By Micha Green
AFRO D.C. Editor
The AFRO began the show “Chicken Boxx,” to offer experts from various fields and generations, an opportunity to step out of the confines of being politically correct and into the world of an eager audience, ready to know life’s truths. That is exactly what happened when guest Michael Steele appeared on the program to talk Black people versus Trumpism.
“Trumpism was defined early on, long before he was president, as the deconstruction of the administrative state. It is the deconstruction of institutions, of individuals, of principles and ideas that are central to the formation of our government, it’s part of our organizing principles- the constitution,” Steele, former Maryland Lt. Governor and chair of Republic National Committee from 2009-2011, told the AFRO on the Dec. 3 episode of Chicken Boxx.
“There is the sense of deconstructing things, recreating them in your own image and I think everybody can conclude, without sounding ‘anti-Trump’ that [Trump is] all about himself. He is, right now, pouting because he lost the election. He’s not going to participate in the transition. He’s not going to go to the inauguration. He’s not going to offer any opportunity for the incoming president to visit the White House as Barack Obama [did]. After everything [Trump] said about Barack Obama, and everything he did to offend Barack Obama, Barack Obama still extended him an invitation to the White House as part of the transition. Trump is like, ‘I’m not doing that.’ So that’s what Trumpism is. It is the centering of things around self. It is the elevation of victimhood, it is pouty, it is noisy, it is arrogant, and it is deconstructive to the point of destruction of, I think, a number of value sets and principles that matter,” Steele explained in further detail, using example of the 45th President’s resistance to concede and peacefully transition administrations to President-elect Joe Biden.
While Steele is a well known leader in the Republican Party, he emphasized that certain issues are bigger than an allegiance to a political party or candidate.
“The country certainly matters more than one man,” the MSNBC commentator who also hosts the Michael Steele Podcast said. “We are obligated as citizens, to protect and defend the constitution, that is a birth oath, internally, by being born here. We watched those who’ve come to this land, on their own free will seeking freedom, take that oath.”
The former chair of the Republican National Committee said that it is Trump’s, un-american values and anti-constitutional ways, like continuing to be a business man despite the emolument clause regarding compensation and work in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, that makes him passionate about combatting Trumpism and aligning with organizations doing the same, such as The Lincoln Project.
“We have an obligation to protect and defend these values and ideals, and so when you see those values being attacked, when you see our institution being deconstructed, you have a choice- you either step into the moment or you step away from it. It seems to me that a lot of folks in my party have chosen to step away from it, they’ve chosen Trump over country. They’ve chosen to be silent when it matters most, and The Lincoln Project’s goals and ideals are still part of those goals and that narrative of making sure that the democracy, the republic, is held true and reminds us of our obligations to service,” Steele explained of the organization, which was founded in late 2019 by former and current Republicans hoping to defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 general election.
On Dec. 14, the electoral college confirmed that Joe Biden and his historic running mate, Kamala Harris, the first Black and first woman to be elected Vice President of the United States, did win the 2020 election. When Steele visited the Chicken Boxx on the 3rd, the electoral college had not confirmed the upcoming Biden, Harris administration, however, before the confirmation, to which the current President has been silent, Trump nitpicked and vehemently denied his defeat. Steele said that kind of leadership is also a threat to our democracy.
“As we watch what’s happening in polling places around the country, as we watch what’s happening in efforts by certain governors and state legislatures to diminish the value of the vote for particularly African Americans. You have a presidential campaign right now, talking about stealing the votes in Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Detroit. Why? Because they didn’t like the outcome. So we’re going to count the votes from all the White areas surrounding Detroit, but the folks in Detroit- yeah, nah, we’re not going to count that. So, when you have that kind of misuse of power, you’ve got to speak to it, you’ve got to address it.”
Despite Biden and Harris’ historic win, with the COVID-19 and racism pandemics still plaguing the United States, Steele said that there is a lot more work to be done for the country to begin achieving true unity and a healed democracy.
“We still have a lot that we have to wrestle with as Americans, and at the root of it is our Blackness and our Whiteness. It is our immigrant status and our natural status. It’s all these things that comprise this great country, that we seem now to want to fight against and to resist. And I think that before we can really tackle a lot of these big, pressing issues, we have to reconcile that we’re a little messed up right now, and we need to seek help from each other, and we need to inspire a different kind of leadership that understands, not only the pain of COVID and the difficulties of the economy… but [how] we can expand the dream, and we can expand what it means to be an American once again. But we’ve got some work to do,” Steele said.