Absolute Loyalty is Destroying America

Congressman acting as though they are employees or loyal servants to the president is not the way America should be.  It just isn’t. Doing whatever it takes to stay in power is not what the framers had in mind. What they are supposed to do, among many other things, is a) represent the people b) protect the United States from enemies foreign and domestic and c) serve as a check on the executive branch.  They are failing spectacularly at executing these duties!

Some prime examples of Congressman that epitomize absolute loyalty are:

I could go on and on.  I’m tired of watching them ignore testimony/evidence that the president is actively trying to impact our 2020 election and just looking for any tiny hole they can exploit.  I’m tired of watching them continue to push ‘false narratives’ when they know full well that they aren’t true.  I’m sickened by how mean and vindictive they are, not only the witnesses that came in to testify, but to the Chairman and everyone else that doesn’t agree with them.  Claiming there’s no evidence and then defending the White House for withholding evidence is nonsensical. The constant whataboutism is driving me mad! Arguing that we should let the election decide is crazy because Trump is actively trying impact the results of that election.  Of course, there’s no end to this is sight.    

This is clearly all about power.

Impeachment is about presidential behavior/action, but the behavior/actions of our Congressman are just as consequential in this moment.  Willful ignorance has become par for the course and it’s not because they don’t know better. It’s because they are fearful that if they break from the president they will lose their seat in Congress.  It’s as simple as that. They don’t care about the people, America’s values or protecting our elections. They care about staying in power.  

Just think about how quickly defenses of Trump have evolved:
  • It was a perfect call
  • No quid pro quo
  • Not a corrupt quid pro quo
  • This happens all the time
  • Trump didn’t know
  • Whistleblower complaint is hearsay, inaccurate, politically biased, deep state, etc
  • Process is bad
  • Democrats are out to get Trump
  • Ukraine didn’t know about the held up aid
  • Ukraine didn’t comply with requests
  • The media made it all up
  • Ukraine has the server

This was over the course of just a few weeks!  These are not principled people. Changing their view/argument changes as quickly as the political winds.  Retaining power and relevance is the main objective. This is not what public service is supposed to look like.  Not at all. 

Just a reminder, you work for the people.   

Some might argue that these people are representing their constituents.  Many polls show that in the swing states there isn’t a lot of support for impeachment.  Now, politicians use polls very selectively. We all know that because polling for gun control is just about the only issue that most people agree on.  We also know that is ignored on a constant basis. However, impeachment polls are watched incessantly and always cited by people defending the president.  I would argue that Reps/Senators should take most polls with a grain of salt.  

Most people do not have time to: 

  • Study every issue 
  • Take time to think about the implications for society 
  • Talk to/question experts in the field
  • Receive classified information
  • Field calls from fellow constituents
  • Fully immerse themselves in public service
  • Hold regular town halls
  • Employ staff devoted to reading all relevant studies, becoming experts in public policy 

I believe the people’s job is to elect principled people they believe with do all of the things listed above, come to thoughtful, reasonable conclusions and make decisions with their constituents in mind.  It is not the job of the people to do all the things listed above. By casting our vote, we are ‘hiring’ and paying a representative to devote themselves to these things. Electing a person is giving the people’s consent to use their best judgment when it comes to policy making.  So, I find it really frustrating when elected officials base their decisions solely on polling. Also, have you ever been polled? Yeah, me neither.

Now is the time to protect us from enemies foreign and domestic.

