"America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." — Alexis de Tocqueville, 19th century diplomat, political scholar, and historian.
In recent weeks, de Tocqueville's 19th century prophesies have turned into 21st century reality. America has ceased to be great, because America has ceased to be good. The United States, under the leadership of a wannabe dictator, is slowly, but inexorably, sliding down a slippery slope toward totalitarian fascism.
Donald Trump tells us that we must be "strong." "Strong" to Trump requires terrorizing small children. The fact is we should all be very afraid of Trump. He is a very real threat to Democracy as we know it, and to the American way of life that most of us have grown up with and love. If Congress does not step up to the plate and do its required constitutional duty by putting a hard check on his authoritarian actions, future history books are going to speak adoringly of our "Dear Leader Trump" and how lucky we all are to be allowed to serve him while we recite our Trump pledges of loyalty. And of course, we will all stand for the National Anthem, as Donald's image is projected on the giant scoreboard.
While all of the above sounds silly and implausible, this is no joke. Today, the Department of Health and Human Services has issued a directive requiring lawmakers (our senators and representatives) to give them two weeks' notice before they may visit any federal detention center where children in their custody are housed. No reason was given for this directive. My personal guess is that DHHS requires the two weeks to remove the bodies and redecorate the torture chambers to look like recreational areas, but my wife says that I am too cynical. The point is that our lawmakers are not allowed to oversee what is happening to these children,who are being detained in our name. We are losing control over our own government. It goes without saying that if our senators and representatives aren't allowed inside these facilities, then certainly the free press will not be allowed either. The bottom line is that we have to take the government's word for it that things are on the up and up in these operations. If you accept that, you are either gullible, naive or worse, Republican.