If This Isn’t Treason, What Is?

The news that comes out of this White House is so unlike anything that I might have ever imagined that it seems as if America will just fall apart, disintegrate, and cease to exist as a democracy and as a nation. I have said this same thing at least once a year for the past seven years and it has always been true. The events of post 9/11 America have been contentious, shocking, unsettling, and indicative of a sort of spiral of chaos, held in check for a while by the charm and grace of the Obama administration and perhaps an unspoken anathema to going down in history as the person/s who impeached, discredited, or assassinated America’s first American President of African Descent, a man who was voted into office almost by acclamation.

Grace and charm are now gone. The GOP, which flirted with insurrection, (and still will, given half a chance) is overshadowed for the moment. What we seem to have moved on to at this moment in time is a President who has flirted (or is still flirting) with treason. And it seems that there is nothing we can do about it but stand gape-mouthed in our kitchens staring at our TV’s.

The people have not heard any actual proof that DT himself spoke with the Russians but we know he telegraphed his invitation to collusion because he did it right out loud in numerous rallies. The statement I heard on the news last night is that “Trump campaign aides were in constant touch with Russian intelligence.” The people who surround DT do not seem to be people who act on their own. He seems to require absolute loyalty and he hands down assignments to his underlings which they will then complete. They have been with DT for some time and they know how to complete tasks to his satisfaction. He seems to use a mainly top-down management style.

The media is trying to make it clear that if anyone knows of a way to actually connect DT with Russia they should come sit by them. I don’t blame them. This would be an amazing scoop. But it sounds as if even a direct connection between DT and Putin to dump propaganda and private conversations into the media before an election will not be enough to prove either election tampering or treason. DT seems completely unconcerned and his only reaction so far is to try to make folks feel guilty for doubting Flynn, to repeat his electoral college vote like an incantation, and to try to get us to prosecute the leakers rather than the perpetrators.

We appear to be back to the question of whether leakers are traitors or whistle blowers. Leakers in this case are giving the press and the people information they need to know so we like them. When we like what is happening that seems to qualify as whistle blowing. The decision about leak v blow of whistle cannot be resolved at this time, but in this case, I hope the leaks keep coming.

The Republicans have their majority in Congress but it has not proven to be productive for them yet because DT does not seem to have the least inclination to go through Congress to pass laws. In fact the whole of Congress appears to be just an aside or an afterthought in this administration. Mr. T seems to have the hang of the executive decision apparatus which includes consulting with all his loyal cronies and family, a sort of rule by committee, and is sticking to that for now.

Republicans wanted to be in power so badly and are so ecstatic to have succeeded that they seem to have no desire to rein in the overweening ego and authoritarian bent of our fearless leader. It is practically impossible to believe that the Republicans will act on even this stunning information. Collusion with Russia, the exact nation we have spent years trying to avoid sharing information with, seems so close to treason that it cannot be ignored. We blacklisted Hollywood actors and politicians for joining the American Communist Party which had no connection with the USSR. Apparently we may have reached a point in American governance where a President actually cannot be unseated.

This is where the people come in. I had almost forgotten the people. They were so silent most of the time while Obama was president unless they were parroting Fox News. They did not get riled up during the election about anything but Bernie Sanders. They did not shout down the demeaning of Hillary Clinton. There were no demonstrations, or objections that were loud enough to outshout the true loudmouth in the campaign.

But the people are the fourth branch of government that is addressed in the Preamble of our Constitution when our forefathers say “WE the People”.
We are powerful because we have numbers on our side. We outnumber those folks we send to Congress to represent us. We conduct their business for them even in the halls of government. We are the referees. We police the game. When the game goes foul we call it, we point it out and hopefully the press backs us up, because the people in the press are also “we the people”. If the people do not make government straighten out when it is going off the rails then we are doomed to be just another democracy that used to be great but now simply proves the point of famous thinkers who said democracies can’t last for very long.

Susan Sarandon was on the Chris Hayes news hour on MSNBC last night while I was washing dishes and I got so angry listening to her that I almost threw a dish. She seemed to be arguing that demolishing our government and starting over is the only pathway that will get us out of the hole of corruption that we are in. Is that the only way open to us, to trash it all and start over? Isn’t history and continuity worth anything? She and her friend were still upset about Bernie Sanders losing the election, but did he ever really have a chance to win?