Matters of national security and foreign policy should crush all political calculations in a perfect world.  It should be, as Fiona Hill would say, ‘nonpartizan’ (I just loved how she pronounced that!). Both Marie Yovanovitch and Fiona spoke extensively about the importance of putting US national security above our partisan whims.  There are enemies that are at work that the US needs protection from. Here are a few that they, and all the witnesses, testified about: 

Russia:
  • Actively trying to impact 2020 election 
  • Propagating the conspiracy theory that Ukraine was actually behind the 2016 hack on the DNC undermining American trust in our law enforcement/intelligence community/government institutions 
  • Occupying 7% of Ukrainian sovereign territory violating international law 
  • Currently engaged in a hot war with Ukraine
Rudy Giuliani:
  • Working with corrupt Ukrainians to dig up dirt on American citizens
  • Smearing a sitting ambassador to the point of removal
  • Putting financial interests ahead of US interests
  • Conducting shadow foreign policy undermining the official State Department policy
  • Working closely with now indicted Americans to help further his interests
Donald Trump:
  • Directed Americans to work with Rudy
  • Asked President Zelensky to investigate Crowdstrike and the Bidens
  • Ordered security assistance to be withheld from Ukraine
  • Canceled Pence’s trip to inauguration
  • Withheld White House meeting
  • Stayed in contact with Sondland to get updates on pressure campaign
  • Removed ambassador fighting corruption
  • Blocked all testimony/documents from State Department/Executive Branch 
Other key Americans:
  • Mike Pence
  • Gordon Sondland
  • Mike Pompeo
  • Mick Mulvaney
  • Rick Perry
  • Kurt Volker
  • Donald Trump Jr.

These are just the foreign and domestic enemies that we know about.  Instead of looking at the facts of the case, Republicans are muddying the waters, blaming the Democrats, blaming the Obama administration, the whistleblower and anyone else they can think of.  They are supposed to be protecting our country. They are supposed to be upholding the rule of law. Instead, power and prestige are the only things that they care about. Protecting the president is the only thing they are willing to do. 

Republicans in Congress, you have the power you lust after. Use it.  

Honestly, I find it super embarrassing that these Republican Congressmen are letting the president bully them into submission.  They have just as much power as he does. The constitution says so! There have been numerous reports about Republicans admitting what an obstacle this president is and how much they dislike him so I don’t understand why they don’t take this opportunity to rid themselves of him.  Why don’t they get together with their buddies at Fox News and begin a campaign to remove this guy?  Surely one of them would love to take his place. 

Here’s my advice for you Republicans which, to me, seems so obvious if you want to continue your disgusting corruption:
  • Demand all witnesses testify 
  • demand the documents 
  • demand Trump put forth evidence that exonerates him
  • Start calling out Trump’s lies  
  • Use the damning evidence to create a path for one of you to take the presidency in 2020  
  • Use the evidence to change public sentiment through the Fox News machine
  • Hold up one of your own as being the hero for America
  • Portray your party as the one that protected US
  • Staff ‘smart’ criminals instead of amateurs to help you shake down foreign governments
  • Highlight all your cronies that helped oust a corrupt president
  • Win the election 
  • Appoint said cronies to all cabinet positions
  • Act respectable in front of cameras
  • Stop mean tweeting
  • Continue your corruption with the blessing of the American people 

For people who care about power so much I’m shocked that they don’t use the power that they possess to deploy a plan like this.  Their cowardice is shocking, even in this Trump Era we find ourselves living through. Use your power you fight so hard to keep.  Check this president. The assumption that the only path to survival is defending Trump might be a false one.

It’s up to us.  

Elections matter.  If the Democrats didn’t take the House in 2018, the American public would have no idea the level of corruption of this administration.  It’s obvious that many of our elected officials have abandoned their duties. We must not do the same. The rest of us must focus on doing our duty as citizens. 

Electing candidates that represent our values, use thoughtful reasoning to make decisions and care about society as a whole is absolutely critical in our endeavor to protect America.  We must win this election, but we are not going to do it by tearing each other down. The Republicans want us to do that. Let’s work hard over the next year to inspire nonvoters to register, rally behind our Democratic candidate and to show our neighbors what Democratic values are all about. 

The Whistleblower Story: What is going on?

