What if refusing to serve Sarah Sanders was not the first step on a slippery slope to rampant political discrimination in restaurants and shops and instead was a reasonable of act of civil disobedience against an administration that has violated all norms?
This administration has chosen cruelty, illegality, anti-Constitutionality and incipient authoritarianism as its tools. It is not a "Republican" administration. It is an anti-American administration and profound threat to the American way of life.
In our system, ordinary people are entitled to find ways to protest that. Sarah Sanders wasn't denied her seat in the restaurant because of politics as usual, because she was a Republican. She was denied it because she is complicit in racism, misogyny, lying...
The backlash to globalization it turns out is not just protectionism--though there is certainly that. As it has manifested itself with Trump, UKIP, Orban, Salvini, the Russian-supported Euro-right, the "opposite" of globalization is ethnic cleansing, racist nationalism.
I have been an active advocate of globalization all my life. I am not only because I believe it ultimately benefits all people, but because it is not just a historical trend of the moment, it IS history. Global opening and integration is the story of the human race.
That said, there is no doubt, that we who support globalization underestimated both the dislocations associated with it and their human cost but also the nature of the reaction to it and how dark it could or would become. That was a profound mistake.
I remember a while back the debate about whether or not we were in a Constitutional crisis. That aside, it is clear we are now at a moment of profound political, social & moral crisis in the US. Two groups w/very different visions of what we should be are confronting each other.
It is unclear, as of now, which will prevail. One, led by the President, controls both houses of Congress and almost two-thirds of the statehouses in America. They have openly embraced racism, nationalism, isolationism, misogyny, corruption & the suppression of the Constitution.
They have attacked our allies, undermined our alliances & int'l institutions, exploited the poorest, served only the very richest, catered to special interests whose greed will destroy the environment and leads to the wholesale murder of children in our schools & on our streets.
We have entered, in the United States, a time of national emergency. The compounding crises promulgated by Trump and the GOP have put our democracy, our security, our leadership, and our values at risk. Calm, objective analysis confirms the direness of our situation.
For each of this, this is much more than an assessment of a great country that has lost its way. It must be a call to action. If you don't wake up each morning and ask what can I concretely do to insure the GOP are defeated in November and that Trump is removed from office...
...you are falling short in your duties as a citizen &. w/your responsibilities to your family, your friends, your neighbors & your country. Inaction is complicity. We are losing what our forefathers fought for & what we have long held dear at a stunning pace. It is time to act.
Reminder: Russia is engaged in a massive years-long campaign to undermine Western power, alliances and democracy by using our openness as societies and the fears and ignorance of our voters and the greed and lack of principles of many of our political leaders against us.
To uncover it and to combat it will require active cooperation among the governments of the West (the alliance Trump wants to undermine), the media (the press Trump wants to discredit & silence), and the voters (the masses Trump lies to and seeks to mislead.).
This is one of the great national security challenges of our time. It is a far greater threat than terrorism or even rogue states. It is an effort to destroy the foundations of the international community. As of now, it is unclear which side will ultimately win this struggle.
A brief note to my Republican friends (and other supporters of the president): Keep your eye on the penny. It is about to drop. I'm reminded of a story when, back in 2001, my company had the 7th largest company in America as a client.
It was an innovative, high-flying energy company, ull of people who seemed to have figured out the future. Then, rumors started to fly about problems with the company and some mysterious practices there. We tried to help our clients think these through. But the stories got worse.
I would speak regularly to a very senior guy there. Finally, one day, I called him and said, "Look, you have to get in front of this. If you did something wrong admit it and that will give you the credibility you need to deny the other stuff, the unfair accusations."
If I told you that a pol supported by Russia who welcomed that support was elected & immediately began to undercut US alliances, the international system & weaken America's standing worldwide (including through troop redeployments) what would you think was key part of that story?
Should the Russia-Trump cooperation be investigated? Yes. Are those in Congress trying to impede it undermining US national security? Yes. Should those who conspired with Russians be prosecuted? Yes. But let's not lose sight of bigger picture. Real damage being done daily.
US seems certain to come out of the Trump era dramatically weakened on multiple levels. JCPOA pullout will undercut alliances and weaken leverage against a natsec risk...and damage our credibility. NK deal could involve big damaging concessions on US capabilities in ROK.
What is to be done about Syria is a question that has tormented serious policy people for 7 yrs now. Half a million people have died and 7 million displaced while the international community has debated the best path forward. Untold devastation and cruelty has continued unabated.
