It’s been a while since I posted last. I apologize. I’ve been elbows deep in a new series, trying to write while there’s a moment of peace in my life between Gretel’s treatments. And I’m sorry it’s our current state of affairs that moved me to write today… I’d much rather be talking about Don Occam, (the new series I’m writing) or sharing a review for the book I most recently read.
Here’s the thing… We are living in NOT normal times. Each day a new level of stress is placed on the founding document that shaped our nation, and in no small part, helped shape the world. The Constitution of the United States of America was written by patriots, seeking to form a more perfect union out of imperfection. And under the circumstances they did a marvelous job.
Unfortunately, there are somethings they didn’t foresee, and modern society has not kept that living document up-to-date. For instance; The Civil War. Secession of states is not constitutional. I know that I’ll get some argument from a certain demographic, but in the forming of a state, there is a marriage that must be agreed to by the state ceding disposition of the state’s status in the Union to the Union. In other words, if every man woman and child in the state votes to secede, it would still require a winning vote in the US Congress and signature by the president to be legitimate.
But back to our current dilemma.
I saw a meme the other day that struck me so significantly that it has stuck with me, hanging on the fringes of my mind until I couldn’t ignore it any longer.
If you’ve ever wondered what you would have done during Slavery, Civil Rights, or the Holocaust, look around… you’re doing it right now.
I’ve seen a few variations over the past 48 hours, but the gist of the statement is the same; we are in the middle of a Constitutional Crisis and how you are reacting will be recorded not with you as an individual, but in the history of how the lines were drawn. There will be names that will stand out on both sides of this war, as there always are. But the majority of us will simply be relegated to “a side” in history books.
I’ve made no secret about my leaving the GOP in Summer of 2016. I wouldn’t have voted for the nominee anyway, but the nomination of a man who OPENLY sided with a foreign enemy (Former KGB Officer, now Dictator, Vladimir Putin) against the United States Intelligence and Federal Law Enforcement agencies who stated clearly, unequivocally, that Russia was actively engaging and SUCCEEDING in meddling with our election, made this old soldier choose country over party. Sadly, I was in the minority of my party.
The consequences of that election are just starting to become clear. Our allies have been attacked by us, weakening them. An ultimatum was delivered by the president of the United States, paraphrased; “Let Russia back in the G8 and drop your sanctions against them, and we’ll drop our tariffs against you.”
I’m not trying to convince the 30% who have made up their minds and will not be dissuaded from their positions no matter how much evidence is produced for them. You may not have liked Hillary Rodham Clinton, but after two and half years of GOP congress filing a seemingly endless barrage of subpoenas about Benghazi, Uranium One, and “her e-mails”, it’s a wonder anyone wanted to even hear her name… which was sort of the idea.
I had more than 1000 words here to explain why the Clinton narrative was false, but it seemed irrelevant at this point. Clinton is not the President. She wasn’t my first choice either. Not even my fifth or sixth choice. I had a couple of Republicans I’d hoped would make it through the GOP primary dog fight. But alas, even they were attacked by Russian hackers, meme manufacturing troll farms, and shown the backhand of the increasingly angry white nationalist base of the GOP.
No. I voted for Clinton as a block. Clinton, a status quo Goldwater Republican (yes, a Republican) against a known career mob tied, Russian policy defending con artist with a history of white supremacist views. I voted against my party because my party has lost its god damned mind.
But it wasn’t enough. Apparently, Clinton wasn’t attractive enough to draw majorities in the swing states needed to make that happen. Interesting that even with a popular vote win by almost three million, the three states that delivered unexpected electoral college wins for Trump won by fewer than 10,000 each…in states that had their voter registries hacked by Russian SVR linked platforms, and had social media targeted with hyper precision after the Cambridge Analytical data delivered names, addresses, and ad targeting by Russian FSB and SVR troll farms.
We have lost to fascism. There is no way to take back what was taken from us, because it doesn’t exist anymore. Our naiveté in thinking that a foreign enemy would never be able to influence not only our election but direct policy, has been destroyed. And along with it, many of the conservative norms that we had always taken for granted (Civil Rights for all regardless of race religion, nation of origin, gender, etc, Science, a steadfastness to our allies, the notion that a thriving middle class is what creates a super power, not giant corporate mergers and stock buybacks on the taxpayer’s backs).
It’s too late to change that. A simple vote will no longer protect us from outside forces… they’ve proven themselves able to manipulate that. So it comes down to what we do next. Do we wait and see what happens with one of the many investigations? Maybe, but even if the investigations show crimes, will it stop the tide? Doubtful… not with a supreme court stacked against us. Was abortion really that important to you? Too bad. Now that you have your Justices in place, they may rule on abortion as you wanted, but they’ll also rule that a president can’t be indicted. That he can only be prosecuted by the Senate. That if the president does it, it’s only a crime if the House impeaches him and the Senate convicts him.
And our new ally, Russia? How will we respond when Russian tanks roll across eastern Europe and park on Germany’s border? Thanks to Putin’s efforts the European Union is fracturing, undermined, weakened. Our own president told France that we’d play nice with the tariffs if they left the EU.
We have 30% of the nation backing a president, with 60% of legislatures, states, judges. A 30% minority ruling over 70% thanks to years of dirty tricks, gerrymandering, legal trickery, false narratives, and fear/anger whipping. And they are making the policy that affects us all.
Whatever happens now is on us. We waited too long. I know I did. I’d hoped the GOP would pull its collective head out of its collective ass for decades now. I waited. And I waited. And now we have concentration camps, and a president who seems more interested in enacting Russian foreign policy than US foreign policy.
There is a retrospective desire after all great global tragedies, to look back and try to identify the moment that it could have all gone differently. An effort to decipher all that has happened and pin point the moment in which we went off the rails, the point of no return. In our case, that moment is behind us. It happened the moment the United States of America decided that a flawed, imperfect, status quo presidential candidate wasn’t inspiring enough to vote for in order to stop a rising, Russian supported, conman who looked at the dictators of the world and thought “Damn I wish I had that kind of power.”
Will the US survive? Will the Constitution? I honestly don’t know. It all depends on how we respond next. Do we let 30% decide that an authoritarian white nationalist government is more appealing than a Constitutional Republic? A Democratic super power born on the backs of an immigrant middle class is not as valuable as stopping those “have-nots” from taking the crumbs left behind from the destruction of the most powerful nation in history? What would you have done in the time of slavery? In the time of Jim Crow? What would you have done as a citizen of 1930s Germany? You’re doing it now. Whatever it is, for better or for worse, you are doing it right now.