How The Hell Did We Get Here?


This past Friday night, I watched Fox News cover the cancelled Trump Rally in Chicago just as they did the riots in Ferguson, Missouri. I hated it then and I hate it now. In fact, there are many similarities between the two, and there is simply nothing good to be made of it. The other night for example, I watched Bill O’Reilly denounce the Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler comparison which was actually just another means of silencing free thought, which for me quite frankly was a surprise coming from O’Reilly. Maybe some of you disagree. Personally, I think most folks have missed the boat on this one as this showdown has been a long time coming. But you have to ask yourself given all the craziness going on, just how the hell did we get here? I don’t believe there is an easy answer, but I think looking around to the many failed actions in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East, are a good places to start. There has been a vacuum created by both sides for Donald Trump to step into and fill that void, just like the Iranians and the Islamic State (ISIS) took advantage of our weakness across the great pond. Needless to say, we the people have allowed this to happen and only we the people can put the genie back in the bottle. It’s time that we took responsibility for our actions and lack thereof.

Let me say upfront that Donald Trump is not Adolf Hitler. He has not conducted a systematic genocide of a race of people nor is he the leader of a Nazi like political organization geared toward world domination. However, there is a similarity in the charismatic appeal to large groups of people creating such a divide in this nation, it is causing many people to sit up and pay attention who would normally not be interested in politics. No, Donald Trump is not Adolf Hitler, but if you’ve watched the historical film footage of the two men in action, there is a scary resemblance; just say’n.

In the movie “That thing You Do,” which is about a misfit rock band in the 1960’s that by accident stumbles upon a song, that when played together becomes a hit record. At one point in the height of the bands success they make it to the Ed Sullivan show to play on live television. In a climax moment, the bass player asks the drummer, “How did we get here?” The drummer coolly replies, “I led you here sir, for I am Spartacus.” Spartacus huh? I like that.

Needless to say we’re in need of some warriors like Spartacus to lead us, but instead we get what is given to us, which isn’t much by the political elite. They’re into taking, not giving.  I think Mel Gibson in “Brave Heart” called what I’m referring to as the “scraps.” American leadership, I believe has been on decline for decades because our political system has been hijacked by the rich and powerful, and left us all with funding their mess around the world in places like Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, all of European Continent and yes, here in the United States.

The American people for decades has elected people into positions of power and influence who have created the very mess we are in right now. Today, these same people are shocked that we are in the position that we are as a nation. It reminds me of the boat that is just about to go over the waterfall, when the crew at the eleventh hour gives the “oh crap” warning. The American people say they are angry, but angry at what? Their own failures and bad decisions?

When we first invaded Iraq, there was a belief by many that we would roll up into Baghdad and the world would see the replay of the Second World War films where the allies liberated France and other countries from Nazi control. Flags waving and crowds cheering is what many envisioned. No one thought we would head full steam into a sectarian civil war that would cost us thousands of lives and trillions of dollars in treasure. Now, in 2008 a similar election scenario took place to that of today resulting in the election of a first term Senator to the Oval Office. I can still remember that election night when Barack Obama took the stage in Chicago. What seemed magical, later turned out to be a bust, especially when we withdrew from Iraq. Enter the ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.

President Obama’s withdrawal of troops and influence from Iraq sent a very specific message to our adversaries in the region, which is akin to the “Price is Right” slogan; Come on down! In fact, our whole Middle East strategy has been more like the trail of tears (no disrespect to Native Americans). Yet in 2012, what was the rally cry? Yeah, I thought so; four more years. The vacuum created by the United States created terrorist organizations like ISIS and emboldened nations like Russia to make bold moves on the world stage and our Navy sailors to kneel.

As I stated over and over, and now for the umpteen time, choices come with consequences. We as a people have no one to blame but ourselves for the ditch we’ve allowed these Washington fools to drive us into. Now enter Donald Trump, the billionaire who stole the Ronald Reagan slogan of “Make America Great Again,” and who’s supposed to be our new age Spartacus. Four years from now, after President Trump, we’ll be trashing him and talking about what a bum he is because he screwed everything up. But we created the vacuum and set the conditions for him to thrive and we should remember that when the time comes and we’re faced with the fact that he isn’t Spartacus.

Most recently, in fact yesterday, Dr. Ben Carson stated when interviewed by Mike Wallace, on Fox News Sunday that a vote against Donald Trump equated to a vote for Hillary Clinton. Now, I have a lot of respect for Dr. Carson, but he has in my opinion, given up his principles for money and or a promised cabinet position. In fact, its lunacy to suggest that if you did not vote for the party nominee (which I consider akin to a Union) and voted your conscience that somehow you’ve become the enemy and elected the opposing party candidate. For those of us who’ve been around longer than one election cycle, we heard it with John McCain in 2008 and again with Mitt Romney in 2012.

America is in dire need of leadership and I’m not one to yell that the sky is falling because we’ve been to his place before. History tends to repeat itself and it’s clear that we’ve not learned a damn thing. But I’m not going to fall prey to the fear mongers who like the “uneducated” voters and who will be herded like cattle for slaughter. God’s will be done.

As a conservative, I take responsibility for my actions and the vote I cast. I’m not going to blame my neighbor or fellow citizen, or take to the street because I’m angry because I’ve made bad decisions. In many circles we call those folks liberal progressives. We got to this point in time because we sat idle and we’re not engaged. We’re now reaping the seeds we’ve sewn and that is the consequence.  

Colonel (Ret) John D. Vernon, USA, is the author of “Angels Watching Over Me” and is the CEO, American Warrior Press. Learn more at http://americanwarriorpress.com and follow him on twitter @JOHNDVERNON1. ©JohnVernon2016