high crimes and misdemeanors

“The charge of high crimes and misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct by officials. Offenses by officials also include ordinary crimes, but perhaps with different standards of proof and punishment than for non-officials, on the grounds that more is expected of officials by their oaths of office” Wikipedia.

Perhaps there is the catch… in the very notion that this President took an oath to uphold anything expected. Or is his reign a venture into a new America where one man rules unchecked and applauded like the clown in the Dunk Bozo booth at your local fair where gawkers stand in shame listening to off-color taunts? Patterns are clear. Regardless of whether you voted for Trump or not, can you say that he is a role model for you or your teenager? Someone you would trust with your college-age niece? If you say yes, are you for sure 100% sure?

Maybe you admire his fuck-you approach, his drain-the-swamp rhetoric, his glossy but vacant third wife, or the fact that he is someone you imagine you might be able to beat on the links? I get it, no really I do. It’s not that complicated. You’re an all caps person too. Someone who likes to scream on social media with font size oversized: am I right? Someone who runs your business or manages your affairs by insults? He’s your guy.

 

I really can’t say that I fully understand how electricity works, but I know how to turn the dimmer switches in my living room. While I’m not a constitutional scholar, I know enough to know not to bargain over illicit political gains via a party phone, but more than that, morally speaking, I know not to insult a beloved community member whose widow is facing her first Christmas without her person of almost 4 decades, and I think most of us get that is just shitty behavior which I would not tolerate in my classroom or home or pew yet every Republican suit-wearing political secretly smiles about. (Do you really smile and like his frat boy locker boy prattle? Please explain!) His party will not call this guy to task over anything. Not high crimes or misdemeanors or crash and unrelenting rudeness or documented infidelity or tantrums in the Oval office or ignorance on basic knowledge or any of the misleading misinformation that he tweets by the hour. Seriously? I’m struggling.

(Philip Bump/The Washington Post)

I wish they would though. I just wish someone close to him might remind him that he is leading a nation. Our great nation. And I get that it bothers him that people disagree with his version of climate change, military policies, international concerns, maybe even what to eat for dinner, but many do. Disagree. Take health care for instance. People have differences on the topic, so that to bridge that gap, a sensible debate is needed to navigate though it all. But that is a distant dream, one born from my ultra liberal and highly educated stance on the basic needs of humans to grow and develop and become the very best that this nation desperately needs to face our challenges.

Please don’t assume I’m happy about these headlines. I’m not. I am frustrated by the party divide, our paid-by-us politicians (including the President) who do nothing except fan the fire of division. I want a better world. One where all the students who sit in my class room arrive with a full belly and warm clothes, coming from a home of books and love that let’s them imagine a terrific life ahead for themselves, where whether through trade or commerce they build their future and extend our community in ways I can yet imagine. Ways that bred betterment.

What I don’t want is a President who is supported by the world’s favorite dictator. Any of them who he admires.

 

Vladimir Putin says Trump was impeached for ‘made-up reasons’

the witch hunt

@realDonaldTrump

“…..the call with the Ukrainian President was a totally appropriate one. As he said, “No Pressure.” This Impeachment nonsense is just a continuation of the Witch Hunt Hoax, which has been going on since before I even got elected. Rupublicans, go with Substance and close it out!” [spelling all his my friends]

Did he cry Witch Hunt? Again? A term he has tweeted close to 300 times like rapid fire at all of us? Of course he did, because if there is one thing this president knows about lies, is the power of repeating them. “Calling himself the victim of a witch hunt allows Trump to label charges against him as not just inaccurate but fundamentally impossible. Witch hunts, by definition, are illegitimate, their victims innocent, their judgments always wrong” (Markham- Cantor). Is there anyone who believes he is innocent? Not even Trump claims that verdict. He boasts his lies like a prankster proclaims laughs.

Having just finished Arthur Miller’s The Crucible with my Advanced Placement English Literature students, who, due to the large number of theater kiddos in the room, read with passion and gusto, it was as if John Proctor and Abigail Williams and the rest of those iconic characters peopled my class. When Abigail, in all her initial seductive coyness said, “A wild thing may say wild things” they predicted that Proctor’s sin of adultery would unravel around him, and that she had indeed “an endless capacity for dissembling”. In Act Three John lets loose his shame, “I have know her, sir. I have known her.” “You–you are a lecher?” The crux of the Salem Witch trials fought over land tracks and false blame and stifling fear all come to a “pointy reckoning” when the innocent hanged “high over the town.” My students were hooked on every word like greedy fair-goers, ready to watch as lies replaced fact and insanity trumped reason.