This whistleblower story has captured my full attention and my curiosity like no story since Jeffery Epstein.  Here are just a few details:

  • A complaint deemed “credible and urgent” by the IG
  • DNI’s refusal to share it with Congress 
  • Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee accusing leaders of breaking the law
  • A letter that states Executive Branch involvement
  • Hearings scheduled
  • A promise made to a foreign leader

There are so many moving parts! The trouble with a story like this is it loses its impact if someone doesn’t know a lot about how the government works.  Who are the players? Who answers to who? Let’s clear things up a little.

What is the whistleblower law? 

The Intelligence Community Whistleblowers’ Protection Act (ICWPA) establishing a pathway for people working in the intelligence agency to file a complaint without disclosing classified information to the public. Here are some details to know:

  1. Whistleblower files complaint with Intelligence Community Inspector General (IG)
  2. IG has 14 days to determine whether the complaint is of ‘urgent concern’ and is credible
  3. IG hands the full complaint along with his determination over to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) 
  4. DNI then hands the complaint over to the House Intelligence Committee with any comments he chooses to add within 7 days of receiving.
  5. House Intelligence Committee resolves the issue

It seems as though the first 3 steps were followed with regard to this whistleblower.  Step 4 is when it starts to get fishy.  

What is an inspector general? (IC IG – Michael Atkinson)

Michael Atkinson, current IG for the intel community, is due to testify to Congress today

An IG is an internal watchdog that functions kind of like an HR department or internal affairs department at a police department.  There are 72 IG offices in the federal government. Their job is to carry out audits and investigations to promote efficiency and to prevent/detect fraud or abuse within a department.

What is the Director of National Intelligence? (DNI – Joseph Maguire)

Joseph Maguire, current acting DNI, has refused to hand over complaint deemed urgent

The DNI is a position that was created after the September 11th when it was determined that there needs to be more coordination between the 17 intelligence agencies. It oversees all intelligence agencies including the CIA and NSA.  This position directly reports to the President of the United States.

Joseph Maguire, acting DNI, received the complaint and issued a letter to Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, telling him he’s not handing it over.  Schiff’s response,

“The DNI acknowledged that this involves someone apparently outside of the authority of the DNI. Someone above the DNI — there aren’t that many in that category. And they also suggested that there may be privilege issues here, which means that it would have to involve communications of the President or people around him.”

It has since come out that the complaint involves a ‘promise’ President Trump made to a foreign leader.

What is the House Intelligence Committee? (Chairman Adam Schiff D – California)

Adam Schiff, Chairman of House Intel Committee, demands full complaint be handed over.

The House Intel Committee (HPSCI) is a group of elected members of the House of Representatives that are in charge of overseeing the 17 intelligence agencies.  The leader, or Chairmen of the committee, decides what issues to investigate, when to issue subpoenas and when to hold people accountable. The Committee is a mix of Democrats and Republicans.  The Chairman will always be a member of the majority party. 

Adam Schiff has issued a subpoena for the DNI to hand over all related materials with respect to the complaint that was made.  It seems as though no one is going to comply with it.

Keeping the details straight about how the government is suppose to work will help as more details come out.  This complaint is yet another example of how Trump can’t be trusted and has no business being President.  Everyone please register to vote and let’s get him out of there in 2020!

He’s Going Down Swinging

The debate is over. Trump is a racist.  ‘Go back to your country’ is a racist statement.  There is no way to argue otherwise.  Although I am shocked, these tweets aren’t surprising.  He says racist stuff all the time.  The difference here is bluntness.  No sugar coating, no way to misinterpret.  The tweet is so explicitly racist that any CEO would lose their job in 10 seconds over it yet he remains the leader of the free world.

Why did he do it?

The timing here seems extremely suspicious to me for a couple of reasons.  Sure, Fox News ran a few segments about ‘The Squad’ roughly 20 minutes before the tweet storm, but they run segments about them daily.  That couldn’t have been the only factor in my view.

The Democratic squabble between Pelosi and AOC has been headline news which is great for him.  He could have just sat back and let the media run with it. He could have said the party is imploding, called a few names while still making these 4 congresswomen the face of the party.

