Nuclear option

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

I was going to write a column about Easter with my family and all the stories and shorthand talk of familiar minds and histories that brought laughter and tears through the day. We prepped and cooked traditional dishes, arranged the flowers, set a pretty table, mashed and carved and sat down to toast one another’s health and peace in this world. We ate leisurely, and finally at about 9 pm were ready for dessert. It was a sweet, peaceful Easter. In fact, it was “tippy-top!” to quote a phrase, except for a couple of things.

The person in this country who tweets most sent a “Happy Easter” greeting. But soon, around breakfast Eastern time, we were rewarded again by the Tweeter-in-Chief. He was preaching fear after hearing a Fox News piece that “caravans” of Hondurans were approaching our partially un-walled southern border, the border that begs to be crossed over because, according to his accusations, the Democrats have refused to pass anti-immigration legislation to keep them out.
Hogwash. Neither party has moved on any kind of sensible immigration reform for years. Our chief, once again, is misinterpreting and/or lying to scare up votes.

What frightens more than an insinuation of countless illegals planning to cha-cha into our country is the one-year-so-far president saying, “use the nuclear option” to stop what he (or perhaps it was just Fox, his go-to for hyperbole) calls a “massive influx.” Even though the definition of the term “nuclear option” is merely the most drastic response possible to allow the U.S. Senate to override rules by only 51 percent rather than the two-thirds rule – a form of bullying used to out-maneuver the opposing party – the words themselves and the meaning in general of those words are a fright.

For him to speak those words to his voters and to face down poverty-level refugees and their families trying to find a safe place to live . . . well, the man is using the phrase purposefully to frighten. He frightens me, and I know what the Congress’s common usage of the “nuclear option” phrase is. His use of such phraseology advertises his absence of decency and common sense as it exemplifies his overly refined habit of exaggeration and fabrication.

Or maybe it’s just his smoke screen to turn news coverage away from his plan to re-pollute the environment as his anti-environmental Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt removes clean air rules from his agency. It’s hard to tell where to look in this Presidency.

He’s a pro at dissembling and a pro at mining fear tactics because he intuits in the far recesses of his brain that fear works; we all can become fearful from words spoken ill-advisedly. And in this case, promoted and buttressed by Fox News, another scare-tactic entity wise in the many devious ways to make America fall apart. When he speaks of the Justice Department as an “embarrassment to our country,” it magnifies his repetitious adeptness at taking heat off himself by playing the role of the pot calling the kettle black.

I hope you all had a happy holiday, for I believe we’re downhill from now till the midterm elections as far as honest statements to the electorate. April 1, Easter Sunday 2018, is the date The Tweeter chose to gin up his fear-mongering to get more votes for his kind in November.

Keep informed. Read all sides – Fox News, mainstream news, foreign news – and look things up you’re unsure of. Think about what politicians say and reporters write, then think for yourselves.

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