Not much to celebrate on this Fourth of July
“The important thing is the presidency,” Nixon continued. “If need be, save the presidency from the President.”
Bob Woodward, The Final Days
It’s funny what makes you think. And what it makes you think about.
I was driving home in the rainy dark, Washington State having come through with a cold and wet second of July, admiring the smooth flow of my car over the newly repaved road, the inky black of the wet pavement providing a glorious counterpoint to the blazing reflectors set in perfect precision as far ahead as I could see.
We do so many things well. Seamless, well lit roads. Electricity — it’s still a miracle. Stores with food from all over the globe — and from right here at home. Hospitals. Computers. Our goddamned ubiquitous cell phones without which we cannot apparently survive (this includes me). We’re a freaking incredible species. We’re so incredibly inventive. And when we want to, when we put our minds to it, we can put together a civilization that at least mostly works pretty well.
So why the fuck couldn’t we elect a decent president?
Oh, I know about the electoral college and gerrymandering and Republican manipulations and their apparent complete lack of conscience or empathy but a great abundance of greed and bigotry. I was there. I watched as they obstructed Obama all the while whining about everything good he was trying to do.
I watched in desolated horror as Trump lost the election by millions but got put into office anyway.
Ye fucking gods and their goddamned little fishes, too.
So you’ll have to forgive me (not that I actually care if you do) if I find little to celebrate tomorrow, July 4, 2019. Are there any fireworks that indicate deep mourning?
Most of us now know the extent of Trump’s miscreancy. We know that McConnell rules the country as well and has for years, despite the fact that only voters in Kentucky actually elected him. We had no say in the installation him as grand Senate nincompoobah of arrogance and cruelty, any more than, in most ways, we had any say over Trump thanks to the betrayal of the electoral college, which exists in part to ensure that monsters don’t make it to the presidency.
I also think that, unlike what Mitch the Harbinger Turtle of Doom tried to ensure for Obama, Trump will be a one-term president. Too many former Trumpsters have woken up to the fact that they, as usual, voted for someone bent on giving them an abundance of new orifices for him to screw. Even the Bernie fanatics will vote to save this country and, with luck, won’t trash whoever it is wins the primary to the point that all those brand new baby voters rear back, clutch their pearls and scurry away from the voting booths.
What concerns me even more, which is saying a lot given the deeply imperiled planet, children in gulags, women poised to die in droves from the illegal abortions they’ll get regardless of the law (as they always have, you forced-birther decorticates), is making sure this never happens again.
It turns out we have very little recourse once the monster is in place. The twenty-fifth amendment requires the cooperation of people who would have to value the country more than their own power and their personal agendas. That would be Pence and McConnell. Uh-huh. That would be a nope. These people are so vastly indifferent to what’s good and right for this country and the world that they’re watching it burn while caterwauling over gay people and giving healthcare to vulnerable people.
There’s impeachment, which the Democrats seem to lack sufficient spine to do. Nancy Pelosi bemoans the possibility that it would divide the country. Oh, geez, hon, get a freaking clue. We’re more divided than we’ve been since the Civil War! Or are you scared we’ll get a scenario like they had in Oregon where Republican senators literally fled the state rather than do what was right on climate change — and a damned fucking militia arrived to protect their right to dereliction of not just duty but actual decency (Esquire account of the Oregon debacle).
But neither of these things are truly adequate and rely on people who don’t generally do what we, the people, tell them to, despite their running for office on promises to represent us. What we need is something nonviolent we can do independent of government. A mechanism by which, by a nationally agreed-on popular vote, we can remove a president or vice president or anybody who functions as an apex predator in national government. Or something very like it. Our system is pretty wonderful — or it was until big money bought it and stacked the deck in favor of the rich and corporate — but functionally, we give away our power as we-the-American-people and once given, it’s only during election years that we have any sort of say and, as it turns out, not much at that.
We need to take our power back. We need a collaborative method to oust a monster who is bent on self-enrichment and aggrandization at the cost of this nation and the planet itself. Because that’s exactly what we’ve got with no way that we-the-people can get rid of him.
So first thing we have to do to reclaim our country is vote blue. Even if you have to hold your nose to do it, vote for pragmatism because right now, pragmatism is principle. Once we have the bastards out, we must revise our procedures to include a way to save ourselves, because right now, that orange miscreant is drilling holes in our ship, convinced that he’s mining for gold but, in fact, taking us down to an ignominious end.
And while he may deserve to go down with the ship, I don’t think the rest of us do. Then perhaps once he’s gone, maybe the Fourth of July will mean something good again rather than symbolize a country sinking rapidly into chaos and despair.