|An Amerikan selfie for our times|
The election of Donald J. Trump has empowered white nationalists to do this. In public. In our nation's capital. At an "alt-right" conference. Where speakers referred to whites as "children of the sun" and railed against Jews.
Perhaps I'm just old, traditional and too much a member of the "fact-based community" -- as well as the values-based one -- but I find this disturbing. Horrifying, even.
Take this as confirmation that I am old: My father, a staff sergeant in the Army Air Corps, fought the original Nazis in Italy during World War II. And on a scale of 1 to 10 of how shit-scared I am at what I'm seeing unfold surrounding the recent national abomination (also known as presidential election), I think I can safely say, at this moment, that I'm registering a 23.
IT DOESN'T HELP that the new administration, keeping to its campaign word, is promising to put the United States back into the war-crimes business as it seeks to Make Torture Great Again.
What we executed Japanese officers for doing to our troops in the Pacific Theater, the Trump Administration puts forth as logical, acceptable, effective and no big deal. Lots of morally challenged Americans would seem to agree.
To Trump and his minions, the Geneva Conventions are just a few more treaties to ignore along with all the others to which the United States is a signatory . . . but they don't like.
And if I were in the U.S. military with even the slimmest chance of being sent to a combat zone, I'd sleep uneasy at night knowing that after my commander-in-chief had finished cutting down the forest of the law to get at ISIS and al-Qaida, there would be not a tree for me to hide behind when the devil rounded on me in some enemy dungeon.
MEANTIME, we also face the prospect of civil-rights laws being gutted, an attorney general who'll be just as inclined to turn a blind eye as he is to enforce the law, an alt-right enabler (Steve Bannon of Breitbart infamy) as White House special counselor and strategist, and the prospect of Muslim immigrants being put on special registries just because of their faith and undocumented immigrants being rounded up indiscriminately.
So . . . what are a lot of "progressives" obsessing over when the very character of this nation is at stake, and perhaps fundamental constitutional liberties as well?
GOOD TO KNOW.
Good to know that these people will be damned useless in the long, hard fight to come.
Can you imagine? Being against Donald Trump not because his hands likely will be covered in the blood of innocents, but because his hands won't be covered in the blood of the right ones.
Since I already have confessed to being a troglodyte, I just as well should lay this one on you, too: I am a Catholic troglodyte who doesn't believe I get to decide which parts of the faith I get to put on like the latest thing that all the cool kids are wearing. I don't get to tell Jesus and 2,000 years of dogma and tradition that, yes, I will obey this but not that because, well, I don't feel like it.
In other words, I oppose libertines and fascists on a completely non-discriminatory basis.
I also am one of those hopelessly backward people who believes in justice as much as I do mercy and, as such, I admit to believing -- as did Abraham Lincoln -- in divine judgment against nations. I come to you now to say this one thing.
This is what it looks like.