I have many calm moments, when I meditate, exercise, walk in the woods, talk with friends or simply breathe. Beautiful moments. And then—I turn on the radio or my phone and who knows what insanity might ensue.
Like everyone I know, since the Kavanaugh hearings and his appointment to the Supreme Court, and almost two years of the T administration, I have become overly sensitive to bad news. It’s less than two weeks since I heard the news about Hurricane Michael smashing into the Florida panhandle with winds of up to 155 miles an hour (on Wednesday, October 10).
The hurricane is now recognized as the strongest to strike the coast in 100 years. And it grew so quickly, from a category 2 on that Sunday, to almost a category 5 on Wednesday. It grew so quickly probably due to waters overheated by global warming, the same global warming the GOP deny despite the overwhelming scientific evidence.
Nature itself seems to be yelling at us to wake up to what we humans are doing to our world. The day after the hurricane, a neighbor called to tell me of two sightings of Fishers, a carnivorous mammal related to weasels. They have only recently returned to this area (along with other recent and not-so-welcome additions, like coyotes, coy-wolves, and ticks) and kill squirrels and other small animals, including porcupine and hare, occasionally wild turkey, bobcat, and even house cats. They are excellent climbers and can be vicious. I immediately went to the front door of my house to call in my cats.
This administration puts us all on a continual threat alert and I think this is exactly what they want. People continually stressed are not as likely to think clearly or feel powerful. According to Tali Sharot in the book The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others, fear is most effective in influencing the behavior of others under two conditions—when what we are trying to do is cause inaction and the person we’re trying to influence is already anxious.
The last two weeks and the hearings and discussion on Judge Kavanaugh were especially bad. They were a continual assault, a political hurricane of historic proportions threatening not only women but all of us who are not misogynists, not white nationalists or sycophantic supporters of the President, or who are not in favor of considering corporate rights or the rights of the wealthy as more important than any other rights.
These GOP attacked anyone who called for a real investigation into Kavanaugh’s past and were especially vicious in their attacks on any of the women who came forward. In fact, T even mocked Dr. Ford. He called for holding those who made “false” claims against Kavanaugh liable. What about false claims by, or in support of, Kavanaugh? Would Kavanaugh or any his supporters who lied or rushed to hide the truth be held accountable?
Many wondered: was the GOP rush to judgment due to fears about what will happen in the November election? Or was something else involved?
The Supreme Court is going to hear a case called Gamble v US. It involves a felon arrested for possession of a firearm. It could, however, have grave implications if T is ever impeached, indicted, or tries to use his power to pardon anyone from his administration or campaign who have been prosecuted for crimes or called to testify to the Mueller investigation.
The Gamble case involves the question of whether “double jeopardy” is limited by “dual sovereignty.” In other words, whether a state can separately prosecute anyone after the Federal government had tried them.
Right now, T can pardon people for Federal crimes, but anyone so pardoned can still be prosecuted in state courts. T wants to destroy this possibility. And Kavanaugh could help make that a reality. He might be the deciding vote in expanding T’s and the GOP’s power, so they can’t be held accountable for crimes they commit or their assaults on the rest of us and the very world on which we live.
While hurricane Michael was striking Florida, hurricane T was in Erie, Pennsylvania at a fundraiser and then a rally, yelling “lock her up” and such. Even a threat to the lives and property of millions of citizens did not stop him from focusing on himself and trying to rake in money. He needs to be stopped.
As usual, he is concentrating too much on himself, on photo opportunities, and on using the hurricane for his own gain than he is on helping the people in the states hurt by the storm. He is giving out water bottles instead of throwing paper towels to the crowd, as he did in Puerto Rico (a slight improvement). Florida resident Tracey Simmons told the New York Times “They’re doing to us like they did New Orleans.” The federal government has been too slow and too small in their response to what looks like a site hit by a bomb.
These people need our help. They need donations of money and supplies. And they, we, need an administration that puts caring for its people above their own greed and drive for power.
We cannot afford to allow T and the GOP to scare us into inaction. Our world, our children, our freedom need us. To repeat what many have been advocating—each of us needs to vote, make calls, volunteer as an election official, write postcards to get out the vote—to do whatever we can to energize ourselves and throw T and his supporters out of office.
We can do this.
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Originally Published on irarabois.com
Photo Credit: Pixabay