About the Shutdown

Mariner had a group meeting with his three alter egos. It seems the group has serious concerns about the shutdown. The US is very much in the roiling currents of change on many fronts including economy, governance, industry, civil rights, Constitutional rights, technology, society norms, religious rights, and international relations – indeed a plateful. The shutdown is larger than life, larger than myopic news that broadcasters describe, and very much a pivot point in US history.

Not wanting to eat the whole pie at once, mariner has a few observations that may be more important than the daily hodgepodge may imply.

Mariner recommends that readers take some time to study the situation in Egypt. The conflict is between a Trumpian dictator, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and the majority Islamic citizenry in Egypt. There are fewer players than in the US but the manner of governance under Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is very much dictatorial and he has imprisoned, under the term ‘terrorists,’ all citizens who oppose his reign. Only 47 percent of Egyptians voted in 2018 (same as US in 2016); Abdel Fattah el-Sisi garnered over 90 percent of the vote (US did not mess with ballot boxes; it used the Electoral College). It should be noted that Abdel has imprisoned over 60,000 citizen ‘terrorists.’ Type Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in your search engine for further awareness.

There are many parallels between Egypt and the US (typically, abolishing free press, the right to due process, justice by law, and democratic governance). Granted, the US is more mannerly only because for 241 years it has been a Federal Republic with three established branches of government and relatively independent state governments. Egyptian governance has suffered the disruption of Middle Eastern politics, religious rebellion and recent civil war. Nevertheless, in terms of citizen abuse, manipulation of ‘justice’ in governance, and attempts to impose the authority of a tenth century king, Egypt is on the same path as the US. Given the civil constraints of US history, one can respell Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as Donald Trump.

True, mariner may have overstated some similarities but the mechanics of change – particularly under the influence of a leader who would be king – are quite similar. Comparable is the citizen rebellion in Egypt versus the rebellion against Donald, a castrated Senate, and a 35 percent minority of citizens (AKA the ‘base’). As for Senate neutering, Senator McConnell holds the knife. While Abdel imprisoned 60,000 citizens, Donald has put 800,000 government employees under house arrest and garnered their income; while Abdel attacks mosques, Donald attacks nonwhites, immigrants, green card children, and ignores critical support needed for US citizens in Puerto Rico after a destructive hurricane. There are several more comparisons on the personal level, all dealing with corrupt financial dealings, international cronyism and deliberate showboating. We can only hope that the new Congress, the State Attorneys General and Robert Mueller will slow the rotting of our democratic process.

The shutdown is an act of war. Like Abdel, independent power is used to disrupt normal governance. It is an act that Donald must not win. This is a terrible position for mariner to take, given the imprisonment of 800,000 fellow citizens, but the nation’s democratic process and its citizen rights to representation are at stake. Lest prejudice sway one’s commitment to Congressional resistance, Congress, sans McConnell, is willing to pass six budget bills that will fund all government functions except the TSA and related security/immigration functions. Donald knows that if the government reopens generally, his strong-arm position will be diminished. Think of a New York mob enforcing protection from threatened abuse on local businesses.

A few posts ago, mariner suggested that if Donald were not impeached or otherwise removed from office, the new Congress would get little done because Donald and McConnell can control unwanted legislation. Mariner and his fellow citizens don’t need Donald’s disruption during times of change on many fronts including economy, governance, industry, civil rights, Constitutional rights, technology, society norms, religious rights, and international relations.

Ancient Mariner



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