Saturday, May 6, 2017

WineDrunk SideWalk: Shipwrecked in TrumpLand week FIFTEEN weekly wrap-up

     I’ve said more than once since November that our current political situation doesn’t get serious until people stop taking this as a joke. Somehow, people are still finding humor with this administration and its daily gaffes, bloopers, and blunders. I have news for you, idiocy is not funny. The motherfucker and his ilk are not clowns. Yes, they are ridiculous. Yes, they are trying to pull the country even farther backwards. Yes, they speak without thinking or regard for fact. And most importantly the abuse of power and the lack of intelligence, intellect, and integrity are absolutely fucking dangerous!
            Over the weekend the motherfucker said that the Constitution is an archaic document. That should frighten you. A man at the head of the government says the document that his office is sworn to protect is archaic. Now I’m not a Constitution is a living document guy. I’m not even a Constitution is perfect kind of guy. I believe, considering it’s a document written over 240 years ago by mostly white, rich, slaveholding, men it puts forth the framework for what, if not usurped and overstretched by rich, white men is a remarkably equitable form of governing. That document didn’t start that way obviously. The Thirteenth Amendment granted freedom to slaves. The Nineteenth Amendment granted women the right to vote. There’s also the crazy Eighteenth Amendment which banned the sale of alcohol and that took the Twenty-First Amendment to repeal. If I could point out one more it would be the very thorny Second Amendment which guarantees the right to bear arms and was written long before the advent of automatic weapons. It’s also an amendment that when ratified, it was meant to enforce slavery.
            That document also gives checks and balances and distributes them to three different branches which allows for no branch to exceed its own power. That system is difficult to amend on purpose and as such change in this country moves slowly. At this point in history, frustratingly slowly considering our interpretations of it as a document still aren’t applied equitably.
            I say all this as the motherfucker issues executive order after executive order. I say this after he mentioned in passing that they should look at the First Amendment because he’s tired of people criticizing him. I say this after his Senate took the nuclear option to confirm a conservative Supreme Court judge with more than questionable ethics. I say this after his Muslim bans have, fortunately, been struck down by lower level circuit courts. I say this as he’s about to issue a religious liberty order this week.
            We are still laughing. We should be taking this seriously.
            We laugh at Nikki Haley who claims she was upset by the Muslim ban because this country has never passed a law based on race or religion. We laugh as Mo Brooks says people who lead good lives don’t have to worry about pre-existing conditions. We laugh when the motherfucker says a strong leader could have saved this country from the Civil War. We laugh when he invokes Andrew Jackson who died sixteen years before that war even began.
            By the way, Jackson was a bastard. He was a genocidal maniac who was bent on the expansion of this country. He was a slaveholder. Let’s pause here and throw out the good slaveholder narrative. If you owned another human being, no matter how well treated (treatment can never be verified), you still owned a human. If you owned a human you are depriving that human of the fundamental right of humanity. So, fuck any talk of the wonder and culture of the antebellum South or the “just” slave owner. Jackson was a “strong leader” and that’s what the motherfucker identifies with. Strength. If there’s an American narrative that needs dispelled, it’s strength, which is almost always also defined as masculine. Strength qualifies you for nothing. When looking for a leader, perhaps better qualities would be mental toughness without arrogance or stubbornness, perhaps care and respect for the job you’re doing as well as the people you are governing. Intelligence or thoughtfulness would be a pleasant change, as well as a strong sense of history. The motherfucker has none of these qualities and we’re long past the give him a chance honeymoon period. I’m just digging a hole for an administration that’s vapid, shallow, and concerned only with deregulation. Jackson would be proud.
            “Our values around freedom, human dignity and the way people are treated- those are our values. Those are not our policies.” Rex Tillerson said that on Wednesday. Think about that statement for a few minutes. Think about what you think America means to you. Think about what a government, a democracy, as it’s supposed to be, means to you. Think also for just a moment that your government is by extension representative of you as a citizen, a tax payer and possibly a voter. Once you’ve thought about that I’m curious whether that is congruent with your own belief system. Does that jibe with how you treat other humans, or how you think other humans should be treated?
