My Independence Day meanderings.
“If you’re a Republican, you can’t even lie to Congress or lie to an FBI agent, or they’re coming after you.” Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said this during an interview on NewsMax. “They’re going to bury you. They’re going to put you in the DC jail and terrorize and torture you and not live up to the Constitution there.”
As CNN‘s Laura Jarrett noted in 2017: “Federal law makes it a crime to ‘knowingly and willfully’ give ‘materially’ false statements to Congress, even if unsworn – which is not to be confused with the more general crime of perjury for lying under oath.”
“It is also – surprise, surprise! – against the law to lie to the FBI. It’s right there in the US Code – and carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.”
But it may be unreasonable for Louie Gohmert to know these complicated details. After all, he’s only been a member of Congress since 2005. (Does he WANT people to lie to HIM?)
If I thought Louie was uniquely… operating on a different plane, I could laugh it off. But I see a lot of these folks in the halls of Congress.
Nowhere to go
I found a section of the post by Arthur about his realizations rather sad. “In the time since [his husband] Nigel died, I realised that I don’t feel ‘at home’ anywhere: He was my home in an existential sort of sense. In a physical sense, however, I’ve lived in New Zealand so long now—it’ll be 27 years in around five months—that this place is quite literally home.” I understand his pain.
Yet it also stirred a very different type of anxiety in me. “The reality is that after so many years away from the USA, the land of my birth feels like a foreign country—actually, far too often it seems like an alien planet.” And I haven’t been away from the United States, but too often, I get the same feeling.
“As we grow apart, as I grow older, and as events there make my homeland utterly unrecognisable to me, I suspect there may well come a day when I could be permanently separated, particularly if a more hostile regime comes to power in the future—and how could I possibly rule out that prospect when I can no longer say it’d be impossible?”
Yes, sometimes I feel similarly, but without the luxury of a second passport. “If the USA really does collapse, I’m safe here and also have an already well-established life. However, that’s also true even if the USA manages to shake off the disease it caught in 2016 and repair itself.”
I’m having serious doubts that self-repair is even possible. It all feels that too much is going in the wrong direction.
Yeah, I still try to study the issues since that’s what a citizen does. And certainly, I ALWAYS vote because I’m a stubborn old poli sci major who actually thinks that local elections are just as important as the national ones, if not more so.
It’s not optimism that drives me to try to change my little piece of the world. Maybe it’s having a kid who’s really not a child anymore, not to mention nieces. All that hokum that our children are our future? There’s some non-cynical part of me that believes it.
I suppose I could have opted for a rosier star-spangled Fourth. But this is the best I could muster.