Reading time – 2:40; Viewing time – 3:44 . . .
- “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” J.K. Rowling, from Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets.
Let’s imagine that Rowling has offered a valuable insight – that it’s our choices that show who we truly are – and consider these points:
- Donald Trump has refused to say anything to suggest that he fully agrees with his 17 national security agencies that the Russians hacked not just Hillary Clinton’s and John Podesta’s emails, but also sought to affect our national election. He has compounded that by offering no leadership to counter this ongoing invasion of America by a foreign adversary. He’s dismantling our cyber security oversight and has had more friendly involvement with covertly hostile Russian officials than he’s had with anyone else.
- Trump brought top Russian officials into the Oval Office, this in the absence of an American translator. While there he passed top secret espionage information to them, which put Israeli intelligence people in peril.
- Trump met for an hour at the G20 dinner with Vladimir Putin. The only other participant in the conversation was Putin’s translator. That means that Trump doesn’t know what was relayed from him to Putin, nor can he know what Putin actually said.
- Rex Tillerson is incrementally dismantling the State Department. You know, the people who conduct U.S. diplomacy.
- Betsy DeVos is working to dismantle public education.
- Scott Pruitt is dismantling the EPA, including the Clean Water Act. Drink up.
- I don’t know what Rick Perry is doing to the Department of Energy, about which he knows next to nothing. What we can be sure of is that he wants to eliminate the department, this according to his “Oops!” moment at a Republican debate in 2016.
- Trump and the Republicans pound the blatantly false drum beat that Obamacare is dead. Now Trump wants to eliminate it, provide nothing to replace it and leave millions of Americans – 1 in 10 of us – adrift with no access to medical care but the emergency room.
- Trump continues to blow off our allies and cozy up to Putin. This is particularly vexing because the Republicans have spent decades telling us that they are the muscular protectors of America against the bad Russians and that the Democrats are weak-kneed and can’t be counted on to stand up to the bad guys. Now, though, the Republicans seem to have Kryptonite strapped to them and they’re mute about Trump’s “love-the-Russians” behavior.
- The Onion had a touching and troubling take on what we’re doing about immigration. Watch it here.
- Now we hear that Trump is investigating presidential pardons for his staff, his family and for himself, even though nobody has officially been charged with a crime. He’s also working to discredit the Special Counsel and his team and has threatened to fire Robert Mueller. All we’ve heard has come from eyebrow raising pundits. We’ve heard nothing from members of the President’s party. Where is the outrage?
There’s more, of course. The point is that our choices – our actions – declare what we are, just as J.K. Rowling said. What are we saying about who we are?
Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.
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Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
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