I’ve never had a quiet mind. The thing about being a reader is that you can sometimes quiet the din of everything else that needs to be tuned out. Sisters screaming, parents yelling and the overwhelming sounds pumping through the television always seemed to make it harder to stay in focus. Dad got to the point where he would take the batteries out of my flashlight so I would quit reading and get some sleep. I kept reading, and I still don’t get much sleep.
History was my addiction. I read thousands of books on everything from a history of the Xhosa-speaking peoples to the People’s History of the United States, and the more I read, the more I was convinced that the two main causes of man’s misery are religion and the concentration of wealth in the hands of the very few. Whenever those two things have gotten out of balance, the end of an empire or civilization is approaching. As Oscar Wilde wrote, in Dorian Grey, “All empires fall, there are no exceptions.”
And, without exception, these empires and civilizations ignored the great sages of their times–from Aristotle to Cicero, Kant to Martin Niemoller and George Orwell, whose novel, 1984, read by every high school student, might be the great prophecy of our time. Those of us who have studied history are doomed to watch it repeated time and again.
And here we are in 2019, watching the events of the last two and a half years, and waiting for the end of our own culture. It’s as if the oligarchs have been studying too, and have learned from the mistakes of the Nazis and are using Orwell’s warning as a planning guide so they can consume as many future resources as they can mortgage no matter what the cost.
Just today, the Attorney General of the United States told a senate oversight committee member that he was not going to turn over material to a government committee that he is duty-bound to defend under the constitution. Senator Blumenthal asked for the notes between the AG and Mueller and he said he would not provide them. Where the hell does he get off? What was even more troubling was that the members of his own party were not all up in arms raising hell about the obnoxious pretense that a lowly civil servant could thumb his nose at a co-equal branch of government. He feels emboldened to such petulance after committing perjury to that same body after the president let it be known that he would pardon anyone from his administration who is charged with obstructing these committees.
Trump has said, ‘This is the most transparent administration in the history of the country’, while Steve Mnuchin is thumbing his nose at federal law by ignoring the subpoena from the Chairman of the Ways and Means committee to turn over Trump’s taxes. The specific federal law states that the Secretary of the Treasury *shall* turn over the tax returns of *any* citizen at the request of the Chairman. There is no wiggle room or alternate interpretation to this law. This is Steve Mnuchin telling the House of Representatives to kick bricks and daring them to do anything about it.
Trump too is in violation of his oath of office. He swore to uphold the constitution of the United States in its entirety, not the part he doesn’t like which is exactly what he is doing now.
What this criminality has truly revealed is the naked villainy and scaly hides of the morally bankrupt hypocrites who comprise the cult of Trump these days. They do not care about the rule of law. They are utterly silent about the fact that Trump is violating federal law right now. They do not care about the emoluments clause of the constitution. They love to claim they are ‘constitutional republicans’ but here we have cabinet members thumbing their noses at congress and instead of investigating or drawing up charges against them, Lindsay Graham said he wants to investigate Hillary’s emails some more. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have repeatedly used private email to conduct government business in violation of federal law and he does not give an albino yak’s ass that both lied on their SB-86 forms over 100 times.
It’s not just the disgusting double standard that Republicans apply to Democrats but the naked hypocrisy and abdication of their constitutional duty to be a check on the executive branch that is the most troubling because this is exactly how this grand experiment ends. Republicans are now okay with sacrificing a few immigrants just as we turned back fleeing Jews in WWII back to the nazis who were exterminated in the death camps. Asylum seekers are not even being granted a hearing at ports of entry, they’re just being turned away.
The rule of law is something the Republicans in office have no regard for whatever, every. single. one. of. them. I am trying to think of a single one that is not a verifiable malefactor who is not wholly owned by the National Rifle Association for example. There are many others of course but it being the best example.
The NRA has taken tens of million in Russian cash to dole out to Trump as Wayne LaPierre enjoys a $200,000 a year expense account solely for clothes because it takes a lot of work for a tailor to conceal scaly hides and such. Meanwhile Wayne has the political dope they need and as long as he is handing out the Russian cash, you’re going to do what he wants and if he says he wants insane people to have firearms, Republicans are going to repeal those regulations and they did.
That fact alone should disqualify Republicans from holding any seat in the government for ten generations but with this authoritarian madman leading them on the road to perdition, they’re not going to do anything to help save the republic that conservatives have tried to destroy from its very inception lest anyone forget that conservatives fought for the mad king of England during the revolution.
Now we have another madman only this one is in the White House and the rule of law doesn’t apply to him. He wanted an AG who would protect him and he admitted yesterday that he did not even look at the evidence against Trump before he concluded that it was not enough for a conviction which was something we now know Mueller vehemently disagreed with him about. This is extremely alarming because this isn’t normal. The AG is acting like Trump’s attorney, not the people’s.
This is how this Republic ends, Trump and his merry band of incompetent sycophants actively destroying what Steve Bannon called the ‘administrative state.’ Robert Mercer is in a fight with the IRS for some $3 billion in taxes. The Kochs don’t like all the meddling the EPA does when they are extracting tar sands. The oligarchs aren’t interested in a functional and competent government imposing fines or anything like that when the KXL pipeline dumps 60,000 barrels of oil that they swore would never happen. Hell that didn’t even take a year for them to do. Republicans constantly bemoan the government for being incapable of doing anything well and when they get elected, they prove it, every single time.
But this is different. We have an administration that cooperated with a hostile foreign government and instead of doing something to stop it, Republicans are doing everything they know how to cover it up *and* to make sure it will happen again. At this point, I’m not sure voting is going to be enough to countermand these acts of war the Russians have committed against our republic.
For all intents and purposes we are at war with Russia. They are bent on destroying our Republic and they are doing it with the aid and assistance of the Republican party. I’m old enough to remember when Republicans used to know the Russians were our enemies but in 2 short years, now they think they are our friends and the FBI are our enemies. As uncomfortable as it makes you or me, we *must* recognize that the threat Republicans pose to our Republic is very real and we can no longer afford to treat them merely as ‘misguided Americans.’ No, they are no longer a loyal opposition, they are our enemies now. They are plotting the destruction of our government and to destroy our Republic whether through malfeasance or ignorance, it does not matter.
If you’re not sure how this ends, think to yourself what Martin Niemoller would say if he could see us kidnapping children from their parents and putting them in barbed wire under freeway underpasses like they are in San Antonio and El Paso right now like chattel. Our country is dying from a thousand cuts and as an ardent student of history, I know what happens when good people stand by and let evil men ply their wicked trade.
Republicans are actively and with malice aforethought doing everything possible to destroy our most hallowed institutions. What we can no longer deny is that they do not care one iota about the rule of law. They most certainly do not want it applied to Trump. When the law no longer applies to the lawmakers, we are living under tyranny. That didn’t turn our very well for the Romans and Caesar when they last tried it nor when the Weimar Republic embraced fascism.
The violence has already begun. We have kidnapped children by the thousands and deported their parents without them. If any other country in the world did that to Americans, they would be glowing in the dark for the next 25,000 years. The destruction of our institutions is our enemies’ goal. In unconventional warfare, never expend your own army when you can make your enemy fight amongst themselves. That’s what we’re doing now because Republicans have forgotten that the Russians are our enemies, and they are Americans above all else.
The sooner the general public wakes up to the fact that we are at war with a determined enemy who are being helped by a complicit and treasonous political party who has sold its soul for a temporary victory and a lot of money. If we are to survive as a nation, we must punish them mercilessly by remanding them to the political bin of American history.