If Donald Trump had his way, he would not be President of the United States, he would be king.
At the end of the Revolutionary War, General George Washington was so admired that many wanted to make him king. Americans felt safe under his watchful command. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to a fourth term after guiding the country out of the Great Depression and through World War II. Who knows how long he would have stayed in office if he remained healthy. However, we have a system of government that resists totalitarian rule—a system that is protected by checks and balances that prevent the possibility of one-person rule or tyranny by the majority. I cannot not say for certain that a megalomaniac has not served as President of the United States, but I feel confident saying that there have been none in my lifetime going back to Dwight Eisenhower. There is a megalomaniac waiting in the wings.
Having at one time been a licensed clinical counselor, I am tempted to offer a diagnosis of our incoming President. His narcissistic tendencies are obvious. He takes every opportunity to exaggerate his accomplishments and inflate his importance. The only facts that matter are those he agrees with. While the news media rather benignly reported First Lady Michelle Obama’s comments to Oprah Winfrey that many Americans are now experiencing what it feels like to have no hope, I found it breathtaking that would-be king Donald Trump told his once crazed and rabid followers—his words—that Mrs. Obama did not mean what she was saying. Really? He is quick to embrace a false reality when the truth conflicts with his need to believe otherwise. That, my friends, is delusional.
Trump and Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin are cut from the same cloth. They are megalomaniacs. Putin was successful reversing democratic principles in Russia; it is unlikely Donald Trump will be able to do the same in the United States despite the number of generals in his cabinet. He will at times speak like a despot and wish for the power to bend government to his will. There are still checks and balances in our system of government. Many Republicans shamelessly turned a deaf ear to intelligence reports of Russian interference in the presidential election in order to validate their hold on the three branches of government; most will not be willing to relinquish total control of government to the White House.
President Barack Obama and many Democrats have worked hard to be gracious losers even in the face of speculation that foul play may have awarded the presidency to Donald Trump and now must live with the fact that Secretary Hillary Clinton received 2.8 million more votes than her opponent. There have been calls for the Electoral College to take matters into its hand to protect the nation from a man the majority of Americans believe is unfit to serve as Commander-in-Chief. However, like me, most are resigned to at least four years of uncertainty and the promotion of disastrous policies given the makeup of his cabinet. There are ways to push back and we should strategize and utilize all of them.
I spoke with Nancy Humphreys—former National Association of Social Workers (NASW) president and an early proponent of political social work who created an institute at the University of Connecticut—about challenges social workers will face when Donald Trump takes over the reins of government. She said similar angst occurred when Ronald Reagan was elected and she felt the social work profession was at its peak during those years and doesn’t see why it could not happen again. She says there is no question that social workers should stand up (which is NASW’s theme for March, Social Work Month). She says there are many ways social workers can stand up.
Although fair, it is easy to fault the leadership of the Democratic Party for being too old and out of touch with many Americans. It is difficult to compete with a foe who will lie, cheat, and falsely accuse. Progressives must hold fast to our convictions that there are more Americans who reject the misogynist, racist, homophobic, and xenophobic ideals spewed by Mr. Trump than there are who embrace them. We must present a hopeful vision of the future and promote egalitarian policies that wrest power from the plutocrats and put it back into the hands of the people.
You can read my complete interview with Nancy Humphreys in the upcoming Coalition for Policy Education and Practice newsletter.
The post NASW Says Social Workers Must Stand Up! appeared first on Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy.
Written By Charles E. Lewis Jr., Ph.D
NASW Says Social Workers Must Stand Up! was originally published @ Charles Lewis – Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy and has been syndicated with permission.