This is really frightening. When you consider what’s happened in the last few months and see it laid out in black and white it’s chilling.
Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan writes of Amy Siskind who’s been keeping a list of our vanishing norms, of long-cherished values shattered. Amy Siskind, who campaigned for Hillary Clinton, was shocked and stunned and she is collecting evidence, piece by piece, day by day, of a nation crumbling:
“As time went on, the list grew much longer and more sophisticated. Here are three of her 85 items from mid-June:
●“Monday, in a bizarre display in front of cameras, Trump’s cabinet members took turns praising him.”
●“AP reported that a company that partners with both Trump and (son-in-law) Jared Kushner is a finalist for a $1.7bn contract to build the new FBI building.
●Vice President Pence hired a big-name “lawyer with Watergate experience to represent him in the Russian probe.”
I hope we can find our way back. So far there’s been a virtual blitzkrieg on our democracy, on our sense of ourselves as America, on our perception of America as a country.
Think about it. We have a “president” who lies constantly. Everybody knows he lies. Is this remotely normal or acceptable? Congress is covering for him. A general is the only rational appearing member of a cabinet apparently designed to destroy our government. Scientists are fired wholesale. The FBI chief is fired and accused, to the Russian ambassadors no less, of being a “nutcase,” in a meeting wherein the President also exposed top secret intelligence without the permission of an ally. The press is shut out. The press is routinely lied to by the press secretary. This began the minute the regime was installed, with demands that we recognize the “fact” that the world had witnessed the greatest crowd ever to see an inauguration in history, period! We were introduced to the term “Alternative Facts” by The Minister of Alternative Facts Kellyanne Conway, she who should be banished for her destruction of our values and our self-respect.
The press is declared an Enemy of the People. Scientists are fired. Precious data is hidden, perhaps destroyed, scientific data that took decades to amass.
The President went overseas and danced happily with a tyrant, flew to a neighboring country and announced he had just been to “The Middle East,” as though Israel were in South America perhaps. He then proceeded to Europe where he assaulted our allies and demanded money, like a gangster.
It’s impossible now to think of ourselves as citizens of a great and good democracy. We aren’t a democracy at all right now. A cabal of powerful white Republican men has crafted a bill that will deprive tens of millions of people of access to health care, as usual disproportionately harming women who have no voice. It will literally kill tens of thousands of people a year. Per year. This would be a crime against humanity in our opinion in the former America. We would not permit this, we would be outraged if France or Germany was killing tens of thousands of its own citizens per year and stripping their families of hope, of wholeness and all their wealth.
We have never permitted this kind of outrageous behavior in the Senate before. We have not permitted graft this breathtakingly obvious, ever, at least perhaps since the days of Teapot Dome.
Disaster. This is just a disaster. And it’s only been five months.
I wonder, can we follow the breadcrumbs back to our home, the good America, America the Beautiful, where we have a sane government, a government responsive to the people? Or will our democracy be crumbled, bit by bit, outrage by outrage, until neighbor turns on neighbor and families are devastated by poverty and illness?
I don’t know. But I think we’ve got to try.
Hillary Clinton said, “America is great when America is good.” And right now we are neither.