You can dance, You can jive,
Having the time of your life.
Ooh, see that girl, watch that scene
Diggin’ the dancing queen.
– “Dancing Queen” (ABBA)
The dominant feature of the Trump administration is chaos. It is designed to entertain, to provoke, but primarily to keep everyone busy. And it is designed. Make no mistake about it, being a Drama Queen is a big part of the process of gaslighting.
There is no excuse for the current policy at the US border with Mexico. It was indeed changed by the current administration in April, regardless of how Trump tries do deny responsibility. His Attorney General and Homeland Security Secretary don’t run from it.
But while there is no excuse for this policy, it is important to note that it is not particularly different from the horrors that our immigration laws have inflicted for at least a generation, if not longer. It is indeed an attempt to fully enforce existing law, a series of laws never fully put into place because they do indeed violate basic human rights. Never enforced, that is, until now.
The current violations of decency and due process highlight a dance that the US has long had with human rights violations. When the music stops it is long past time for us to review not just this policy but every aspect of immigration and border control.
This post from a year ago may seem like wishful thinking. After all, isn’t everything political these days? No, actually, it isn’t. We’re in a tribal war, and politics – the art and science of human interaction, especially for accomplishing social goals – is completely broken.
Our times are often described as “after”. The term “post-modern” came into vogue decades ago as art and architecture slid back into a desire for structure and meaning. “Post-racial” turned into a handy way for white people to never talk about what was right in front of their eyes. “Post-truth” became a useful word in 2016 as the effervescence of “truthiness” fizzled.
Welcome to “post-reality,” the final frontier of after.
On a hot Friday before a holiday, it’s hard to stay focused. In this chaotic world, it’s usually hard to stay focused on anything, especially with supposed “leaders” relying on distraction and buzz rather than anything of substance.
So let’s play a little game of speculation. I have little to back up anything I’m about to say here, other than the simple and obvious fact that where the US has the attention span of a caffeinated squirrel, China is always playing a long game. As a colleague once told me, “China has had a bad 200 years, but we think the next 200 will make up for it.”
The United States has withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal. It is probably the stupidest possible thing to do at this time. Why? Here are eight reasons, most of which are fairly conservative in nature.
It’s a beautiful day and I haven’t done anything fun in a while. Let’s try this from two years ago – back when we could laugh at Trump.
Every election year, it’s critical to evoke the Founding Fathers. What plan for a strong military would be complete without the spurious blessing of the Father of The Country, George Washington? How could you float a plan for tax givebacks, er, reform without evoking the Father of Liberty, Thomas Jefferson? Who would dare enter a conversation about the sanctity of our national credit without the hallowed words of Alexander Hamilton – or, indeed, his apparent ability to sing and dance his way to 16 Tony nominations?
No one, that’s who. But the process of doing so actually invokes one of the most important Founding Fathers of all, Felix Walker. His contribution to politics is nearly endless and absolutely critical.
Felix Walker, after all, was a US Representative from Buncombe Country, North Carolina, and as such gave us the concept of “bunk”.
Like all mariner tales, the story slips in like a schooner on a foggy, becalmed day. Rats, the story goes, might leap off the lines that held a boat fast to the dock if they knew the next voyage was doomed. And rats, as creatures of the bilge, always knew. When you see them on the lines do not sign on to that ship for she is bound for Davy Jones’ locker.
People today are rarely as superstitious as ancient sailors. But when you have far too many hours adrift at sea with no winds, like this Congress, the mind does wander. A change of leadership isn’t always up to the voters, as it were, but up to the crew and their desire to not miss the message of the rats.