Okay, so on Monday I was scanning through all the news, looking at topics and trying to consider what to write with my potentially limited time for research, since I am on stand-by for jury duty this week. I’m not complaining about jury duty. Just acknowledging that if they text me, then I have an hour to report. Woohoo! That can interfere with things like researching blogs. I hear they really don’t like the jurors writing blogs during voir dire. But then there has been the other aspect of this week: What the hell?
Living in Trumpland has been like a excerpt out of the Twilight Zone, at best, but wow. Last week was crazy. Clapper and Yates giving some not-so-great-for-Trump testimony, then Trump Firing Comey, then Trump meeting with Russians right after firing Comey. I mean, last week was difficult to top, you’d think. But in what has become America’s “hold my beer,” fashion, it just keeps spiraling into new levels of crazy.
So, then Trump admits the FBI investigation regarding Russia was a consideration in terminating Comey in his interview with Lester Holt. And then, all hell breaks loose as we discover he gave the Russians classified information we received from another country who specifically did so under the condition we DON’T share it with anyone else. Then (wow, I am saying then A LOT) the White House denies Trump gave them classified intelligence. Then Trump circumvents them all and has a notorious twitter meltdown, not only admitting he did what his staff has vehemently been denying on his behalf, but claiming he had absolute authority to do so, and seemed rather proud of it. Oh, and somewhere in here, Trump threatened Comey with tapes which may or may not exist. Tapes was written in quotations, and we are now unsure what quotes actually mean in the Age of Trump.
But then, BAM! Comey took notes and made memos. Now, the terminating of Comey isn’t even the biggest issue, it is what he had asked Comey to do, which was LET FLYNN GO. Someone needs to let Trump know that this is absolutely obstruction of justice and interfering with an investigation and abuse of power. And obviously, it was threatening, since Comey’s job was evidently at stake for not complying.
Now even a circle of Republicans are dancing around with the idea of a Special Prosecutor and discussing possible impeachment. Man, it has been crazy. And even with all of this, what frightens me most happened yesterday. It was not at a press conference. It did not come across Trump’s twitter. Nor did it occur outside the White House. NO. It occurred on Embassy Row, outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence while the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was inside. On the street outside, however, were protesters.
Outside, exactly where they are legally allowed to congregate, were gathered those people who oppose Erdogan’s new, near dictator status in Turkey, along with others who support a separate Kurdish state. They were breaking no laws. They were not encroaching too closely upon the residence nor were they endangering anyone.
But despite our clear rights in the United States to dissent and protest, our Turkish guests brought their authoritarian enforcement to our streets. Upon seeing a flag supporting the Kurdish PYD Party, the Turkish President’s security detail stormed into the crowd of peaceful protesters and attacked them, throwing them to the ground, hitting and kicking them repeatedly. The security detail was assisted by like minded people who had shown up in support of Erdogan. But make no mistake, the entire incident was caused by Turkish security attacking people protesting them on American soil. A couple of assault arrests were made, but no outrage. No outcry from our government. The wanna-be president, who had met with Erdogan only hours earlier, certainly didn’t say a word about this authoritarian display. And this is frightening. How close are we to seeing this expanded? It must be denounced. Turkey must apologize for this violation against our laws and fundamental principles. Those we elect surely must speak out, embrace and protect these rights… right?
Ha! Right. And, just moments ago – while writing this -, I was informed the Department of Justice has appointed a Special Prosecutor into the Trump/Russia Election Scandal. So, I’m betting we will get no demands for apologies from Trump or any of his goons while he is holed up in the West Wing ranging between fits of rage and sucking his thumb asking for his mommy. Had we any decent human being who honored our country and constitution above their own petty interests, then this would not have been a side story in a week of lunacy. This would have been an international incident and an affront to our very values.
And that is the most frightening part of this, well aside from the whole threat to safety and national security and potential world war stuff of Trumpdon, but that we have lost something incredibly valuable amidst the chaos. Between fighting for science, fighting for voting rights, fighting for equal rights, fighting for LGBT rights, fighting for reproductive rights, fighting for healthcare, fighting climate change deniers, fighting for free press, fighting to keep environmental protections, fighting to keep safety standards, fighting for fair wages, fighting for rights to privacy, fighting against corruption, fighting for education, and fighting for immigrants, we are losing our vision; the fundamental essence of our freedom. Nothing in the news said this more than this story of a foreign police, a security detail not unlike our secret service, committing violence in our streets against our people, people under our laws and protections, because of political dissent. They, as guests in our country, felt they had a right to attack our people on our soil, committing crimes against our constitution, the very fabric of what we stand for, and this was all sidelined. it was minor news.
What other atrocities are we missing? How far into authoritarianism will we slip without realizing we have fallen? When we emerge from this orange cloud, how different will we be? What a week. And, yeah. It’s only Wednesday.
We are One Woman, One World
Ann Lavendar Truong
Shout out to Anne Coffer, great friend and amazing colleague and author. She has a new book out, just released, that is fantastic, Edge of Ridiculous . I loved it! Get it! Read it! Then tell her how awesome she is!
Links: More ways to find me or colleagues of mine to check out!