Instead, he made statements so obviously racist it bumped all other stories to page two.  The White House manufacturing event turned into a circus as he escalated his attacks on these women.  All this gives the Democratic caucus a chance to put their dirty laundry back inside and stand united.  So I ask again, why would he do this? 

Trump is the King of Distraction 

He had to have known the kind of blow back he would receive which might actually be the point.  I think it’s no coincidence Trump did this just days before the bail hearing for Jeffrey Epstein.  He threw a shiny object in the opposite direction so the details of this case wouldn’t lead the hours of every cable news channel. 

His connection to this case is inevitable which might actually be his undoing.  I predict he is going to say a bunch of heinous things to keep the people off his scent.  Because after all, being a racist is a lot more acceptable than being a child rapist.

Thursday is Epstein’s bail hearing.  I expect this week will be particularly painful for many in this country as we watch this president go down swinging. 

An Evening with James Comey

James Comey… there are multiple things that come to mind when I hear his name.

  • The Hillary Clinton email situation.
  • The Anthony Weiner scandal.
  • The ‘loyalty’ pledge.
  • The secret memos.
  • His multiple Congressional testimonies.
  • His firing…and many other things.

Is there a more complicated or polarizing political figure than James Comey?

Somehow he figured out how to make both sides of the political spectrum hate him. Yet, he seems beloved by employees of the FBI. While he seems bound by rules and regulations in many situations, he simultaneously flies in face of them in others.

Throughout his career he has shown amazing courage, speaking truth to power, going after the mob and white-collar crime; yet, I feel quite disappointed with how he handled our current president at times. I love that he speaks out for our values, but hate that he had a hand in creating this mess. The FBI is supposed to be behind-the-scenes yet he seems super drawn to the media. I’m confused about why he pushed back on the New York Times during a Senate hearing after they reported the Trump campaign had many contacts with Russians when that has turned out to be true. So, it’s weird. Do I like him or do I not? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. These are some of the reasons I was so eager to read his book. Who is this guy and why is he so complicated? His book is a great read and actually gives a lot of insight into why he made the decisions he did. He is able to illustrate the immense pressure the FBI, and him personally, was under while trying to deliberate how to handle this truly unprecedented situation. I believe he handled the email situation incorrectly, but the book helped me understand how he arrived where he did. I still feel very frustrated by the whole thing, but it is what it is.

Perfect Timing: Comey in Salt Lake City.

I was thrilled when my husband told me that James Comey was coming to SLC and he found tickets. It seemed like perfect timing with the bombshell news that dropped the previous weekend too. We arrived at the venue and the environment was just buzzing with energy. It seemed I wasn’t the only one bursting with curiosity at what he might say. The person that introduced him gave a timeline of his career. The crowd roared with laughter when he mentioned Comey’s time as a federal prosecutor under Rudy Giuliani. We laughed again when he said Comey served as Deputy Attorney General at the DOJ when Robert Mueller was FBI Director. What a comical twist of fate to see where we are now! And then came,”Ladies and Gentlemen, James Comey!” Thunderous applause filled the hall as this giant of a man strode onto the stage. As he began to speak I was struck by his charisma. He captured the crowd as he spoke about ethical leadership, his worry about the erosion of our public life and how much he believes in our institutions. It was so clear how much he loves and misses the FBI. He described his pain and depression he has felt over the last couple of years, but is determined to make something good come out of it. I was shocked by how funny he is and how fondly he spoke of past presidents. He talked about how important it is to listen to others when you hold a position of leadership. He said Barack Obama was the best listener he has ever come across. Obama would let you speak uninterrupted for 10 minutes and then respond with questions from minute one, seven and nine. He would never sit behind the resolute desk, but sit in a wingback chair while you sat on the couch. He would face you, look at you without any other distractions. He used humor to make the speaker feel more at ease because he understood what it feels like to talk ‘uphill’ to the most powerful person in the world. Comey then juxtaposed that with our current president. He doesn’t stop talking so the briefer is forced to interrupt. Anything you say falls on deaf ears. He sits behind the desk and tries to impose an intimidating persona. All of these things, in Comey’s opinion, is a mark of an incredibly weak leader. He spoke of his life, his career and his hopes for the future. He talked about his wife and 6 children. He told funny stories of employees at the FBI, staffers and the presidents. He captivated his audience in a way that I wasn’t expecting.

