Archive for May 2nd, 2019

I would much rather be writing about art this morning and I am sure most of you would rather be looking at a piece of art than listening to my opinion on any current event. You might even mumble that I should shut my trap and paint. Well, this is my space, my journal, my diary, and when I am affected I need to put my feelings down somehow. And after watching the testimony of the Attorney General yesterday before the Senate Judiciary committee, I feel the need to air a grievance or two. It left me angry and more than a little worried about the future of this country.

I believe that we are closer to becoming an autocracy than we have ever been at any point in our history. The AG basically said yesterday that the president is above the law, that the president has the right to shut down any investigation into his actions if that president– the person under investigation— feels that the investigation is unfair to him. The AG also stated that because there is a Department of Justice policy that the president cannot be charged with a crime ( a ridiculous policy in itself!) he should not even be subject to investigation in the first place.

Think about that. The person with the greatest power in the nation cannot be held accountable by federal law enforcement agencies. He is free to lie and break multiple laws– even work with foreign powers to subvert our elections– in order to protect his position and the DOJ will simply stand by or work to investigate the president’s personal or political enemies, something that the AG did not rule out yesterday.

The AG showed himself to be the dangerous enabler many folks thought he would turn out to be. It was evident yesterday that this man was not acting as the protector of the people and our laws but as the protector of a single person– the president– who he has put above all law.

He has assumed the position not as attorney general but as both protector and sword of the president.

I don’t think that is in the job description. That is a real danger to real democracy and multiplies the power and threat of the presidency.

A lot of folks might say that this is just rhetoric and overstated hype. But autocracy and tyranny creeps up on you in small steps. It doesn’t just drop one day and you’re suddenly in an authoritarian society. It comes in small concessions made to the long established traditions and norms. It comes in accepting half-truths and outright lies even when they are easily proven to be falsehoods. It comes in beating down and denigrating the free press.

It comes with ridiculous promises and claims that stoke a sense of rabid nationalism among their true believers and so many clouds of confusion that the average citizen throws up their hands and says, “Whatever!” And that is exactly what they need to keep their march to autocracy. They need people to give up and turn blind eyes to their subversion because at this point, an alert citizenry that holds their representatives in government accountable might be the only thing keeping us from sliding into the abyss of tyranny.

I personally feel like we are at the edge of that chasm now and it is only a thin string that is keeping us from tumbling over.

For those of you who give a damn I say stay alert. Read the news and support the free press. Read the Mueller Report. If something doesn’t sound right or make sense, investigate. Call or write your reps and senators. Vote every chance you have. Ask questions.

Democracy and what we consider real freedom are not guaranteed nor are they free. At some point, a price must be paid by us all. It is looking more and more like we are all being called to account.

One last note and this rant is done: I think there is a lot more to come out, if it is allowed to see the light of day, concerning the Russian connections, especially in areas like money laundering, influence peddling and kompromat. I also think much might be heard soon about the Russian owned Alfa Bank.

Here’s a song from a couple of years back that says it all. It’s Take Back the Power from the LA-based ska punk band, The Interrupters. Have the best day you can and stay alert. Art tomorrow, I promise.

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