By Roger Straw, February 16, 2019
“These are the times that try men’s souls…”
Ignorant, perhaps, of the souls and sorrows that shape women’s existence and persistence here on earth, Thomas Paine was nonetheless profound in his observation.
His times were beset – as are our own times – by threats of rank privilege and outrageous abuse of power. In solidarity with the wider community, Paine first shared his sense of the immense burden of those trying times at the birth of our nation, and went on with a clarion call to never give up.
“THESE are the times that try men’s souls….Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.” Thomas Paine, The American Crisis
Yesterday, Trump asserted imperial powers over the constitutional guarantees of our assembled representatives. Donald Trump is our King George III.
What congress solidly refused to authorize, King Trump has appropriated for his own small victory. Small, that is, because it is the blow that can not be ignored, the final failure in a long line of abuses, misuses, lies, poorly-kept secrets and ignorant acts that surely rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Thank all that is good that we the people have powers, oversight authority, and checks and balances that do not necessitate another bloody revolution. Here’s tomorrow’s TO-DO list:
Congress must act at once to reverse Trump’s executive declaration, an action that is clearly allowable under the National Emergencies Act.
“… it would be straightforward for Congress to reverse a declaration of national emergency. The National Emergencies Act gives legislators authority to reject a presidential declaration of national emergency through simple legislation that would require majorities in the House and Senate. President Trump would presumably veto such action. Legislators would have the opportunity to override a presidential veto with a two-thirds majority vote.” – Chris Edelson, Assistant Professor of Government, American University School of Public Affairs, quoted on Public Radio International
A raft of lawsuits has already been brought, including one announced by our California Governor Gavin Newsom and California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra. According to Newsom:
“President Trump is manufacturing a crisis and declaring a made-up ‘national emergency’ in order to seize power and subvert the constitution. This ’emergency’ is a national disgrace, and the blame lays solely at the feet of the President. Meanwhile, he plans to shutdown and divert funds used by California law enforcement that run counter-narcotics operations and fight drug cartels to build his wall. Our message back to the White House is simple and clear: California will see you in court.”
The Fourth & Fifth Estates – the Media
Our fact-based news media is called upon to stand tall and firm in this most egregious of times. For immediate editorial comment, see the New York Times “Phony Wall, Phony Emergency“, the Washington Post “Trump’s make-believe crisis is untethered from truth and reality“, and the San Francisco Chronicle “The true threat of Trump’s phony emergency“.
A Google Search on “trump national emergency” brings up ongoing online coverage.
And perhaps most importantly, YOU and ME…
Calls are out for everyone to take to the streets to protest Trump’s power-grab. Let’s gather on street corners, in the parks and at city halls on Monday, February 18.
Here are some links to find an event near you:
- Move On: Attend a Presidents Day Protest
- Rally List: Search Results for: National Emergency
- Bustle: How To Protest Trump’s National Emergency If You’re Against The Border Wall
- Common Dreams: 3-Part Rapid Response Plan to Defeat Trump’s “Full-Fledged Attack on Democracy
- TruthOut: Massive Protests Planned to Fight Trump’s National Emergency Power Grab