The Q&A Session: ‘Vote this President Out of Office’

After he concluded his speech we began the Q&A session. It was everything you would imagine. There were lots of questions about the Russia investigation and, as you might predict, he couldn’t really say much about it. He was asked about the Hillary Clinton email situation. One thing he said that stuck out to me was, ‘This has been like a nightmare and I can’t wake up.’ He was asked about William Barr, the new AG. He said that he believed that pick is better than anything we could have hoped for and Trump may have bitten off more than he could chew. He talked about how Trump doesn’t laugh and he believes that is one of many signs that he is a deeply insecure person. He was asked if he believed that Trump would make it to the end of his term. Comey said that he hoped Trump did make it to the end of his term followed by stone cold silence. He explained, “People need to get off the couch, get out of the car and vote your values. The best thing for the health of our democracy is to vote this president out of office.” The crowd erupted! As the questions wrapped, he was met by a standing ovation. There was something truly inspiring about seeing Comey the human. Not the FBI Director, not the guy that Trump fired, not the guy that screwed up the election. When you strip away all the anger, the confusion and the turmoil that is our political reality right now, you are left with the most important thing that we all can agree on. Our American values. The most important thing we can do is fight to protect those values and the very democracy we all hold dear.

Blue Mom Red State: ‘If more Republicans were like Comey…’

I’m so happy I was able to attend. I’ve come to the conclusion that if all Republicans were more like the James Comey I saw tonight, the world would be better than it is today. Like him, it would still be complicated, but better.


It is time to come out of hiding. My goal is to empower you: the silent observer. To provide knowledge to every American man, woman, and child who has an opinion but has been falsely convinced that they don’t know enough about politics to be allowed to share it. Abandon that belief. You are an American. Your voice matters. Rise up and stand for what is right. For family. For justice. For equality and humanity. This blog is for you. And together, our strong collective voices can change this world for the better.

Follow live on Twitter: @blumom_redstate


More from Blue Mom Red State:

Nationalism: Words Matter

Recently, the president called himself a nationalist at a rally before the election to the thunderous applause of the attendees. This has sparked a fierce debate on social media and at news organizations about whether or not the term is appropriate for an American president to use. I’ve been watching people go back and forth talking about patriotism vs. nationalism, calling each other racists and many other things. It’s been festering among the public for a few weeks now. It seemed to come to a head when the White House held a press conference after the midterm elections. There was a lot that happened at that press conference, but the thing that stood out to me was when a journalist stood to ask the president about his calling himself a nationalist. She began asking whether or not using the term emboldens white nationalism throughout the country. He interrupted her by saying it was a racist question. (Of course I am not able to capture the extraordinary exchange between the two so I highly encourage those who haven’t seen it to watch the clip below)

After this insane press conference I heard my husband on the phone talking with a friend about nationalism and what it means. While they were talking, I found myself chewing on the subject. I got on Merriam-Webster dictionary and searched nationalism. The definition that comes up reads loyalty and devotion to nation.

Reading a literal definition of the word makes it seem totally harmless. The problem with literal definitions is that history, society and cultural movements can change the meaning or interpretation of a word. Take the word gay for example. The literal definition listed in this dictionary is happily excited, keenly alive and exuberant, bright, lively, brilliant in color and given to social pleasures. There’s nothing mentioned about sexuality until the fourth entry yet the cultural definition of gay is sexually attracted to the same sex. English teachers didn’t change the definition. Society did. If someone stands in front of a crowd and says ‘I’m gay,’ not a single listener would interpret that as the speaker feeling happy. There are many words that the cultural meaning is different than the literal one. Here are a few obvious ones:

