The Limited Intelligence of Our Leader
An obsession with alien lifeforms was a hallmark of American cinema in the 1950s and 60s. The topic of Unidentified Flying Objects, UFOs, filled many hours of late-night TV in that era. The infamous line “Take me to your leader” was used in movies, television shows and cartoons as the first words spoken by creatures from another planet who landed on Earth, but where did that line come from? Some believe it originated in an iconic 1953 cartoon created by Alex Graham in The New Yorker magazine, in which two aliens, their flying saucer parked nearby, stand in front of a horse with the cartoon’s caption reading, “Kindly take us to your President!”
The case of mistaken identity and the twist that intelligent life from a place “where man has never gone before” do not know that humans are the dominant life forms on Earth is funny. One would assume the leader of any planet or country would be intelligent, knowledgeable and worthy of that position. That’s a bad assumption. As proof, just look at President Donald Trump. If they flew out of our skies today, aliens would probably be better off talking to the horse, or they could spin the horse around to talk directly to the horse’s ass.
It’s unlikely that illiterate Donald Trump wrote any of the more than 160 Executive Orders he has signed while in office, but someone had that job. For each one, they probably listened to one of his long rants, took notes, then put those random, stream-of-conscious thoughts into a readable form. Perhaps there is a single person who oversees all of those White House rewrites, but let’s take a close look at Executive Order #139256, signed on June 16, 2020, and what it really says.
The order has a good start with some worthy ideas. This line caught my eye, “By working directly with their communities, law enforcement officers can help foster a safe environment where we all can prosper.” Who can argue with that? And as much as I hate the word “redouble,” the order goes on to say, “Particularly in African-American communities, we must redouble our efforts as a Nation to swiftly address instances of misconduct.”
The notion of certifying and credentialing police departments and their officers is a great idea. The order goes on to say, “…allow for the identification and correction of internal deficiencies before those deficiencies result in injury to the public or to law enforcement officers.” I assume this means find bad cops and get them off the force. This reform deals with law enforcement, meaning the Attorney General has most of the power in the equation. In fact, the A.G. could stop funding any police department or city he or she deemed disqualified.
Let’s now talk about “chokeholds.” This term has recently become so pervasive that it is no longer hyphenated. The order says, “the State or local law enforcement agency’s use-of-force policies prohibit the use of chokeholds — a physical maneuver that restricts an individual’s ability to breathe for the purposes of incapacitation — except in those situations where the use of deadly force is allowed by law.” Someone at the Justice Department will have to spend a lot of time reviewing the laws in every state and city. You see, a local law could be written to allow “chokeholds” and the executive order discussed here would not apply. Don’t beat up Trump. He never read the order; he just signed it. It’s customary that the US states have rights over their own laws, not the federal government. Still, we should be calling Trump out about the words, under which, he signed his name.
Trump tells us that chokeholds can be used “when an officer’s life is in danger,” but that is not in the order. The words “race,” “racism,” “systemic racism,” “violence,” and “brutality” do not appear in the text, either. There’s a liberal sprinkling of soft words and phrases, such as the line that the A.G. is to “encourage” police departments to share instances of excessive use of force with other law enforcement agencies and departments. It doesn’t say must; it only says “encourage.”
The order also states, “The Attorney General shall take appropriate steps to ensure that the information in the database consists only of instances in which law enforcement officers were afforded fair process.” Please forgive me if I am sounding like a first-year law student, but that line indicates that the case of an officer shooting an unarmed man at the Wendy’s in Atlanta, would NOT be in the database. After watching the video of that incident, the department fired the officer. Did his removal involve any “due process?” If the person controlling the database feels like an officer was treated “unfairly,” their misdeeds could be ignored.
The order outlines a need for mental health and addiction counseling, but why should the A.G., the national head of law enforcement, be involved with the social services organization of a state, county or city? Why do we think that the Justice Department should oversee a concept they have never promoted over the decades?
The document also talks about the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, an office of 25 people that is supposed to help the President with domestic policy matters, excluding economic matters. Joe Grogan, was recently replaced by Brooke Rollins as the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and she is known as an advocate of criminal justice reform. The order, like most, also adds the standard formatic language that asks Congress to write this into real law, which begs the question, what is an executive order?
The legalese goes this way, “Provided the order has a solid basis either in the Constitution, and the powers it vests in the president, as head of state, head of the executive branch and commander in chief of the nation’s armed forces, in laws passed by Congress, an executive order has the force of law.” Smart presidents make sure their order writers provide a certain number of escape hatches, so that the order doesn’t get tied up in lawsuits and legal actions.
An executive order is not necessarily a bad thing. It turns the legal gears faster than the arduous process of Congressional law making, but it’s always important to read the fine print. Executive Order #139256 is not a bad start, but it’s only a start and everyone knows it. The Senate is working on a new bill and we will see what happens.
For now, this order would have been much better if it didn’t include Trump’s political mudslinging and misinformation. He’s not saying in firm and indisputable language that he’s against rogue cops. This order is something he felt he needed to help himself. It wasn’t more than 8 hours before Trump was on TV introducing negative sentiments toward the victim in the Atlanta shooting. He never thought of an executive order on the subject until the protesters took to the streets. This was NOT his idea. His poll numbers are terrible, and this is his way of trying to seem legit. He’s not. Trump remains a PHONY FAKER.
If you read this book, you can see why all this happened to us.
The book that tells it like it is…
Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conservation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”