Distraction and Disorientation: The New American Way

I find recent events so disorienting that it is hard to know where to even begin when it comes to resistance or activism. I do not think this confusion is coming from my brain; I think it is a goal of he who I refuse to name and his minions to create a fog of misinformation and to flood our politics with so many issues that we risk losing the progress made during the Obama years because we don’t have time to respond in numbers strong enough to be as effective as we would like to be. Perhaps this person’s book should be called The Art of Distraction.

Purposeful Distraction (What would we do without Rachel Maddow?)

We are dealing with the issues around Russian intervention in American politics and the possible connections with Trump’s staff and possibly Trump himself. We are dealing with Devin Nunes and his pursed lips, so maddening. He conspicuously went onto the White House grounds to read classified documents in a safe room and then pretended that his actions were either invisible or have nothing to do with the investigation he is leading. But when he chose this option he must have known that there would be a trail to follow.

Nunes has us playing some ridiculous game. “I know something you don’t know but I will never tell you.” He is the head of an investigative committee that is supposed to find things out and then tell us, or at least inform the other members of the committee. Yet when he is confronted with his rather obnoxious refusal to fulfill his commitments and, when, as a result he is asked to resign, he just clams up, adopts a power stance, and says “you can’t make me” and even more exasperating “I will never tell”. But if it is something that harms Obama or the Democrats you can bet it will eventually come out. Now he has called Comey (FBI) back in front of his committee. This is not like any American government I have ever taken pride in.

Make Use of Disorientation – Act Fast and Pack the Agenda

Internet Privacy

I keep track of bills coming up in Congress on the Countable app and on the govtrack service. So I knew the bill that would end some of our consumer protections on the internet (allow sellers to access our browsing histories and our locations) was coming up for a vote. Well the vote is already done and if DT signs it, as we know he will, another of our rights bites the dust. It happened so fast there was little time to effectively resist.


Deportations are continuing apace and they are not pretty. They are beginning to have impacts on our communities and therefore on us. Can you enjoy a leisurely summer with warm days and sunlight dappled through leaves while they are dragging people kicking and protesting off to await deportation and ripping parents away from their children? I believe it will begin to cast a pall over our entire nation that will rob us of some of pleasure we usually take from life. Meanness rebounds on the perpetrators.

Penalties for Sanctuary Cities

Our mayor in Syracuse has declared our city to be a Sanctuary City. She does not plan to help ICE with any deportation activities. On Monday Jeff Sessions broadcast strong warnings to all Sanctuary cities that they will lose federal funding if they persist in refusing to cooperate with deportations.


The Wall

The issue of the “wall” has moved from the realm of speculation into the realm of practicalities and we are getting information about what sections of the wall the orange one should tackle first, who will lose their land, what the design will be and what the cost will be. I may come to think this wall was a good idea one day, but I very much doubt it. I think this is an expensive exercise in futility.

(Is this the America we know and love?)

Health Care

Mitch McConnell has done his nasty best to will whatever happens with Obamacare to the Democrats while he implies that the Republicans will not only not do anything to save it but they might use any tricks they can come up with to undermine it further than they already have.

The Environment

There is more. There will be more. There is the attempt to dismantle environmental protections painstakingly put in place to balance the needs of business and a world where polar ice is melting, sea levels are rising, human populations are testing the limits of our oceans to deal with our trash and our spills, and climate does seem to be changing. I can only hope that this egomaniacal man who pits his puny power against the power of nature does not trigger some disastrous event with his disregard for the planet. Do we have time to backtrack on this? Let’s hope we do.

It’s now day 70 of the first 100 days and I have dreaded turning on the news on each and every one of these 70 days. NBC is keeping a list of the activities of the first 100 days



It goes on. The Education Department, which may soon no longer exist, is gearing up to privatize education in America so we can expect the first cannonballs to come over that horizon soon. The unions are preparing to resist but this administration seems to favor the preemptive strike.

Federal Budget

There is the “no good, very bad budget” that is coming up for a vote (maybe) soon. It is a miserable budget that carries out the GOP promises to help the wealthy and get rid of all those benefits that provide a safety net for the middle class, whose finances are much more precarious. So that should be fun.

Foreign Policy

And none of this even touches the things that are happening in the foreign policy arena that are so troubling, with a President who apparently only shakes hands with men, or women he considers attractive, even if they are from important NATO allied nations with a fairly dominant position in Europe.


It is no wonder that those of us who are following this stuff have whiplash and we are not sure what to protest first or what to say to our Representatives in Congress at any given moment without a program, and even with a program there is little time to react. There is a great rush to dismantle our government although I am not sure why. I suppose these people know that all Americans will eventually catch on to their deceptions and they are not sure what will happen then. In the meantime it apparently doesn’t matter where your activism focuses. Just pick a bad bill or bad executive action and chip away. Make noise. Be heard. We must; otherwise we seem complicit.

3 thoughts on “Distraction and Disorientation: The New American Way”

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