  • Faggot – a bundle of sticks or twigs bound together as fuel
  • Bitch – female dog, wolf, fox or otter
  • Ass – a hoofed mammal of the horse family with a braying call, typically smaller than a horse and with longer ears

Even typing those puts a pit in my stomach because they mean something offensive. Nationalism is similar in that the literal meaning isn’t quite in touch with what it means to people. Dictators, namely Hitler and Mussolini, used the term to manipulate the masses into believing that their nation was superior to others. It has been used historically as a way to create a hierarchy of human worth. Our nation is superior so we must keep inferior people out, that sort of thing. Hitler was able to define what a superior German was down to the eye color by exploiting people’s fears about the economy, vilifying Jews and other immigrants while fostering a sense of pride in being part of his nation. His speeches were riddled with language about how nation means everything, protecting the culture’s “founding race,” and many other phrases which instilled a belief among the people that unless you possessed all the qualities that made a person German, you were inferior. And, of course, the Holocaust followed.

So, what’s the responsibility of an American president when it comes to words? The president’s words have the power to unite us, to divide us, and to move an entire nation in a certain direction. The words of the president have shaped history for better or for worse. I’m not here to be the word police, but I do think the words he speaks hold more weight than any person on the planet. They must be chosen carefully and thoughtfully. The fact that this president chose to use nationalism means one of two things. The president is either unaware of the history of the words usage or he knows full well what it means and used it anyway. I would argue that the latter is more true. Before he announced himself as a nationalist he said, ‘I know I’m not supposed to say this, but…’ implying that he knows exactly what impact the word would have on people. If he really believes nationalism really just means patriotism then why would he call the journalist’s question racist? Patriotism has nothing to do with race or superiority, but nationalism sure does. He knows the weight of the word and used it purposefully. He talks of revoking birthright citizenship which would start a conversation about what makes a person American. What qualities does a person have to possess to be superior enough to be called an American? This vision of America betrays the very principle that this country was founded on, that all men are created equal. This is the muddy water that he wants. We, the people, rejected this way of thinking on November 6th, 2018 and I hope that the firm rebuke of nationalism continues on through 2020.

Bill Browder: Red Notice Book Review

 

This is a must read book in 2018! It reads like a political thriller, yet it is a true story. It also gives some really good background info to help make sense of the Russia investigation.

I added Red Notice by Bill Browder to the Blue Mom Red State book club because Bill Browder is a key player in today’s news of the day. After the death of Sergei Magnitsky, Bill Browder has made it his mission to seek justice for him. Red Notice offers some context to the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Don Jr about Russian adoptions and dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Bill Browder has become a highly polarizing figure in today’s politically charged environment much like everything else. He is the subject of many conspiracy theories and is a villain in the eyes of Vladimir Putin.

Read the book and decide for yourself!

 

You’re Only as Good as the Company You Keep

I know from personal experience that the people you surround yourself with can really have a great impact on your life. For example, I worked at a retail store in California. Now, this store had a policy that customers could only buy 49 items a day. This policy existed because bulk buyers from South America would come and buy hundreds of items on sale to resale them south of the border. The company wanted to minimize this practice as much as possible. The manager of the store I worked at figured out a way around this policy. He decided we would let as many bulk buyers come to the store and buy as much as they wanted.

We would task someone with ringing these purchases round the clock by breaking up all the items into $40-$50 increments to avoid being red flagged by the company. At first, I was hesitant about the whole thing, but I didn’t say anything. Over time, I didn’t feel bad at all. Our store was getting national recognition for our sales and praise for keeping our store organized. We could do it all! I was in the running for an award for best assistant manager and I was getting a lot of attention for my merchandising skills.

So much good was happening for us. What they didn’t know was we didn’t have to deal with problems most stores have to deal with because we were breaking that policy. We didn’t have to sensor hundreds of items saving tons of hours that we could devote to other things. We weren’t sitting on extra product that tends to gum up the backroom causing major organizational and merchandising problems. Our numbers were padded by the many sales we wouldn’t have otherwise had if we were following policy and turning away these bulk buyers. We wouldn’t tell new hires about the policy. Anyone who pointed it out would get scheduled in the evenings so they wouldn’t see what was happening.

