Forbidding democracy to do what democracy does—and what a democracy must do in order to be a democracy—seems to be a growing trend. It began back in the days of McCarthyism, but has never really died. We were told that Iraq had weapons of mass Destruction. Any opposition or criticism of this falsehood or to the Iraqi War itself was labeled as unAmerican, unpatriotic, or not supporting the troops, etc.
Forbidding democracy to do what democracy does—and what a democracy must do in order to be a democracy—has expanded exponentially under the Trump Administration. Any criticism of the State of Israel, for example, is now considered anti-Semitism and unAmerican. Trump said in July 2019, “So sad to see Democrats sticking up for people who speak so badly of our Country and who, in addition, hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion.” Being critical (speaking badly) of Israel or this nation, its government, its president, its congress, its policies is not unAmerican. It is not unpatriotic. It is an important function of a democracy!
Forbidding democracy to do what democracy does—and what a democracy must do in order to be a democracy—is evident in Trump’s constant verbiage about the media being “fake news” and “the enemy of the people.” The media, the free press (which includes CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC, CBS, PBS, and all others) is the very strength and fiber (not enemy) of a democracy.
Forbidding democracy to do what democracy does—and what a democracy must do in order to be a democracy—finally became evident to Utah’s Senator Mike Lee yesterday after being briefed about the Iran situation. Scrambled quotes from Senator Lee include: “probably the worst briefing…I’ve ever seen” and it was “insulting.” “It’s un-American, it’s unconstitutional, and it’s wrong…”. What is un-American, Mr. Lee? What is unconstitutional? What is wrong, Mr. Lee? Mr. Lee responded: “They’re (Trump Administration) in the process of telling us we need to be good little boys and girls and not debate this (Iran business) in public. I find that absolutely insane. I think it’s unacceptable.”
But so many still want to forbid a democracy to do what democracy does—and what a democracy must do in order to be a democracy. Rep. Steve Scalise says, “We all should be coming together to support our commander in chief to protect America, not debating how to limit the president’s ability to defend this country.” Rep. Mark Meadows said, debating the war powers resolution would send the message that the killing of Soleimani was inappropriate. “I don’t know how you side with terrorist activity,” he said. It may well be that the killing of Soleimani was inappropriate, perhaps even illegal. That’s not siding with the terrorists—it is being a democracy.
So here we go again—trying to forbid a democracy to do what a democracy does—and what a democracy must do in order to be a democracy. With Senator Lee, I find that attempt to be “absolutely insane” and I think “it’s unacceptable.”