Not Even Close to Normal

I can see from my site stats that people like when I talk about my Whole 30 experience, but I can’t do that today because:

In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

 

I feel as if people aren’t as shocked as they should be. Basically this says that the President of the United States was (is?) under investigation for being an asset of a foreign government. I’m sure many people have long assumed this to be true, but to see it out there in print. It’s stupefying, even in Trump adjusted terms. And we all just go about our business. It’s like on September 11 around 9:30, we’d all kind of figured out what was going on, but my office hadn’t told us we could leave, so we were all sitting at our desks. I remember saying to my co-worker: are we supposed to sit here like this is normal day?  I have to hope that somewhere someone is working to do something about this. Maybe it’s Mueller, maybe it’s people in Congress. But this can’t stand. It really can’t stand. It brings into doubt everything about the United States and what it stand for.

Side note for any conservative readers I may have. I respect your views. We should have a respectful debate on these things. My perspective is you can live your life however you want, but you don’t get to impose it on everyone else, but I can have that conversation. However, this is not your guy. This is not the person you want pushing your views. He’s corrupt, he’s awful, he has no empathy. He’s dangerous. Find someone who does it because they are a believer, not someone for sale to the highest bidder.

A National Emergency

I’m really not sure how we got to a place where our leader is threatening a national emergency (it’s not) because he isn’t getting his way from Congress. Well, I do know, what I really don’t know is why no one has stopped him. The checks and balances found in three branches of government only work if there isn’t corruption in the system. Someone has figured out how to jigger the system, and exposed a weakness in our society, that we will turn on each other if we don’t all get what we want exactly when we want it. It’s not a pretty site.

If there is a national emergency, then he should declare it. Holding such a threat over the heads of people having budget negotiations is just a tactic. People’s livelihoods shouldn’t  be a tactic. Having a functioning government shouldn’t be a tactic. Our security shouldn’t be a tactic. We can’t be governed by a person that uses threats just to get his way. Look at some of the things a President can do when an emergency is declared, per The Atlantic:

 

“the president can, with the flick of his pen, activate laws allowing him to shut down many kinds of electronic communications inside the United States or freeze Americans’ bank accounts. Other powers are available even without a declaration of emergency, including laws that allow the president to deploy troops inside the country to subdue domestic unrest.”

 

All of that is scary in the hands of our current president (and by the way all of that happened in The Handmaid’s Tale), but that that last one… whoa. Let’s say people protested a ridiculous emergency declaration. He could basically declare marital law and impose his will. I know I sound like I’m wearing a tin foil hat. The rule allowing a president to declare an emergency assumes that the person will act accordingly, in the best interest of the country. Nothing about our president’s behavior tells me this is the case here and I find it very disturbing.

This is not normal

I’d love to continue rambling about my Whole 30 experience, but not today.  Yesterday I watched Trump’s insane press conference. Things haven’t been normal since 2016, but we continue to slide down a hill into a crevasse. Sadly, I’ve grown used to a lack of decorum and even the stunning lack of historical awareness or even current knowledge (this article in the Washington Post basically says the Trump administration didn’t really understand the implications of a government shutdown. Stunning and unacceptable), but one part of the press conference really made the hair on the back of my neck stand up and that is this:

http://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?c4770863/presidents-declare-national-emergency-build-border-wall

Let’s put aside the fact that there is no national emergency. Illegal immigration is at it’s lowest level in a decade and there is no evidence that they have apprehended terrorists. Threatening to declare a national emergency to get your way in what is in essence a budget negotiation is the act of a man child. We don’t know if this is just him trying to hold this over the Democrats heads to get his way or if he would really like to declare a national emergency so that he can just do whatever he wants, meaning be a dictator. Hitler did something similar in 1933 when Germany’s version of congress was in stalemate. Hitler. Reading any of the dystopian fascist novels that have come out since, this is how it starts. You just get rid of the laws you don’t like, then you arm a militia to keep the people in line, then you do whatever you want.  You think it can’t happen, but it can and it has. Margaret Atwood has said many times that everything in the Handsmaid’s Tale has actually happened at some point in human history. We’ve been protected for a long time by the alliances put in place after WWII. This sort of threat is frightening and we shouldn’t take it lightly.