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lost with the ghosts

While most Americans are reeling in disbelief over the most recent mass shootings, I can only wonder how these senseless murders will ever end. “A trio of new reports by the Small Arms Survey finds that 85% of the world’s one billion guns are in the hands of its citizens who far outgun the militaries and police responsible for their protection” (Big Think, Berman). I just want to hear everyone say it: guns are the problem. Loudly. Anyone who thinks they’re not has forgotten the world before Columbine, before April 20, 1999, when two boys killed 13 people and wounded more than 20 others before turning their guns on themselves and committing suicide, and even thought that horrific event became a tipping point in our country, “The Columbine shooting was, at the time, the worst high school shooting in U.S. history and prompted a national debate on gun control and school safety” that conversation has stalled time and time again, year after year, mass shooting after mass shooting, stalled to a faint whisper while politicians send good thoughts (History). Can we remember when Congress took the lead to solving this gun violence epidemic? Not even after Sandy Hook when 20 children between six and seven years old were gunned down by a white American male did they do anything. As in nothing. Not even then.

Flying from east to west over this mighty landmass reveals how expansive and diverse our country is, with all the complexity that mountain chains and sandy deserts and bustling metropolises add to our rainbow lifestyles. Down here, we are all in our own here. Doing our own thing. Working and paying bills. Mothering and fathering and building community in whatever community we find for ourselves. We dream of climbing higher or soaring longer or diving deeper while we commute to our day in and day out jobs. We frequent the same markets and barbers and stadiums and bars and churches and schools and beaches while we live out all the days in all our years.

Only now we are frightened because we might die in any one of those places. Because we are not straight or not white or actually nowadays for any reason whatsoever. Die by an American male with a gun. A gun that has the capacity to kill the most people with the smallest effort. So, now what? Are we helpless to stop this? Yeah in my mind, we are. These white males in their 20’s are so firmly indoctrinated in hate it is difficult to imagine pulling them back to a civil reality.

Maybe they would have just been labeled assholes a few decades ago, spouting off at the family barbecue about their latest beef with someone, but now they can creep into the dark web, or even hit up the 8chan message boards right in the light, and suddenly, these former assholes become sufficiently empowered to carry out their evil manifestos. Allow for easy access to military style weapons and you have a home-grown terrorist in your backyard. Your basement. Your mall. Your America. Take a look down from 35,000. Can you spot the guy with the arsenal to kill more of us? They are here. Residing among us. Proceeding with a rising trajectory that should alarm everyone of us, yet, those alarm bells are being silenced.

I want to believe that we can turn the gun violence epidemic around. That people will say, yes, it is the guns that are killing us. That we, in our respective communities declare collectively that we have had enough, that no amount of weapontry in the hands of civilians will prevent another disgruntled asshole from gunning us down, that we decide instead to recreate this land of the free without guns but with safety for citizens. I can hardly even write these words, for they are so naive, even outlandish.

While we might have had the nerve to tell that one asshole at the barbecue to pipe down when he started with his racist rant, those guys just banded together and elected Trump. They fiddled with the voting act and manipulated districts to flood Washington with complicit politicians beholden to special interests, from the NRA to pharmaceutical and insurance companies pouring billions of dollars into said pockets, so that you and I don’t stand a chance to change any of that hate. Our kids might, if they still have an earth to inhabit. Oh man, this is a dismal view, one that could use a ray of hope if only we had leadership that espoused inspiration instead of division. If only…

This week, I’m getting lost with the ghosts. Those who marched arm in arm between walls of hate speech and absolute peril, yet did so regardless. Those who fill my memory as I try to untangle the horrific news of more mass murders. What would they make of our united states now? What would they demand from our impotent politicians? How would they right this stalled course?

It is too easy to blame, to name call, to call out. Easy because there is blame to be made. Instead, I say we echo the words crying out from from Ohio and Texas, that collectively we do something. We fucking do something.