I’m a sucker for dystopian fiction. Books with governments with crazy leaders, ridiculous laws– laws that might have been once well-intentioned, but have gone awry like a robot that knows no reason.
I enjoy reading about the teenage protagonists that manage to overthrow these monstrosities– the regimes always do the most damage to the youth in these fictional societies. (I love Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series and The Hunger Games by Susanne Collins)
But when I see something horrific unfolding in real life, it’s a different story. It isn’t a story, actually.
As you can probably tell by now, I am not a fan of Donald Trump. Nor are most of the people I know. However, like a family member who does support the man says, “Trump is the best thing for America.” I don’t believe that sentiment exactly. But Trump represents America the best. He epitomizes America’s xenophobia, greed, political and professional nepotism, cultural ignorance, denial of truth. He is all of America’s ugly parts–worst traits–on display for the world to see. He is what America wants.
I am no fan of many of the Democratic Party’s candidates either. Many of them are no different, pandering to whoever will keep them in power. Keeping their mouths shut about their indiscretions–unlike Trump. But that’s not the topic for today.
Trump’s acquittal on all charges is of no surprise to me, nor should it be to anyone.
“I’m not an impartial juror. This is a political process. There’s not anything judicial about it,” McConnell told reporters on Tuesday. “The House made a partisan political decision to impeach. I would anticipate we will have a largely partisan outcome in the Senate. I’m not impartial about this at all.”McConnell: ‘I’m Not Impartial’ About Impeachment, NPR
When I heard that above statement in December, it horrified me. And maybe Mitch McConnell is right, maybe the Democrats were solely motivated by politics. I’m sure Democrats have had their fair share of undiscovered quid pro quos. Yet his statement epitomized everything about the impeachment trial. That they were going to ignore the law, fair judicial processes, and say F-you impartiality. But since when are juries, and judges in America impartial? If you are one of America’s darker-skinned citizens, you know this already too well.
The whole thing played out exactly how everyone expected.
But for some reason this CNN article has me shook.
Trump sent a strong signal of Washington’s new power realities Friday by ignoring pleas from the Republican senators who acquitted him and who had hoped to protect those who testified against him…
Republican senators have correctly pointed out that the President has the power to fire anyone in the executive branch and has the right to a team in which he has confidence.”He’s a political appointee. He serves at the pleasure of the President,” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, referring to Vindman…
Similarly, Trump’s vocal attacks on Mitt Romney, the sole senator in history to vote to convict a President of his own party, send an unmistakable warning to the GOP: the President demands total loyalty. Those who refuse are ostracized.Trump is also set to ignore another constitutional norm — that Congress has the power of the purse — by diverting billions more in already appropriated funding to pay for his border wall. The administration argues it does not require the approval of lawmakers for such steps.Trump weaponizes the Presidency after impeachment victory, CNN
As a rule, I read news/analysis/opinion pieces from American media sources very critically-being sure to note their biases, irrelevant details, and information unsubstantiated by facts or evidence. And this passage I quoted is laced with opinions and bias. Even the title is too strong for the content of the article.
But after reading the article–that passage in particular–I started to wonder how our government would change after this acquittal.
The fact that Trump fires anyone who isn’t loyal to him shouldn’t also surprise anyone. We all saw his show, The Apprentice. “You’re fired!” was his catchphrase.
Trump’s behavior reminds me of what dictators do: Silencing and eliminating dissenters and those critical of the regime. He may not have the authority to take their lives, but how far away are we from that next step?
Would Trump would try to change the constitution so he could be elected indefinitely?
Apparently, he’s already made jokes about this. I don’t follow the news that closely so I hadn’t heard until doing research for this post. Based on the clips I watched of him saying this, I actually do think he was joking, and making his “fake media” come up with outrageous headlines.
But how long will it be until we get a president that tries this? If one can openly break the law and get away with it, what else will a president try if he has his party on his side?
A third term isn’t impossible. A 2/3 majority vote in the House and Senate followed by a 3/4 majority of the states. Sixty percent of the states already support Trump. Congress has been voting along party lines for decades now. According to Forbes, they do it 90% of the time now.
Either Americans have lost diversity of thought completely or have bought into the two teams, pick-a-side or else you’re wasting your vote. It’s like a Superbowl game between bitter rivals. Neither side can even contemplate the good in the other. It’s like war.
Our three branches of government have not been checking and balancing each other as promised in high school civics class. Congress and the Supreme Court are supposed to check the president. When is the last time that happened?
Trump and presidents past have been slowly chipping away at the checks and balances for a long time-making everything political and about money. Although I do imagine a more oligarchical, plutocracy… more on this another time.
And who can top Trump? What are his supporters going to do when his 2nd term is over? I can’t imagine they’ll accept anyone less outspoken or unhinged. Are we going to go back to “boring” politics, where the politicians go back to not doing their jobs quietly?
I can’t imagine that scenario.
Is America on the precipice of becoming a dictatorship? Is this what we want?
Let me know in the comments what you think.