            I’m not being alarmist at this point. Double Speak such as this is dangerous. Simultaneously, that quote is possibly the best summary of this administration. It’s a smack in the face, as if to say, “We’re rich, you voted for us, well, less than half of you did, were gonna do whatever the fuck we want, and you the people can go to hell”. The motherfucker said almost as much on Tuesday when he claimed everyone should vote Republican in the midterms if you want change, because the two-party system will not give you that change (paraphrased, I have some grasp of the English language unlike our president).
            This administration is at war. It’s at war with Afghanistan, which it intends on escalating (Mattis and his cronies asked for an increase in ground forces which will be reviewed by the shite house next week). It’s at war with terrorism, which could mean any number of countries, organization,s or sects of Islam. It’s trying to start new wars and could very easily do so with one of its impulsive tweets. This administration is also at war with you.
            The utter disregard this administration has for the poor, women, persons of color, religious organizations that are not white and European, and the LGBTQ community is an absolute fucking disgrace.
            The religious freedoms order on Thursday will surely be struck down in a circuit court before long, but let’s look at this piece of shit legislation. The law itself means nothing. It seeks to repeal the Johnson Act which allowed the IRS to tax religious organizations if they endorsed a particular candidate (not platform). That law is not really enforced at this point, and hasn’t been for longer than anyone cares to remember. The goal of the law is to promote religious freedom, which is widely enjoyed in this country so long as you belong to a white European religion. The one thing the law aims to change is to allow religious groups to meddle in the sexual health preference of anyone employed by them, as well as federal contractors who mix religious beliefs with their business. Once again this is another attempt to apply some archaic Victorian value on a nation that is as sexually permissive as it is sexually repressed. The bigger question as it regards freedom is who the fuck cares? I’m not asking this question to be callow. I’m honestly asking why does someone’s sexual preference even matters? Contraception, as I see it, is a public health issue, not a religious one. I think it’s beautiful that people find solace in an invisible man in the sky who created this planet alone and apparently only for the people in your particular religion, but seriously, what does that invisible man or the book he didn’t write have to do with contraception or sexual freedom? 
            The war on the poor and the war on women continued this week when the Republican Congress (Terrorist Organization) finally (attempt 62 for the win) repealed the ACA (Obamacare, really Romneycare). Really? So, Trumpcare (mothefuckerdon’tcare) is a boon for you if your America is Young, Healthy, and Rich. Fuck the rest of you. No really, fuck 24 million of you, you don’t need healthcare. How is it that we are the only first world nation without government funded healthcare? How is it that when I get bit by a tick I can’t just go walk into the local doctors office and get a Lyme Disease shot without having to shell out a few hundred (visit and shot) since I don’t have healthcare? How is it that cancer, diabetes, aids, alcoholism, heart failure, and more? That’s a few common causes of death in America. That means regular basic care is not covered if you’re poor. Also, trans, and gender healthcare is not covered. Finally, hysterectomy are not covered and, since the war on women is not insidious enough, rape is a preexisting condition that won’t be covered, or will be left to the states to decide how it’s covered. How is it not fucking implicit that our health is our most important asset as such should be protected as a human right?
            Please remember folks, your government is at war with you. When midterm elections come up demand candidates that speak for you, and use your votes not for the status quo, and certainly not for the 217 Republican who just said fuck you. I’m not callous enough to believe that this system can’t change, so again demand candidates and vote.
            Finally, the spending bill passed this week. Basically, doom doesn’t rain down on us until September. The bill does little more for the motherfucker than expand our already egregiously bloated defense spending. It doesn’t cut any of the public projects that really cost taxpayers a minimum and should be essential. There is no money for the wall. I guess mamma’s gonna help build the wall (sorry non sequitur, obligatory Pink Floyd reference).
            Goddamn this was one depressing week. That’s after another depressing week, and another. I’m tired and I’m still certain that we are not frightened enough and not loud enough. We are still taking this too lightly. We are still finding humor where we should be horrified. This time in history is dangerous, particularly for the groups this administration is at war with at home and abroad.  If you’re not frightened now, really what are you waiting for?

Jason Baldinger

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