Saturday Twofer: Internet Trolls And The Real Lesson Of Ukraine

I ran across two stories this week that offer some positive outlooks on a couple of bleak issues in our society today.

The first is a TED talk from journalist Andrew Marantz discussing the bizarre world of internet trolls. The video is just short of 15minutes, but believe me, it feels like a couple of minutes. Marantz ends with some good suggestions for defying the trolls at the end:

For part two of the twofer we bring back our old friend Robert Reich. In this week’s comment Reich discusses the real lesson of the crisis around the current president and his willingness to defy our laws in illegally reaching out to other countries to get dirt on his political opponents:    

“But if the 2020 election is going to be—and be seen as—legitimate, the nation will need many more whistleblowers and officials with integrity.

States must upgrade all election machinery and equip them with paper ballots that can be audited. Facebook and YouTube must devote more resources to protecting against malicious foreign trolls and bots.

All of us will need to be vigilant.

Over the last two and a half years, Trump has shown himself willing to trample any aspect of our democracy that gets in his way—attacking the media, using the presidency for personal profit, packing the federal courts, verbally attacking judges, blasting the head of the Federal Reserve, spending money in ways Congress did not authorize, and subverting the separation of powers.

Trump believes he’s invincible. He’s now daring our entire constitutional and political system to stop him.”

As we have seen throughout the past two weeks since the stories of a  whistleblower’s report started and then the actual whistleblower’s report was released is that not only is the current president in anyway ashamed or remorseful of his conduct, he appears to be proud of what he has done. He is so proud of what he has done that he openly continues to defy the very laws that he swore to uphold.

We have seen conduct like this before. Unfortunately in those instances our country chose to pardon the offenders thus sending messages to the future that criminal conduct will be tolerated and even rewarded. The previous examples are the Watergate affair and Iran-Contra.

When Gerald Ford exonerated Nixon for all crimes he sent the biggest message ever that presidents in particular are above the law. That must stop now.

The current president has not only admitted to breaking the law, he presented Congress with the evidence (though not all of it) of the crime. Then as if to flaunt he openly, in front of cameras and microphones. called on other countries to join in on breaking US laws.

If this president gets away with openly breaking our laws we will have created a king. If any in his administration get away with aiding in his lawbreaking then we have set the executive branch above the law. This includes VP Pence, AG Barr and SecState Pompeo. 

And those in congress who are so fearful that standing up for the laws that define our country will cause them to lose an election (Joni Ernst eg.) do not deserve to be representing the American people.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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