In a post-Obama world, Donald Trump's leadership and "internal destabilization" has left the United States values demoralized.
Like most people, I thought we could have a black president for eight years without a massive backlash from millions of outraged voters determined to turn the clock back on that kind of social and political progress.
Silly me. As overreactions to the sight of black men wielding power go, we had one for the ages.
Your grandparent's generation would have been astonished to see a black man elected president of the United States, but they would have been even more astonished to see the current president take Russia's word over his own intelligence agencies, or openly ask them to aid him in his election.
This new kind of political division, with our president attacking his domestic political rivals with far more bitterness than his foreign ones, whether through his bully pulpit or Twitter, is called “internal destabilization” by the KGB.
Whether Trump knows it or not, this kind of approach has a history. It's a policy that has been pursued by Russia's notorious intelligence services for decades.
It takes only two to five years to destabilize a country, they claim. What you have to do is relentlessly attack the country's economy, its foreign relations and its defense systems.
Coincidentally we are living in a time where, thanks to Donald Trump's historic 1.9 trillion tax break for billionaires, Jeff Bezos Amazon company pulled in $232.9 billion in global revenue in 2018 but its federal tax bill was $0. For the second year in a row. Meaning the super-rich are winning, we're carrying the can.
Meanwhile, as the ongoing impeachment investigations have made clear that Trump abused his presidential power to bully Ukraine into announcing a bogus investigation into his political rival Joe Biden and his son.
Trump sought a quid pro quo, he sought to use the power of the presidency to benefit himself personally, and he got caught.
To bully the Ukraine he had to destabilize our foreign policy in a way that has profoundly damaged the United States standing in the world, indicating the current administration is full of unprincipled rogue actors who will try to shake down our international allies as if they were the Brooklyn D.A.
Finally, Trump fired the Secretary of the Navy over a convicted war criminal. What else do you call a resignation with a gun held to your head?
Trump made an unprecedented intervention over the case of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, nicknamed Blade, a man who during a deployment to Iraq in 2017 was observed fatally stabbing a wounded ISIS captive.
Whilst other SEALs were providing medical aid to the captive, Gallagher took out a handmade hunting knife and stabbed the boy, a teenager aged between 15 and 17, several times in the neck and torso.
Gallagher was also accused of firing a sniper rifle at innocent civilians multiple times, shooting a non-combatant girl wearing a hijab as she walked along a riverbank and an old man out carrying a water jug.
He also posed for “trophy” photographs with the body of the teenage captive he had killed and his own company was reportedly so concerned about his actions that they tampered with his firearms to prevent further slaughter.
Trump has personally intervened in this case to ensure that Gallagher is not stripped of his Trident Pin or disciplined by the Navy. Trump has also restored Gallagher’s pay grade to chief petty officer, overriding a decision taken by the Navy’s top admiral.
This kind of indefensible action flies in the face of American values by allowing servicemembers sworn to defend our Constitution to get away with serious war crimes. It also undermines the military justice system by overturning the results they arrived at.
It will confuse and demoralize the force critics contend, it will cost the United States credibility with our partners and undermine the laws of war. Nevertheless, it has been done. Demoralization is achieved.
These days, like Trump, you may believe that you hate Nancy Pelosi more than you do Vladimir Putin, but you would be deeply unwise to do so.
One, despite what you may think, is not trying to destabilize the United States and demoralize our electorate, the other demonstrably is.
To change the perception of reality to such an extent that no one is capable of coming to a sensible conclusion was the KGB's stated aim.
That process of demoralization once complete is irreversible, they claim. It just takes one or two generations to complete.
Where are we at now?