The Glorious Legacies of President Trump and King John
445 words
By David Ellison, Berkeley, California
(510) 684-6506

I never imagined I’d thank President Trump for anything. But even I, a radical progressive, must admit that he has already accomplished what I’d long despaired of: Trump has woken America up.
To truly appreciate his achievement, one must consider what has transpired in this country over the last decades. The United States of America engaged in preemptive strike, regime change, rendition, torture, drone war, assassination, rampant spying…all under the pretext of defeating terrorism. Actually, we only exacerbated it, while enriching the obscenely wealthy oligarchy already in control of the Military Industrial Complex as well as our supposed democracy. The environment, the middle class, our unions, our schools, and our infrastructure have all teetered on the brink, as have our civil liberties.
Meanwhile, America has slept. Voter turnout plummeted to dismal levels, even for us. And, the only incident that managed to galvanize my liberal San Francisco Bay Area into thronging the streets with a million or more hysterical citizens was the Giants and the Warriors winning their respective championships. It was enough to depress a hyena.
Bernie Sanders offered an unexpected lightning bolt of hope, garnering more than 30,000 passionate supporters at some of his media-blacked-out rallies. (Where had they been hiding?) However, with everything including the DNC allied against him, a Sanders’ presidency wasn’t to be.
Instead, we’ve ended up its antithesis, President Trump.
Nonetheless, I’m glad! You see, Trump is so narcissistic, so bigoted, so misogynistic, so selfish and unscrupulous, so ineloquent and mendacious, so crass, so dangerous, so…awful that American citizens have risen up as never before. They clogged cities everywhere during the Women’s March (nearly 3 million diverse people, the largest demonstration in US History), and then did the same to airports throughout the nation only a week later. At one rally, people chanted, gleeful at themselves, “This is what democracy looks like!” Indeed.
Even Congress may be rising up, introducing a bill in both houses that would prohibit Trump (or any president) from a first-use nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war.  (Oh, he’ll be tweeting a real tantrum about that!)
Just as in 1215 AD, when England’s terrible King John roused the nobles to find the courage to oppose him, to force him to sign the glorious Magna Carta (the precursor to our Bill of Rights), Trump’s nefarious administration may go down in history as a similarly glorious turning point in American history. By so starkly embodying the absolute worst of our country, Trump has inadvertently held up a mirror to America. And we’re aghast—finally.
 I am grateful to President Trump for fulfilling his campaign pledge. He is truly making America great again.

Berkeley resident David Ellison, author of Bloodletting: Why Education Reform is Killing America’s Schools (Stairway Press, 2014), teaches history in Union City, California.