The management team, myself included, lied to upper management to keep our ruse going. Eventually we were exposed. Someone on the team called an anonymous hotline detailing all the things that we were doing wrong. An extensive HR investigation ensued where I was interviewed multiple times about what was going on. When asked why I did this I remember answering, ‘I don’t know.’ That felt like the genuine answer at the time. I didn’t feel like I was doing anything horribly wrong. I sat there looking at all the documents they had with my name on them, my employee number all over stuff, emails I had written, lies I had told. I was so shocked at myself.

Clearly this was the wrong thing to do so why did I do it and why did it feel so easy? I was fully prepared to be fired when the district manager came to the store after the HR investigation wrapped. Turns out the manager said it was all his idea and he directed us to do it. He was fired and the rest of us were spared. Long story short, I was able to redeem myself and ended up having a very successful run at this company leading to greater opportunities.

Why did it feel so easy? Why didn’t I feel bad about it until I was faced with justice? It’s because I was immersed in a culture of corruption/wrongdoing. Looking back on this experience, I have come to realize that what they say is true. You can only be as good as those you surround yourself with. I was desensitized because the standard was low. I was living in a culture where wrongdoing wasn’t a big deal. ‘Everybody’s doing it’, ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ kind of thing. Part of what made it possible was keeping people with higher standards away. It was also keeping people that you trust to keep their mouths shut close by.

Short term positive outcomes justified what we were doing. It even made it feel good. Sure, there are times that your own standards can raise that of your friends, but it seems so much easier to be dragged down rather than pulled up. Doing the right thing often times feels harder than going with the flow. Plus, there are down sides. There are plenty of examples of whistle-blowers that get shamed or disparaged. The idea that a tattletale is bad is ingrained in us from a very young age. Doesn’t this mentality keep a culture of corruption and wrongdoing going?

These are a few of the reasons why I believe it is essential to teach my sons the importance of keeping yourself surrounded with people that hold similar values. Not same religion or same life, but same values. One of which is standing up for what is right even when it is hard.

Because I believe all this to be true, I can’t help but believe that the current president and his administration are rotten to the core. The best way for me to make my point is to compile a list of people that currently surround the president or spent many years with him.

  • Michael Cohen – (personal lawyer/friend for at least 10 years) pleaded guilty to 8 crimes, two of which he said was done ‘in coordination and at the direction’ of Donald Trump
  • Don Jr, Eric and Ivanka Trump – (kids) Donald Trump Foundation is currently being sued by the New York AG for multiple violations on how donated money was used.
  • Jared Kushner – (son-in-law) routinely fakes documents in his business. Charles Kushner, Jared’s dad, served time in prison for illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering. The entire Kushner business is really shady and is worth reading about.
  • Paul Manafort – (campaign manager) found guilty by a jury of our peers on 8 counts.
  • Chris Collins – (House Rep and first endorser of Trump) indicted on insider trading charges
  • Duncan Hunter – (House Rep and second endorser of Trump) charged with mishandling of campaign funds.
  • Jeff Sessions – (current AG and third endorser of Trump) enforces policies that result in kids in cages and has routinely lied about his contacts with Russian officials
  • Elliott Broidy – (friend and fellow client of Michael Cohen) paid women for silence through Cohen and is currently under federal investigation for selling influence with Trump administration.
  • Mike Flynn – (National Security Advisor for campaign/White House) pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI
  • Stephen Miller – (advisor to the President) his own family denounced his policies on race and immigration. He is definitely worth learning more about.
  • Jim Jordan – (House Rep, has a full endorsement from Trump to be the next Speaker of the House) currently being interviewed in an investigation at OSU for helping to cover up widespread sexual abuse
  • Roger Ailes – (Friend/role model) was removed from Fox News after multiple allegations of sexual abuse surfaced. He was the CEO of Fox News.
  • Scott Pruitt – (former EPA director appointed by Trump) was the subject of at least 12 congressional investigations into his spending of taxpayer dollars and conduct. He has resigned.
  • Bill Shine – (White House Communications director) played a role in covering up Roger Ailes crimes at Fox News.
  • Rob Porter – (former Staff Secretary for the President) credibly accused of domestic abuse by multiple wives
  • George Papadopoulos – (advisor on campaign) pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI
  • Carter Page – (foreign policy advisor to the campaign) under FBI surveillance for years, even prior to the campaign
  • Sean Hannity – (friend and fellow client of Michael Cohen) constantly lies and promotes conspiracy theories
  • David J. Pecker – (longtime friend) CEO of media company that Michael Cohen mentioned in court during his guilty plea

