While Rome burned…

Amy Siskind is doing yeoman’s work attempting to chronicle, weekly, the things that are subtly changing under President Trump. This, as Ms. Siskind reminds, is something that experts in authoritarianism recommend, “so you’ll remember.”

Before you chortle and dismiss Ms. Siskind (or GTFUP.org) as needlessly alarmist and dramatic (“authoritarianism?!? Come on this is America!”), consider that President Trump’s entire political strategy appears to be to inundate us with outrages, to brazenly do a dozen outrageous, unthinkable things on any given day, and then lather, rinse and repeat until we completely lose track, and start to forget.  On that front, he’s winning: we’ve already completely lost track.

There were massive, important stories this past week that got plenty of coverage: the continued revelations regarding Russia, President Trump’s unnerving first international trip, the wedge being driven between the United States and our historical allies, while our President casts his lot with the world’s dictators.

But as a “fun” exercise, I attempted, every night when I got home for the past week, to catalogue “secondary” stories that, despite receiving some attention, couldn’t help but be buried by the constant stream of breaking news.  It was really fucking hard, and if I’m confident in one thing, it’s that list below – while staggering in its breadth and the myriad ways it reflects an utter assault on American values – is woefully incomplete.

Nevertheless, I’m going to try to do this from time to time on GTFUP.org, to keep track of the deluge of insane and unsettling stories – daily attacks on who we are – that get buried or drowned out by the very intentional efforts to make us forget.

From the past, roughly, 7 days:

Finally, while the foreign trip got plenty of coverage, and should, I hope, get more as we receive more information about the actual fallout, one image has been haunting me, knocking around my brain like a battering ram:

This is our President.

It is not hard to imagine how the Enablers will spin this: “he’s an alpha male! tough! masculine!”

But I know a lot of “alpha males”, and they sure as shit don’t act like that. When some guy pulls crap like that, that’s not a leader, that’s an asshole; a petty, small, insecure, asshole.  A sad man-child who, rather than earning power and respect, thinks that it’s “manly” to shove his way to the front of the line.

This is, right now, the face of conservatism, and too many conservatives are willing to surrender their principles to this pathetic, misguided notion of “power.”  But to everyone other than the Enablers – who will follow this sad little man to the gates of Hell – can we agree that this is not how a president should act?  Can we agree that we would never show this video to our children and say “be like him“?  If we can’t, we’re more broken than I thought…

One thought on “While Rome burned…

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