Our First Fourth Under 45th*

The Fourth of July is the day on which we celebrate the accomplishments of our Founding Fathers. The Continental Congress unanimously approved the resolution for independence from Great Britain, then approved the Declaration of Independence two days later on July 4, 1776. The architects who built our nation put lifetimes worth of effort, planning, and design into the framework we all now live within.  In the age of the dangerous and unbalanced want to be dictator presently occupying the White House, we find the United States Constitution, the blueprint provided to us by the founders, under assault at every turn.

Last week Kris Kobach, the Vice Chair of the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity,  sent letters to every state and the District of Columbia, asking for personal and private voter information.  That commission got a sound rebuke, this week of our 241st celebration of Independence, as 45 states and the District of Columbia have informed the Commission that they will not fully comply with this disturbing request, asking for voter data to be turned over to the federal government.

The 45th* President, who can’t stop pointing to the achievement of his election, shows his pettiness and jealousy as he seems desperate to nullify the results of the popular vote which had Hillary Clinton winning by almost 3 million votes. The use of this Commission for such a purpose would set a poisonous precedent, possibly undermining our American democratic foundations for decades to come.

While many, including Republicans and the President’s lawyers, were already urging 45th* to put down the phone and stop the twittering, the President lashed out at the hated press, this time against MSNBC’s morning hosts, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, with what might be his most disturbing behavior to date, tweeting,

“I heard poorly rated @ Morning Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came..”

continuing, because he ran out of characters,

“..to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”

Last weekend, at a staged rally in front of a group of his most rabid supporters at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington, D.C., the Carnival Barker in Chief delighted his ever diminishing audience, by continuing to attack the press saying that,

“The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House. But I’m President and they’re not.”

While the President continued his feud with MSNBC and the morning show hosts, he drew the attention of millions with the doctored spectacle of the CNN wrestling video released on the official presidential twitter account this week.  Unpresidential, childish, silly, and totally contrived, this video was designed to stir up his followers. It was yet another opportunity to lash out at a hated enemy, encouraging his followers to attack and mistrust the media that is charged with reporting the news, good or bad, as it pertains to the President.  The apprentice 45th President is a master at using his television experience to manipulate and distract his reality TV audience. Unfortunately, the video, which really was fake news, also diminished the importance of the official July 4th holiday.

The 45th* President deftly avoids any public discussion on the substance of the investigation by Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, and the dream team of prosecutors he is assembling.  Still, 45th* must be sweating, as he wrongly accuses Mueller of conducting a witch hunt against him assisted by Hillary Clinton and Democratic partisans. The President’s surrogates and right wing media, echoing those false claims, must not be that fake news.

While the 45th* President of the United States concentrates his efforts on sending mean tweets and on speaking at made for TV rallies, instead of in front of a vibrant and free press, North Korea was launching a missile that potentially could reach Alaska. The New President has said that the U.S. reaction could be very severe, but no one knows really knows if an awful and reckless response could come from this inexperienced and possibly disturbed White House.

The newly found North Korean bravado, coupled with the foiled assassination plot against French President Emmanuel Macron, planned to take place during the July 14, 2017 Bastille Day parade in Paris, with the 45th* President of the United States in attendance, raised our level of concern during this Fourth of July holiday.  A new type of World War seems to be looming on the horizon, a sort of mass, worldwide Civil War, with populists from the right and left squaring off in numerous countries and across borders around the world. This could be a conflict in which trenches are dug through backyards and in between houses. Nationalism will be an excuse, but the struggle will transcend all bounds and sides will have to be taken.

Our nation turned 241 years old this past Fourth of July. In the beginning, reasonable people sat in Philadelphia, and declared their unwillingness to be further subject to authoritarian rule.  They, like us, were driven to this by the hideous conduct of a mentally fragile and bipolar monarch. Since then July 4th has become not just a date but an idea. Those first Americans fought a war,  over the concept of what Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, called inalienable rights, the most important of which is freedom from tyranny. Not just from tyranny abroad, but also from any homegrown autocrat who might be lacking loyalty to all those who have fought and died to preserve this. Going forward, we will have to redouble our efforts. The current administration’s tenure already feels like it’s been going on a hundred years, but the sad truth is that it is just beginning.  We find our democracy facing an invasion from within- a cancer on the corpus of the nation, effecting the health of our body politic. Our vigilance will remain a vibrant necessity.

Esquire writer, Charles Pierce, recently referred to this administration as,

 “The great American shadow”,

and all of us are living under that shadow. This administration has darkened even our fireworks this year. The solemnity of our celebrations sunk in for many over this Independence Day, as we are painfully realizing the extent to which that independence is being stolen from us by a hopelessly corrupt and greedy administration. Our present national nightmare is long from ending. By this time next year, we’ll be digging new trenches again, as we embark on the struggle to retake the Congress and go about the business of setting things back to right. The stakes could not be higher. Independence will live on, but only if we insist on it.

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