I began my political “crusade” right after I voted for George Bush Jr., I’d enjoyed working directly for his dad, and I thought that the fruit could not have fallen far from the tree. Early on I realized I was terribly wrong. I began writing about political leadership and the state of the union. I felt, from my CIA background, that something was seriously wrong with the conclusions rushed through about 9/11, and then I became slowly even more outraged as I watched the Bush team, and the Republicans of the time, raid the country, stealing whatever wasn’t nailed or glued down, and then prying some of that loose and stealing it, too. I thought Obama would be a welcome relief and, as far as economics go, I was correct. But Obama was able to do little with the congress he was given, other than help the economy to recover and get it ready for the next raiding party. Bush and Obama drove the country ever deeper into a ‘1984’ toss freedom to the winds’ over security kind of bully union. More police, more military, less education and almost nothing for the infrastructure.

And now comes the crowning glory of it all; Donald “I sit on the country’s face” Trump. I watch from the sidelines, trying to mention the cascade of outrageous idiocy that passes for the government now, wending its way across my television screen every day and night. The “great economy” is great for those with a lot of money. ‘Productivity’ has replaced advancement as the buzzword of civilization’s growth. Productivity would be another word for profit. Getting ever more out of what’s already there, while cutting costs to the point where the middle class is that cost. But it is the lying that’s doing the most damage to the country, culture and even the world as a whole. The acceptance of this leader’s lies, without much objection, invites company.

One day soon it is likely that the phrase “fake news” will be totally forgotten. Forgotten along with the word “news” itself. There will only be instructions. By then the nightmare Imperium will have fully arrived, one in which the empire (the United States) is evil. These events have been foretold by an entertaining movie series called Star Wars. Where will the nation’s Luke Skywalker come from? Where will be the wisdom of an Obie Wan or Yoda be found? And then there is the equally disturbing question of why so many wonderful American’s have fallen for this leader and this party’s obvious surrender to bad taste, low quality, and dominant predation…along with brutally selfish and mean-spirited behavior? Is it the Lead in the water? Is it merely a bad case of “give-a-shit-itus?” Is it because of the fact that there is no hope of getting together with any other interested and caring people to do anything about it without being targeted for prison, ruin or worse? I don’t know what must be done if anything, and I write this article in hopes that some reader or group of readers might know.

As this Op/Ed is being written, the government is shut down. The government has been shut down before. In fact, it’s been shut down seventeen times. The longest occurred under President Clinton’s watch and it was 21 days long. The shortest was under Reagan and that was for one day, or actually a number of hours. The struggle between democrats and republicans is almost always over money. This latest shutdown is not primarily about money, however. It’s about the treatment of children, health-wise and also citizenship-wise. The Democrats are holding out to make sure that the 690 thousand ‘dreamers,’ those Hispanic people who came here as little kids and stayed without understanding anything about where they might be originally from or why that should matter. These kids grew up and most American’s want to allow these children (now-grown-to adulthood) to become citizens. These “most Americans” do not include most of the people supporting Donald Trump and his Jack in the Box style of governance, however. What is this man going to do to attract attention today, and how did that question become the ruling question determining almost all legislative and communicative action in the United States of America?

Answering that question will be left to historians and anthropologists far in the future, unless a nuclear holocaust intervenes, which is now back on the table after sort of dying out with the passing of the Cold War and the Berlin Wall back in 1989. Barring such a global catastrophe, the conduct of regular citizens will be affected over time, but probably not to the point where entire swaths of the public are severely damaged. Individuals, many of them, will be cut to the core if they lack power and/or money. The current Tax Reform left about a million or more of those people without medical insurance. The effect of that will be felt over time, by them, not by most of the culture. The ‘dreamers’ may be expelled to foreign lands where they don’t even speak the language. But there are only 690 thousand of them. Millions of kids have been covered by the CHIP federal insurance program, but losing that coverage will only affect a few million kids, and they can’t vote.

In 1883 Emma Lazarus wrote a famous sonnet that made its way onto a plaque mounted on the Statue of Liberty, as it sits at the entry to the United States in the water just off of New York. She wrote: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” If the current belief system installed with the reign of Donald Trump as its leader continues, then that iron plaque needs to be pried loose with hammers and chisels and replaced with one made of more malleable plastic. The inscription on that one should read: “The United States is Closed Until Further Notice.”
~ James Strauss

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