News & Publishing, Politics & Public Policy

A rhetorical reflection as Impeachment descends over the Nation

Days like this call for sentences using “bloviating,” “preening,” and “grandstanding.”
 
Also, “obscuring,” “omitting,” and “lying.”
 
I am cognizant how words are received, digested, shared, and manipulated in digital space. They catch on and quickly become part of the news-cycle vernacular, thanks to personality and platform megaphones.
 
Some media colleague, or perhaps it was the White House, today bandied about the term “Soviet-style impeachment,” and now every other caller into C-SPAN’s “Republican call-line” references it, even though “Russian impeachment” is an oxymoron. Just ask Yeltsin.
 
That’s a poor joke, because Yeltsin is dead, and three attempts to impeach him failed. In fact, no Russian President was ever successfully impeached.
 
I know; shocking, right?
 
Putin probably has a lock on that, too.
 
So it’s a strange comparison that would seemingly be a happy ending for Trump loyalists, except it requires equating Trump to a Soviet dictator who “gets away with it.”
 
In writing about the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, Shakespearean and Biblical parallels are low-hanging fruit, yet effective, relatable to the highly literate and a 10th-grade English class alike.
 
It can be maddening trying to chronicle history when it comes at you fast. The past can feel like the only perspective and guidepost.19c2cdf5-5b31-4c59-a0f5-f44483bb57dc
 
Print news cycles, measured in days and weeks are now brutally, digitally compressed — into hours, minutes, seconds, and Tweet characters. There’s much less time to agonize over word choice. Still, we aim to tell the story with equal parts veracity and verve.
“IMPEACH” photo by G.A. Peck
News & Publishing, Politics & Public Policy

U.S. Immigration: Hell is for Children

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Here I sit, finally still, settled — fat and happy over Thanksgiving and family and friends and reconnections and relative good health … and then my wire alerts blow up, and this photo scrolls to my screen.

Photo by Reuters.

This is a child who came to the border from who knows where. She is barely clothed. She may lack shoes; it’s a little difficult to say for sure. She clings to a toy ball, perhaps a thing of comfort, perhaps a small reminder of normalcy during the arduous journey. What must she have seen and endured during that trek?

She is shrieking.

She is held by an adult, presumably. A mother? A guardian? An auntie? A stranger? The woman wears a too-small shirt, her stomach spilling out, the arm holes taught. It depicts a Disney tale she likely hasn’t seen. Where is her own shirt, the one that would fit her? Who is she?

What has she seen during her travels? What has she endured? What has been done to her? Who has she become?

What daily hell did they flea?

They likely embarked on the journey because they were told to. Not by any Soros-esque bogeyman, but perhaps by other local activists or news anchors or through the exportation of our national pride. We tell the world: This is the place to be. We are the shit, man. You want to be here, because we do all things the best. Look at our liberties. Look at our freedom. Look at our diversity. Look at our might. Look at our opportunities. Look at our Kardashians.

Perhaps someone told them along the way that it is within their Right to plead for asylum once they reach the border — that our laws entitle them to that appeal, though it may be a long-shot and especially given the current Administration. Perhaps they carried some of that hope with them along the way, as they bartered away materials things or worse.

And so they walked the miles and endured the exploitation just to get to that border. And our government orders armed troops to pelt and poison them with teargas.

She is shrieking.