The only issue that holds any importance for them is the damage that has been done to the environment during the Obama administration and which will escalate under DT. Many of us worry about whether we can keep putting off doing the things that need to be done to take care of the planet. Even so she would not say that she regretted deserting the Democrats and that she was sorry about DT now that she could see the chaos. I was actually shouting at my TV when all she would say is that the chaos would be good in the end. But I wish we had done all we needed to do before the election so we did not have to go such a long way out of our way and we would never have to wonder if we could find our way back. And treason would still be a reason to kick someone off the team, even a President.

The Primaries Come to the Boonies

This is truly an unusual primary. Usually New York
State conducts its primaries quietly in solitary splendor. In general, the
Empire State does not play a deciding role in selecting a general election
candidate for either party, even though we have a lot of delegates. The New
York primary is so late that the early states have already settled the issue.
So it is really quite bizarre to have the candidates
I have been writing about traipsing around even the most out-of-the-way places
in NY, such as my city (Syracuse), Utica, Rome, Dexter – Dexter!
It started two weeks ago with Hillary. She met her
public in a large roofed shed usually used by crafters at the Farmer’s Market
on summer weekends. I thought I would have to stand in a long line for hours,
and I did stand in a longish line for about half an hour, before I walked
through the metal detector and slid my shoulder bag over to the secret service
so they could pat it down.
I did see Hillary. She looks nice in orange (SU was
in the Final Four) and, when I left, when the concrete floor got too hard to
stand on any longer, I still liked her and wanted to vote for her. I took a few
pictures. One is of Adam (no last name) who was in line by me for a while. He
is in the teacher’s union and had on his AFT tee shirt.

The second person is called Jovan (John to us), an
eighty-four year old man who came to America from Macedonia and still has a
thick accent. (He worked in Bldg. 7 at GE, my Dad was in Bldg. 5.) His children
have done very well, one graduating from an Ivy League school, one a doctor
trained at Johns Hopkins. He wants nothing to do with socialism even if it does
have the word Democratic in front of it. Jovan has boundless confidence. He
wended his way to the very front of the rally.

My third picture is of Hillary and was taken by the
tall man in front of me – the one I had to sway back and forth to see beyond,
taken with my camera. We yipped and cheered and raised our arms in the air and
even did a slightly disorganized wave. No signs were handed out but I don’t
know if the concerns were for security or cost. I bought three Hillary buttons
on my way out.

Since then John Kasich came to town, Bernie Sanders
has been here, then Ted Cruz, then Donald Trump, then Bill Clinton. I don’t
think we have ever, in my lifetime been romanced by so many politicians in any
election season. I did not go to any other rallies – I watched them on TV as if
they were happening somewhere else. There are only so many concrete floors I
will stand on in any two week period. But my spidey sense felt them buzzing
around and I wish I could have hovered comfortably overhead, or been the
proverbial “fly on the wall”. (I have no idea where all these bugs came from.)
It was interesting to see that Ted Cruz held his
Syracuse rally in a northern suburb, Cicero, where a group of locals publish a
newspaper called “The Patriot”, full of some well-known right wing conspiracy
theories from which I culled the phrase “Luciferian Church of the United
Nations”, because Agenda 21 and the UN plan for world domination.
Dexter – Donald Trump went to Dexter – a small rural
town west of Watertown, NY on Ontario Lake, a town full of campers, hunters, fishermen, aging hippies, and
farmers, and these days, very few factories. Fort Drum is nearby though, so
perhaps he attracted a lot of soldiers and their families. That would have to
be fact-checked. I’m sure Dexter is still in shock having rarely been singled
out by such a famous (infamous) personality. It’s been a helluva* two weeks in
the North Country (*also, until recently the name of a local cheese company).
It’s sort of fun feeling like the hot center of America for a while. We can use the
excitement. Primary day is Tuesday, April 19th and then the
entire circus will move on. Most candidates have left already. I think Donald
Trump will be the last one out.
By Nancy Brisson