the Doomsday Machine
Patrick Bond
Africa’s Pioneering Marxist Political Economist, Samir Amin (1931-2018)
Louis Proyect
Memoir From the Underground
Binoy Kampmark
Meaningless Titles and Liveable Cities: Melbourne Loses to Vienna
Andrew Stewart
Blackkklansman: Spike Lee Delivers a Masterpiece
Elizabeth Lennard
Alan Chadwick in the Budding Grove: Story Summary for a Documentary Film
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail