I’ve just returned from Down Under. My spousal equivalent and I spent two wonderful weeks with friends exploring Queensland, Australia. Thanks to a great deal from Qantas we found ourselves out of the country and 16 hours ahead of our normal time zone on Election Day. Upside down and a different day.
As the returns began to come in, our hostess was nice enough to keep a running dialog going on what was happening via her phone and Google. You see, they care about such things as the US elections in far flung places like Queensland. Our host put it this way, “What happens in the United States effects all of us.”
Gee. No pressure America.
Now we are back and the jet lag has subsided. Mostly. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am determined to be THANKFUL, dammit! But before I get to that we need to cover the things I am not thankful for.
Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered and the CIA has determined that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia planned it. Trump doesn’t care. He has put a price tag on what is acceptable. So, this makes it ok, I guess? That’s where we are now? Ok, well, keep that in mind as we move forward. Murder of journalists who speak out against totalitarian regimes is now totally acceptable according to the President of the United States. As long as we get some money from the perpetrators it’s all ok. So, where does that end?
Meanwhile, Jeff Sessions was asked to resign as Attorney General almost as fast as the polls closed. Whether you like Sessions or not, he did seem to be acting as somewhat of a buffer at the Department of Justice from a President who believes the DOJ is “his”. And now, it pretty much is. He installed an inexperienced, political ally to oversee the department and, more importantly, the Mueller investigation. He did so unlawfully, without confirmation by the Senate. And you haven’t heard a peep out of McConnell on this. Of course not. So, I guess now that the precedent has been set we won’t need to have the Senate confirm any cabinet members anymore? If not acting AG, then why not Secretary of State or CIA? Just let the President pick any guy off his golf course to sit in the most powerful positions in our government. Well, then if that is how this will now work, then judges shouldn’t have to be confirmed either. Why did we go through that painful episode with Brett Kavanaugh if we’re just going to let the President fill positions at will with no oversight?
But wait, that isn’t all that happened while I was cuddling koala bears at the Australia Zoo. The military was deployed to the southern border of the US to protect us from a dangerous invasion. Yep. A couple thousand asylum seekers, walking from Central America, nowhere near our border, was such a horrendous threat that it required our soldiers be down there to protect us all. The caravan continues but as of this writing the troops on the border are being withdrawn. Why is that? Because the election is over, that’s why. The President of the United States used the military to affect an election. So, yet another precedent has been set.
But wait, there’s more. It was reported this week that he attempted to get the Justice Department to “prosecute” political enemies Hillary Clinton and James Comey. In the case of Hillary, he wants her prosecuted for using a private email server when she was Secretary of State. You remember that, right? “LOCK HER UP!” They still chant it at his rallies. But it has also been reported that First Daughter, Ivanka Trump, basically did the exact same thing in the early days of this administration. Ok, so, we will attempt to prosecute and lock up his enemies but for the same “crime” committed by his staff/family members, it’s all good.
Donald Trump does not follow norms, rules, laws or the Constitution. He pretty much does what ever he wants in order to get what he wants. Don’t think for one minute that any of this is for us. For the citizens of the United States. America First, my ass.
Each of these events on their own are dangerous to our democracy. Put them all together and it looks more and more like we’ve already lost our democracy.
If one person can simply throw out the rules we’ve lived by since our country’s inception, then what have we been fighting to preserve during our history?
I don’t know what we stand for anymore. Murder? Corruption? Graft? Nepotism?
Those are the negative terms we’ve always used to describe regimes that we were fighting against. But now, that is us. That is what the United States of America stands for now. We are no longer that shining city on the hill. We are right down there in the mud with every third world dictatorship we’ve spent the last 250 years condemning. And look how fast it happened.
The examples I show above are just what happened in the last WEEK. I can’t even remember everything I’m outraged about from the last two years of Trump. And I don’t want to think about how much more damage he will do in the next two years if left unchecked.
And now to the optimistic, thankful part of this blog post:
The Blue Wave was kind of what I expected. Congress went to the Democrats, as did some statewide elections. But there were still millions of people who went out and voted for Republicans in spite of the shenanigans of Trump. Or because of, which is even worse.
So, I am thankful that Congress will at least challenge this man. They may not be able to stop him in his quest to tear apart our democracy for his own gain, but they can, hopefully, slow him down.
I am thankful for the brave journalists who continue to report on this administration and show Trump for what he is. A small time, lying, con artist. That is all he is. And history will remember him that way.
I am thankful for every single person who went out and voted for Democrats in the mid-term elections. I have never held any party up as the savior of the United States but as of right now, the ONLY way to save our country is to elect people who oppose Donald Trump. It really is that simple.
I personally have much to be thankful for. I have a nice life. I have a job that pays well and provides health insurance. I have money saved for retirement and enough disposable income that I can afford to go on nice vacations. I live in a place that probably won’t be ravaged by wild fires or hurricanes.
I am thankful that I still enjoy the freedom to express myself in this blog and elsewhere.
If only Jamal Khashoggi was still alive and free to do the same.