Friday, June 30, 2017

"Nothing Up My Sleeve"

            Yesterday our president tweeted (again) something offensive. Everyone stopped to respond to his repugnant words. As it should be. Resistance means we can’t overlook the turn of a phrase that contains an intimidation tactic that this administration uses daily and ruthlessly. The White House responded that the president will respond “fire with fire” to criticisms thrown his way. I could spend hours on the topic of the difference between evaluating the job performance of an elected official, which is one of the jobs of the media, and making demeaning statements intended to shame or enflame in response to those assessments. A “fire with fire” response would have been a series of tweets that point-by-point addressed to Scarborough and Brzenzinski the issues under debate, not shooting off insults toward their intellect or appearances.
            As disgusting as the Twitter battle became yesterday, I was also troubled by this president’s proclamation at a meeting with the Department of Energy. I found it distressing that this administration’s agenda includes an expansion of off-shore drilling to oil and natural gas companies to push our country into “American energy dominance.” Not one word of this policy went toward clean energy funding. As I resist this administration’s misogynistic positions, I must also fight against an energy policy that will unravel years of work by conservationists.
            Almost unnoticed in yesterday’s news, because of the belligerent tweeting and disconcerting energy policy, came the report that a White House panel requested from all fifty states voter rolls. This information would include “the names, addresses, birthdates, political party (if recorded), last four digits of the voter's Social Security Number and which elections the voter has participated in since 2006, for every registered voter in the country.” Fortunately, representatives from several states have already turned down this request.

            It concerns me that this administration conducts magic tricks constantly. As we focus our attentions at one overt maneuver that attacks our civility and sensibilities, they slip by other, and perhaps far more dangerous, policy.

Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

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