The origin of the old adage, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything,” is still in doubt, but it has been attributed to Alexander Hamilton, Peter Marshall, Irene Dunne, among others.
However, one of the earliest citations of its usage is attributed to Gordon A. Eadie a medical doctor who, in a 1945 issue of the Journal Mental Hygiene in an article, titled “The Over-All – Mental Health Needs of the Industrial Plant, with Special Reference to War Veterans,” writes thus:
“We are trying to show him not only what we are fighting against, but what we are fighting for. So many of these boys have only a very hazy idea of the real issues of the war. About all they see is “going back to the good old days.” This is a dangerous state. If they don’t stand for something, they will fall for anything. They need to realize that we are fighting two wars – the war of arms and the war of ideas – that other war of which the war of arms is one phase.”
Now for the past decade or more American politics has been plagued with all sorts of isms and schisms but none as polarizing as Trumpism.
The moment Donald Trump decided to actively engage in representative politics ‘twas a different political game and some might even argue that it changed American politics for the worse.
Throughout the 2016 election campaign, he played the media like a fiddle and ran roughshod over his opponents to the extent that some still remain in a daze, even today.
His presidential election victory still has the Democratic Party still shell-shocked to the point that they can’t even develop a consistent message to counteract or launch an offensive strategy against Trump’s policies, let alone finding someone credible to oppose him for the White House in 2020.
Today, Trump has brought to the office of the President what some people have described as Trumpism – an anti-establishment and “America First” policies as well as political incorrectness.
Trump has stamped his authority on the Republican Party to the extent that all party members seemed whiplashed to follow his dictates.
That said, for Trump, it’s all about the base. So, not only is the base lapping up everything he says but also are in sync with all his policies.
For example, neither the Speaker of the House of Representative Paul Ryan nor Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has anything to say it would seem about children being separated from their parents at the border in the quest for immigration – a silent endorsement if ever there was one.
Additionally, both men along with Vice President Michael Pence have remained silent on the sexual misconduct allegations made against Trump by at least 19 women but had lots of lips for Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky saga.
Et Tu, Christian evangelical leaders?
The fact is the leadership of the Republican Party as well as Christian Evangelicals have given hypocrisy not only a new meaning but have taken it to its highest level and the saying, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything,” applies and rings true to many of these leaders.
More importantly, however, given the silent endorsement of Trump’s policies on debt deficit, health care, environment, education among others perhaps the question is most apt – is Trump good for America?
Nigel Belle, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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