The numbing down of America

Dear President Trump,

Apparently you didn’t get the memo, or the Constitutional law lesson (duh), that it’s not ok for US Presidents to “joke” about cancelling elections. You also apparently don’t know (yeah, right) that elected officials aren’t supposed to turn official gatherings, addresses, or meetings into campaign events. You’re like a child who’s constantly testing the limits in a “What about this? How about this? Can I get away with this?” sort of way. Such children know full well they are pushing limits. They are engaging their parent(s) in a game of chicken, probably to a large extent for sport. They are also working at blurring the original lines so that over time what wasn’t ok slides into permitted, even if not fully approved. This behavior in children is to be expected. Children (and their caregivers) have to go through constant refinements of boundaries over time as children mature and show they are, or are not, capable of more responsibility and independence.

However, this behavior is not expected, nor is it ok, in a POTUS. And yet, here we are, 31 months into this nightmare and pretty much every day, if not multiple times a day, we are faced with a POTUS who tests and pushes and connives past the limits, whether Constitutional or moral.

I’m not saying that everyone needs to just accept the limits they are given, shut up, and cooperate. Boundary questioning and pushing is needed for things to change and progress (as noted for children). There are, however, obviously big differences between, for example, girls and women pushing for better educational opportunities or disenfranchised communities advocating for equal representation, and for example, leaders (and their props) keeping children in cages or thinking it’s ok to tell Congress people of color to go back to where they came from. Yes, both sets of examples are questioning norms and pushing boundaries, but I trust that even you can see that they are fundamentally different. You may not be willing to admit this, but the latter couple of examples (selected from among far too many) represent a nihilism fueled by cruelty and greed, while the former are examples of empowering people who have been unfairly kept from accessing resources.

So stepping back and taking in the fuller picture, someone who has taken the country in such a nihilistic direction and who is “joking” about cancelling the next presidential election must be called out and firmly rebuked, ideally with impeachment. Letting this shit go, chalking it up, ludicrously, to joking would click the burner up another notch under the pot where we frogs are simmering to death.

Before I close for the night, I need to tell you that I just saw the headline about Iowa Representative Steve King having thrown another live grenade in the middle of the public square with his bullshit statement that not including exceptions for rape and incest in anti-choice laws is justified because he believes humanity wouldn’t exist were it not for rape and incest. Most people have long understood that this guy is a flaming lunatic of an asshole – got it. Check. But the fact that a US Congressperson is saying this kind of thing ever, let alone in 2019, means that the guardrails are reverting to their base elements right before our eyes. As in WTF? That he isn’t being kicked out on his ass immediately, and really, that he’s even still in office after all the other odious things he’s said, are yet more examples of the numbing down of America. Actually, the same can be said for you.

May we be safe as we call this shit out.
May we be willing to be awake and resist tuning out on our favorite devices.
May we stay healthy and strong so we can deliver zinger’s like Kamala Harris’s “which he?” (watch her exchange with Wolf Blitzer tonight)
May we not make peace with the steady, insidious boil we are being subjected to.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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