Sunday, June 10, 2018

Donny Dictator Defines Deviancy Down

I'm always amused when there's a president in the White House with whom you don't agree, and friends or others ask, "But you want the president to succeed, don't you?" And I suppose, in the abstract, the answer always has to be yes because the success of the president is tied to the success of the country. If the president fails or does things that are detrimental to the country, then it hurts everyone, right? We all want prosperity for all and justice and equality and excellent education and affordable, comprehensive health care and clean air and water and for people to respect each others' differences in the name of democracy and decency and humanity.

But now we have a president who does not represent those values or those hopes.  Over the past week he's supported a lawsuit by 19 states that would allow health insurance companies to charge more for people with pre-existing conditions who want coverage.

He's called law-abiding citizens who want to send a protest message to the country unpatriotic, and has raised the citizen soldiers who serve and protect the United States above others by giving them near-exclusive possession of the national anthem, as if the only ideas they were fighting for are to obey the president and be quiet in the face of injustice and racism. Last I knew, our military has been fighting to protect the rights we have and the democratic values that are attached to them, which include the right to protest publicly and unashamedly.

And just this weekend, the president has called for his good friends in Russia to be readmitted to the G-7 and has embraced his other good friend, Kim Jong-un, in advance of Tuesday's summit meeting, while simultaneously slapping tariffs on our allies and engaging in a trade war that will seriously harm American farmers. And he's doing this under the delusion that the main sin a country can commit is to have a trade surplus with the United States.

Good thing we elected a businessman who has little clue about how international business and trade works.

But the biggest threat the president poses is that he just doesn't seem to understand that he has a responsibility to the law and that presidents are not above it. Saying that he can end any investigation and that he can pardon himself might, according to some legal experts, be constitutional. The problem is that a responsible president wouldn't even broach the subjects. They would allow the justice system to do its job without interference or threats. They would not see this as a personal attack, but a system that only survives when it seeks justice for all.

What the president is doing is defining deviancy down, making what should be outlandish, outrageous, immoral and illegal perfectly normal for him.

Our allies are the enemy and the undemocratic dictators of the world are great men.

Treaties are not binding, but can be changed on a whim.

Insults, bragging and lies are the stuff of official policy.

To oppose the man (not the office) is treason.

To reform Washington, appoint selfish, greedy, anti-science, anti-education know-nothings in every corner of government.

So do I want the president to succeed? Not if he is going to pursue an isolationist, obstructionist, reactionary, unjust, petty course while in office. These make him, and the country, seem small. It's deviance from what we as a country have tried to accomplish up to this point.

That's what we'll get with Donny Dictator from now on.

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