The Obama admin. was tormented by the lack of international support for intervention, by its own aversion to getting bogged down in another regional war, by the lack of "desirable" allies on the ground, by domestic politics in the U.S. For the most part, they chose inaction.
There was diplomacy that seemed promising but there was less to it than met the eye. The Trump administration has chosen limited action, spasmodic intervention and periodic deference to Russia. Neither has had a sound strategy for grappling with the problem.
I love all you brother and sister pundits and commentators out there. But those of you still stuck on the "genius" Trump analysis and the need to "understand what he understood" aren't paying attention. He runs on pure instinct. And is kind of stupid. And...
he can't run an organization to save his life. And many of his impulses are really self-destructive. What happened was he got very lucky. First, the system was rigged by gerrymandering so that the GOP could win the presidency with fewer votes than the Dems (as happened.)
Further, biases in the FBI and political games in the Congress undercut the Clinton campaign. And Clinton, while a good enough candidate to beat Trump by 3 million votes, did not mobilize voters as Obama had. And there was the small matter of having outside help.
Suggesting Trump, Bolton, Pompeo & Co. are the core of war cabinet is to normalize what is happening. As a foreign policy professional and long-time historian of the National Security Council the only appropriate term I can find our lexicon is batshit crazy.
Trump's lunatic ramble over the DoD's shopping at today's ceremony was chilling both for his utter lack of comprehension of what he was discussing and for his demented slavering over technologies of destruction. We are months away from these advisers suggesting he use them.
We know he will confuse dramatic action with strength, flexing military muscle with leadership and that he will have absolutely zero comprehension or real interest in the consequences of his actions--be they human or geopolitical.
For those who say Trump's congratulations of Putin is not newsworthy--that Obama or other leaders have done it--none of them are in the midst of a scandal in which Russia tried to tip election to them. Context matters. His loyalties are deeply suspect.
Also: his willingness to congratulate and discuss a Summit weeks after a Putin overseen terror attack on our closest ally, as Russia is currently working to undermine 2018 election sends a terrible message of tolerance of the intolerable to Putin and other such leaders.
Trump is President of the United States and has a responsibility to lead an alliance to be strong not only in defense expenditures but character. He has repeatedly cozied up to Putin despite massive reasons not too. Now, as his staff advises him not to congratulate Putin...
A couple days ago I saw a Tweet reiterating the U.S. Census Bureau's conclusion that by 2045 groups once thought of us as minorities--Asians, Latinos and African Americans would make up the majority of the U.S. population. This trend has been a long time coming.
In fact, by 2020, it will be true for all Americans 18 and under. It is a direct result of the embrace of diverse populations that has made the country so strong, our culture so rich and our workforce so well suite to an era of global competition.
Honestly, I thought it was just an anodyne data point, well-known to most, but worth reiterating. I commented that our diversity was our strength. Foolishly, perhaps, I thought that was a pretty uncontroversial statement--evident on its face.
For some reason this has gotten under my skin today. There is a private club in America that only the rich can join where as a member you are given special access to the president, pictures with the president, the president takes your advice & counsel & HE GETS PAID FOR IT.
Call me old school, but this seems to me so outrageously wrong that I can't even think about Russia right now. And there's a hotel in DC like that. And there are properties worldwide where you can pay to have access to the president's closest advisors (family)...
...and on top of that, the countries that have those properties in them and their leaders tend to get treated much better by the current administration than other countries even though they are often rule by autocrats and others with interests antithetical to the U.S.
I'm glad we can speak out against domestic abuse. That even our unfeeling president will mouth the words. But the slaughter of our children, of innocents, of tens of thousands by guns is not only sacrosanct but many "leaders" dare not speak of it, do anything about it...worse..
It is time to be brutally honest...as honest as the brutality we alone among nations have institutionalized. Tens of thousands of Americans die every year of gun violence not because our politicians are silent or inert. They die because those politicians are complicit.
They are on the payroll of a national organization, the NRA, that places profits about the safety and security of our citizens and has overseen a campaign to silence debate...despite the fact that gun deaths kill more than all the wars we have fought, more than all terrorists...
Every year on this date my Dad would send us a note reminding us not to forget that Kristallnacht occurred on this night in 1938. The last one he sent just had one word on it. "Remember."
He was 12. They lived in Vienna. His father disappeared and they did not know what happened to him. Later they found he had been arrested. In the meantime, my father searched and saw the brutality and destruction in their neighborhood.
My father's synagogue was burned...weeks before his bar mitzvah. A year later they escaped. He returned to fight as an officer in the US Army artillery by the end of the war. He then went to search concentration camps for lost relatives.