The last time the British got really annoyed with us, they burned down the White House.
At least the issues behind the unfortunate War of 1812 were real. Our government objected to British insults like the impressment, i.e. kidnapping, of American seamen. In the spring of 1814, U.S. forces burned Port Dover, a village in Ontario. On August 24, Imperial forces responded in kind by torching our national capitol.
The current conflict appears to have originated in the imaginations of ultra-right news fabricators. First the Breitbarts and Foxes convinced our reality-challenged president that his predecessor had been listening in on his phone calls. Then they speculated that the generally respected (except by them) black ex-leader of the free world had enlisted British intelligence in his nefarious plot. Our commander-in-chief tweeted this fake news to the world and repeated it in several ceremonial stand-ups, including one with the Chancellor of Germany.
Geez Louise. Let’s hope that the Brits withdraw their ambassador for consultations but stop short of retorching the Trump residence.
Unfortunately the Trump cartoon is not funny. Behind the smokescreen of the Donald’s Looney Tunes antics, very serious anti-government, anti-immigrant, anti-democracy nationalists are planning to deport up to 11 million undocumented neighbors and workers, walk back affordable health care access for millions of citizens, shift taxes from the rich to the middle class, gut the non-military portion of the federal budget and restrict voting rights. This is change you can believe in.
The only way to stop the crazy train is to separate the Trump administration from its Congressional supporters. In case you hadn’t noticed, radical Republicans who subscribe to the agenda outlined above dominate our U.S. Congress, particularly the House of Representatives.
Which leads us to Rep. Greg Walden, our legislator from Oregon’s 2nd District. Greg is a member of House Republican leadership and a leading purveyor of ultra-right Kool-aid. He is under pressure from Trump resisters here in Ashland and Medford, led by Indivisible, but most of his constituents are hardcore Republicans east of the Cascades. Polls show that 60% of Republicans believe in Trump fantasy facts like his wiretapping story.
The bottom line is that we can’t restore democracy just by talking to each other in the Rogue Valley. We need to reach out to Klamath, Harney, Lake, Deschutes and the rest of the Great Basin Counties. Somewhere out in that sagebrush there is a sane Republican who can unseat Walden and bring down Trump.
It’s time to make America great again. That’s going to require reaching over the mountains.