The Decline and Fall of the United States

July 16, 2018: A Day That Will Live In Infamy

We have been attacked by our own president.

The United States is no longer in control of our own foreign policy; Vladimir Putin and the Russian Confederacy are dictating our agenda.

This is unprecedented. All Americans should be highly alarmed.

At this point, if you vote for anyone who supports the Trump agenda, you are voting against the sovereignty (independence) of the United States.

There is no going back. Our president has humiliated and broken ties with our democratic allies, while he embraces the world’s dictators.

Where do you draw the line?

  • As the sister of a brother who suffered from Muscular Dystrophy, the line for me was crossed when Trump mocked the disabled reporter in November 2015. What type of person does this? In a society that decries bullying, our president is the biggest bully in the world.

Trump has gone on to cross many more lines in my concept of morality:

  • Trump’s claim that John McCain is not a war hero because he was captured is an insult to everyone who has ever served in the military.
  • Trump’s criticism of the Gold Star parents who spoke at the Democratic National Convention again insults all military families.
  • Trump’s “grab them by the pussy” comment on the Access Hollywood tape insults all women.
  • Trump’s constant harassment of the press is dangerous to our democratic society.
  • Trump’s habitual denigration of all Democrats maligns half of our nation’s citizens.
  • Trump’s Muslim ban, targeting of Black athletes who choose to take a knee during the National Anthem, and immigration hysteria are based in blatant racism.
  • Trump’s labeling White Supremacists as “very fine people” is reprehensible.
  • Trump’s harassment of the LGBTQ community is cruel.
  • Trump’s eagerness to sell out our natural resources so oil, natural gas, and mining corporations can profit is despicable.
  • Trump’s blatant actions to financially enrich himself and his family is a violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.
  • Trump’s unabashed enthusiasm and admiration for dictators worldwide is frightening.
  • Trump’s continuous lies on all topics big and small has destroyed the integrity of the office of the presidency.

And now – casting aside our NATO allies and siding with Putin over our National Intelligence Agencies is TREASON!

Our nation will never be the same.

I understand that many Americans were frustrated with the political process and wanted to shake things up. Trump’s policies have gone beyond that. They are destroying our nation from within.

Many people must be questioning their support for President Trump. Even if you supported some of his policies, other actions and comments must have shaken your confidence in this man. If Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or anyone else committed these acts, how would you react?

At what point does this make you uncomfortable?

Has your line been crossed by any of this?

As a historian, let me assure you that history will not be kind to this man or his enablers.

We are witnessing in real time the decline and fall of the United States.

FU Facebook

We have made a deal with the devil. In exchange for superficial contact with anyone we have ever known – wherein photos, experiences, and opinions are shared – we have relinquished the intimate details of our lives, which are used to manipulate our every thought and action. We have sold our souls to social media.

The assault has been incremental.

It has been years since we first realized that our internet searches were being tracked by the search engine we were using. As unsettling as it was, we eagerly leaped to engage with the ads and actions that were presented to us. Google knows I am concerned about eczema, vegan banana bread, and Bernie Sanders. If I search for flights to Dublin today, tomorrow I will see ads for hotel rooms in the Temple Bar district. Similarly, I was somewhat relieved to know that Chase VISA pays enough attention to my purchasing habits to hypothetically question a charge for cowboy boots in Austin while ignoring an expensive meal in Seattle. Welcome to the world of big data.

The steady advance into the Orwellian future goes largely unnoticed. The secrets of our souls were not stolen from us; rather, we gave them away. We reveal our innermost thoughts via our clickbait selections. We eagerly participate in quizzes concerning which state or nation we most closely identify, take IQ tests, and offer up photos of ourselves to be morphed into a celebrity image. Recently, people have been sharing their family names: my dad is a Clark, his mother was a Smith, my mother was a Weaver, and her mother was a Grant. Perfect, with our Social Security numbers, which are all over the internet – thank you Experian – and our Happy Birthday posts on Facebook, identity thieves have EVERYTHING they need to ruin our lives.

Ethically Corrupt

Facebook jumped the shark when they invited Russian operatives to access our private information and allowed them to micro-target propaganda in order to skew the 2016 election. Really Facebook, you didn’t question political ads paid for in rubles. You installed employees into the Trump campaign to assist in their propaganda efforts. You sold out our nation for financial gain.

This is treason!

Users beware, Facebook is not your friend. In the beginning, it was a great place to communicate with friends and family. I enjoyed seeing photos of grandkids, nieces and nephews, and vacation adventures. However, more and more, my Facebook page became inundated with commercial ads and political memes from entities I did not invite. And sadly, I do not get to chose what ads I see or what friends’ posts I see – Facebook chooses for me!

Our world is like an episode of Black Mirror.

We are a generation addicted to social media. Constantly checking. Do we have enough “followers?” Do we have enough “likes?” Is everyone paying attention? Is anyone paying attention? How does my life, my child, my car, my vacation compare to that of my peers? We have forsaken meaningful relationships and experiences and replaced them with virtual relationships and experiences. There is little to no truth in this virtual reality. We can digitally create our reality or allow Facebook to create it for us.