Mike Bland

A birthday wish

At this point, I don't think I'm making an unreasonable request for a very specific birthday gift that would delight us all.

- Alexandria
Tags: personal, philosophy, politics

At my ripe old age, there’s not much I actually want in the way of birthday gifts anymore. I don’t need stuff. I’m not much for gift certificates outside of anywhere but iTunes and Starbucks. My goal is to divest myself of material things I have to manage and one day move or otherwise account for. All I want, typically, is to spend some quality time with a few good friends.

This year, however, I do have one very specific, very big request, from a very specific group of people: Congress.

Congress, it’s beyond time to end this, and if ever a line has been crossed that necessitates removing the chief executive from office, it was crossed yesterday.

The tone deaf, shameful, disgraceful remarks made by Donald J. Trump yesterday, while consistent with remarks and tweets he’s made ever since the inception of his candidacy (and earlier!) outdo them all to a degree I don’t think anyone thought possible. Drawing a false equivalency between anti-racist protesters and the coalition of the alt-right—comprised, as best I can tell, of the KKK and other white supremacists and sympathizers, not good-natured citizens concerned with historical revisionism as a matter of principle—is not only a painful insult to the victims of racially-motivated prejudice and violence, but an affont to the very identity of anyone who was once unquestionably proud to call themselves an American.

Like I said, this is just the final straw, on top of all these others—and I’m sure I’m going to forget some of the most outrageously dangerous and offensive things DJT has said and done, given my inability to recall them all:

  • He has trolled our first African-American President, Barack Obama, for years, by first claiming that he wasn’t a natural-born citizen, then claiming that he wiretapped his phones.
  • He has appointed departmental administrators that are either egregiously underqualified for their positions (Rick Perry at the Department of Energy, Betsy DeVos at the Department of Education), or outright hostile to the departments they are sworn to lead (Scott Pruitt at the Environment Protection Agency).
  • He has objectified and disparaged women continuously, whether it’s fat-shaming a former contestant on one of his shows, accusing a reporter of “bleeding out of her wherever”, or bragging about how he can walk up to any woman and just sexually assault her. (Side note: I remain mystified as to the psychology of Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, and the millions of women who supported and continue to support him in light of his unchanging attitude and incessantly sexist remarks. I even wonder why his own wife and daughters still stand by him.)
  • He has stoked nationalistic fears over immigration, particularly from Mexico and Muslim-majority countries (in which he does not hold any phynancial stakes), specifically playing to people’s fears over economic and physical safety by exaggerating the threat posed to Americans by members of non-white tribes, as it were.
  • He has encouraged brutality against those who disagree with him (including practically the entire press outside of Fox News and alt-right outlets), and against those under arrest by law enforcement—many of whom are disproportionately black or otherwise non-white.
  • He’s expressed the clear desire to risk allowing millions of underprivileged Americans to die due to lack of access to health care for the sake of personally undoing the legacy of his predecessor, Barack Obama, rather than doing so based on any genuine economic principle—because, after all, who knew health care could be so “complicated.”
  • He openly admires strongman dictators in other countries, most especially Russian President Vladimir Putin, whereas he can’t resist blasting political opponents, political allies, and any random person on TV or the Internet, using Twitter of all damned things as his weapon of choice.
  • He’s blithely brought us to the brink of nuclear war with North Korea, only because he always has to have the last word and wants people to think he’s the bigger badass.
  • He has actively sought to undermine faith in not only the free press, but in many of our other institutions of democracy, most notably the FBI and the Department of Justice, both by firing James Comey as FBI director and publicly shaming his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions—who, to be sure, is not a stand-up character, but people deserve direct criticism rather than passive-aggressive humiliation as a matter of principle, especially when they occupy an office that’s bigger than any individual who holds it. More on that in a moment.
  • He has abdicated American leadership in the world, by actions such as raising questions regarding our commitment to our NATO allies and withdrawing from the Paris climate accord—though the latter provided a silver lining in so far as many cities, states, legistators, companies, and citizens openly reaffirmed their commitment to climate change goals despite this boldly ignorant and damaging maneuver.
  • He refuses to shut up about how he won the damn election—and still hasn’t backed down from the thoroughly-debunked claim that millions of illegal immigrants cost him the popular vote, yet another move which plays to the suspicion of his white, undereducated “base” that “those people” are threatening our democracy…
  • …rather than a pathological liar who has actively attempted to undermine the mechanisms of federal justice attempting to uncover the extent to which Russia, a hostile foreign power, actively attempted to influence our election and favor DJT’s chances of winning the election…
  • …representatives of which were invited to the Oval Office shortly after after Comey’s firing, along with members of their media (while the American press was shut out)…
  • …when Trump decided to hand classified information from a trusted ally over to said adversarial government without them even trying to get it…
  • …after admitting to obstruction of justice for the second time (the first being on a national NBC News interview), in that he fired the FBI director to stop the Russia investigation.

This is not intended to be an indictment of people who voted for Trump—well, not the majority of them anyway, I hope—but of the man himself and those who directly enable him to continue driving our country down this dangerous path. Indeed, there’s much I’ve been thinking and sketching out about how to solve this problem in the long-term, this problem of mistrust and miscommunication that allowed this political powderkeg to build up and get set off.

And I’m rather critical of the political left with which I’m aligned, as we’re certainly guilty of some degree of groupthink and politicking that we need to do a better job of managing. But make no mistake about it: The crimes of the left are orders of magnitude less severe in degree and in consequence—save for the fact that we provided the opportunity for this completely unfit candidate to ascend to power and take the entire world, regardless of political affiliation, down this dark and dangerous path.

So Congress, I implore you, as a birthday gift to yours truly, if for no other reason: Make America great again! Remove this racist, sexist, xenophobic, anti-intellectual, authoritarian, dishonest, idiotic, ruthless, treasonous, narcissistic, sociopathic, dangerous monster from office. Introduce articles of impeachment today!