Of course I could continue listing more people depending on what part of Trump’s life you want to look at. I could include people who probably started with good intentions, as I did, and are now complicit, liars, whatever you want to call them. My overall point in listing all these people is that he surrounds himself with people that lie, cheat the system and knowingly hurt other people. He berates people on Twitter that call for a higher standard. He ‘feels sad’ for people that get caught. He thinks it’s ‘unfair’ when people are held accountable. His behavior and his tweets have all the hallmarks of a culture of corruption, just like the one I worked in. It is laughable to think that anyone around him has us, the people of the United States, first and foremost on their minds. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.’ The people listed here are the apples. I haven’t even begun to address the conduct of the tree, nor will I since that could fill an entire book.

Yesterday was an eye-opening, shocking display of events which further proves that this upcoming election is vital for the health of our country. We constantly rag on Congressman and elected officials for not doing their job and being corrupt. Guess what? We, the people, aren’t doing our job! Only one third of the nation votes and that has lead us to this point. We must vote in every election. We must vote out the self serving people in our government. Furthermore, most the people that create the laws and policies that govern our lives are appointed by the people that we choose. It is critical to elect people that choose to surround themselves with good, honest people. We are seeing the results of the electorate’s complacency right now. There’s still time to redeem ourselves and it has to start with the midterm elections in November. It’s the people’s job to clean up Washington. Learn about your candidates, hold them to a higher standard and vote. Let’s do this!

You don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s more info from a wide range of outlets:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/08/21/michael-cohen-striking-deal-with-federal-prosecutors.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-37369515

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/1/17053398/jared-kushner-scandals-russia-clearance-loans

https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/21/politics/paul-manafort-trial-jury/index.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-congressman-chris-collins-is-arrested-on-insider-trading-charges-1533736677

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/duncan-hunter-and-wife-indicted-grand-jury-campaign-finance-violations/

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/attorney-general-announces-zero-tolerance-policy-criminal-illegal-entry

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/elliott-broidy-under-investigation-doj_us_5b76f685e4b0a5b1febae11a

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/01/us/politics/michael-flynn-guilty-russia-investigation.html

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/08/13/stephen-miller-is-an-immigration-hypocrite-i-know-because-im-his-uncle-219351

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2018/07/18/jim-jordan-interviewed-with-perkins-coie-lawyers-as-part-of-ohio-state-investigation/?utm_term=.1816e4a38cdf

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/09/roger-ailes-fox-news-final-days

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-25/here-s-a-scorecard-of-the-scott-pruitt-investigations-quicktake

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900027977/from-ailes-to-trump-meet-bill-shine-trump-s-new-image-man.html

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/feb/14/timeline-rob-porter-domestic-abuse-and-white-house/

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/10/george-papadopoulos/544346/

https://www.businessinsider.com/carter-page-nunes-memo-2018-2

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2018/05/14/donald-trump-sean-hannity-speak-nearly-every-weeknight-report/607595002/

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/donald-trump-a-playboy-model-and-a-system-for-concealing-infidelity-national-enquirer-karen-mcdougal