John Bolton doesn’t have to publish a book to let the public know what he saw and heard during his time in the Trump Administration; all he has to do is contact a non-right-wing media outlet and agree to a no-holds-barred on-camera live interview or even just offer to make a statement. Of course, those options do not successfully line his and his publisher’s pockets, so damn the damage Trump does to the country, let’s wait until we can charge people for the information! No giving anything away for free, no siree!
Not that Bolton’s self-interest is anything new – this is the same man who refused to testify to the House to provide first-hand knowledge during the impeachment investigation, after all. In fact, most of the revelations Bolton has made in public have been made during paid speaking engagements, not during media news interviews. Bolton’s behavior is on a par with Trump’s, although with much less power to wield and he appears to share in the narcissism Trump is so clearly suffering from. The point is that John Bolton, in order to benefit his bottom line, is completely happy in his disloyalty to the United States. His continued silence in the face of rising, brazen fascist actions and rhetoric from Trump is all the proof anyone should need to recognize that Bolton does not care about the country anymore than Trump does. No one should spend money on his book; we’ll see the most inflammatory parts in the media anyway, so why line Bolton’s pockets?
I hope that more people now recognize that John Bolton, Jim Mattis, John Kelly, et al are not showing their patriotism now, as the world watches the United States turn into a tin pot dictatorship – they are trying to be let into the lifeboat. They had a chance to make a difference during the impeachment, although we’ll never get to know if their information could have swayed the Senate Republican denizens to put country over party. Their continued silence at that time means they now have ownership in the absolute abdication of responsibility or accountability that Trump has exhibited, this fascist bent including the most recent abuse of power, subverting the Constitutional right to peaceably assemble and protest by using excessive force to get a photo-op.
So again, thank you to all the former administration collaborators/employees/sycophants who have waited until now to tell us what most of us knew before the 2016 election – that Trump is a useless piece of shit who only got where he was by stealing his father’s money and abusing the legal system, the latter a skill he has continued to benefit from since taking office. I’m unable to understand why, with the first-hand experience you have all had with this incompetent boob, it took so long for you to speak up, although there are still more of you who remain silent out of greed or what? Fear? Of Trump? Seriously?
Trump may be tall in height, but he is otherwise a very small, scared, shell of a man. He has never, in his entire life, ever been required to do anything he didn’t want to do. His ego is so fragile; he is utterly incapable of acknowledging his mistakes or obvious lack of understanding for so many things that they require their own blog post! His opinion of himself is inversely proportionate to his actual knowledge base, making me wonder who he paid in order to graduate from college and graduate school. There’s no question why he keeps all his school records hidden – it’s impossible to pretend you’ve always been all that and you’re a “very stable genius” if your post-secondary records reveal you graduated “summa cum prematurely”.
All who have kept silent, regardless of your reasons, have culpability in what comes next. For those who served in the military, thank you for your service. That said, when your country really needed you, this time to put only your reputation on the line, you refused to do so. When you offered your life in service, you were one person out of thousands doing so, but when you were one of only a select few who could have averted at least some of the ongoing crises, you sat back and did nothing. That’s not patriotism. That’s greed… or cowardice.
The silver lining to this huge thundercloud of disaster we are now living through is this – we are now painfully aware that there is an overwhelming need for sweeping changes regarding things once considered ‘norms’ but not officially enshrined in statutes and laws. No longer can we go blithely along, expecting that those with the power will do what’s expected of them without the force of law that provides for swift and fair repercussions when the executive branch refuses to submit to oversight, ignores subpoenas, or misappropriates money using bogus emergency declarations.
It is now no longer acceptable for those in positions of power, including in the Senate and the House, to remain in their seats indefinitely; twelve years for either chamber, whether consecutive or not, should be the maximum amount of time anyone can serve, and maybe it’s time to change the House from two year terms to three years. Along with this, there has to be huge election reform, particularly with regard to election financing. Elections must be federally funded in an equitable way, while allowing actual people only (no companies, corporations, SuperPACs, or other entity) to contribute to those they wish to, using some type of voucher system so that everyone, regardless of income or wealth, can participate in this part of politics. The time for only the most wealthy to have all the political power is over.
It is no longer reasonable for judges throughout the judiciary, up to and including the Supreme Court, to be given lifetime appointments. When this was first written into the Constitution, the average lifespan was 35 years, so a lifetime appointment was only a few years. Now, judges routinely sit on the bench for 25 years or more, leaving at an average age of 78! There is no reason at this point in our development to continue with this outdated method of populating the bench. All federal judges must serve for a limited period of time with every president given the opportunity to name two justices to the court during each term (see https://fixthecourt.com/fix/term-limits/). Although there is always the possibility of an unexpected death of one of the justices, having a term limit means that death is not the most frequent reason justices leave the court.
It is no longer acceptable for lobbyists to have a place in Washington, DC. The wealthy, including corporations, foundations, foreign governments, and who knows what else, should no longer be allowed to continue their unfair and undemocratic ability to influence policy that disadvantages the rest of us. Corporate welfare at all levels must be eliminated; no more subsidies for giant agribusiness, the fossil fuel industry, the pharmaceutical industry, etc. Once, monopolies were broken up into smaller companies, now they’re approved and allowed to overtake everything, concentrating the wealth at the very top. This should never have been allowed, and must be undone ASAP.
Racial inequality and oppression must be addressed. It requires all white people to work at it, since we are the ones with the problem; the black folks are the ones who suffer because of our problem. Every one of us must work, every day, in all ways, to change not just our own misconceptions and biases, but we have to speak up when we see or hear them in the people around us. That’s the only way we can begin what we’ve been pretending was done after the Civil War – treating people of color with the dignity and respect we have often only shown to fellow white people. See White Fragility: Why it’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism at your local bookstore or ebook platform.
Finally, social media has to be brought to heel. Jeff Zuckerberg does not care about the damage being done to our social discourse, so long as people keep clicking. Jack Dorsey will keep letting Trump and others like him post false, misleading and inflammatory things in order to keep people coming back for more. These and other social media platforms, while not the creators of the information posted, have a responsibility greater than that of the established media giants. The ability of their platforms to spread in a nanosecond makes it more imperative that they be held accountable financially so that they are more likely to do what other media outlets have been required to since the beginning – prevent the dissemination of lies, propaganda, etc., and be required to prominently post retractions and corrections when something slips by.
Vote the Democratic ticket – only by taking power from the obstructionist Republicans can we hope to see the changes we need. Then hold those we vote into office accountable.