After reading about, then hearing, finally watching Trump’s “why would they” and accompanying remarks from the post-coital 7/16/18 Helsinki news conference, H.L. experienced a series of reactions that corresponded to 80% of the Kübler-Ross stages of grief. Acceptance being the one missing.
The next morning, 7/17/18, despite Trump’s and his enablers walkbacks, joy did not cometh, although it might have had the enabler-in-chief, Paul Ryan, overnight drafted articles of impeachment. Instead, H.L. awoke in a sweat, frightened less by what Trump did, said and how he might justify it, than what happens next or doesn’t. Posit that it has occurred to a majority of Americans that this one is different.
A few days into the speculation about what just happened – such as NY Times David Leonhardt’s plausible interpretation that Trump is sending multiple messages to multiple audiences. Such as Putin, the base, wavering elected Rs, and the basket of deplorables, who I distinguish from the base. Though there is lots of overlap. Trump and Putin are in the basket with some of the base, along with some wavering elected Rs and some on the left. Perhaps Leonhardt is right. I think and advocate that others act on the assumption that our President is a Quisling. H.L. is not alone nor original in this belief. Former CIA Chief, John Brennan, understands the constitutional meaning and implication of asserting that Trump’s conduct is “treasonous.” Brennan, backed that up by apparently revealing to the NY Times his and other intelligence officials’ briefing of the president-elect on January 6, 2017 – replete with details of Putin’s command of Russian interference with our 2016 presidential election and its very specific goal.
If Brennan did that, he certainly broke rules and some laws as did the other “nearly a dozen people who either attended the meeting with the president-elect or were later briefed on it. . .”. This group all confirmed the Times’ coverage. The briefing’s attendees also included James R. Clapper, Jr., then director of national intelligence, Admiral Michael S. Rogers, then director of the National Security Agency and United States Cyber Commander and then FBI director James Comey. Big people with big careers apparently breaking the law and placing themselves in legal jeopardy with the goal of thwarting a traitor and bringing him down. Given the modest number with such intimate knowledge of the January 6, 2017 briefing, a simple investigation would likely disclose some, if not all, of the leakers. And since Trump has shit all over the facts and truth of the Russian effort and his knowledge of it for the entire 18 months of his presidency, these leakers could have spoken with the Times on any of the 556 days since 1/6/17. But apparently did not until about 7/17/18. They, like H.L., awoke sweating and frightened and did something about it.
When that time comes for you as it did for them and has for H.L. there is a responsibility. Some of the possible responses are obvious and lawful such as exercise of the franchise and convincing and helping others to do the same. Using money, trains, boats, planes and other vehicles at one’s disposal. But in the spirit of and with the example of the January 6, 2017 briefing leakers, the time for rule breaking, law breaking and its noblest form – civil disobedience – will have come. Thoreau, Gandhi, MLK, Mandela are examples of open and notorious defiance of law for a greater purpose – in this case, saving your country.
It’s not a game nor to be practiced before careful, painful and deep inquiry – inward and outward. Jeb Magruder, a Watergate convict invoked Walden to justify his role in the coverup, but was publicly chastised by his mentor William Sloane Coffin that Thoreau had faced the music for breaking the law in service of a higher cause.
At H.L., we are writing lots of checks, pushing lots of instant donation buttons, charging up cars to ferry the indolent and infirm to the polls and looking for a rule to break openly and with consequences for the violator and Herr Trump (Norwegian as was Quisling and as Donald apparently wanted to be). Break what law? No not that one – because as Nixon said “that would be wrong.”