A few months ago, I attended my very first town hall meeting. How can I begin to describe it? Well, it was flooded with joy, vitriol, anger, fidelity –the works. But, when I stepped through the threshold to the capacious auditorium, my eyes leaping from poster to poster, “Trump this!”, “Trump that!”, only one seemed to truly grasp my attention. Now, can I be honest with you? It’s not that the deep blue of Democrats’ posters didn’t attract me, nor was it a Trump supporter’s oversized cape that didn’t stimulate my thought, “How the heck did security let him in with that thing”, it was the fact that I’d already seen these posters on cable news. They were boring, outdated with their enthusiastic pro, or their emphatic con, and mostly they were counterproductive to the town hall environment. But one stood out, “Congress, you work for us.” Conceptually this was, and is, accurate, but can this notion of democracy truly be applied to 2018?
If you’ve been scrolling through your Facebook feed in the past days, or have caught a glimpse of your favorite journalist on cable news, you’ve probably heard about the so-called, “Nunes Memo.” After days of anger, controversy on Capitol Hill, U.S. President Donald Trump paved way for the publishing of this GOP-spearheaded memo, a report crafted by Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Devin Nunes(R-CA). The report, which faced criticism from both sides of the political aisle – even the FBI – detailed that, both Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee hired Fusion GPS, a research opposition firm who relayed the intelligence gathering to the author of the blistering “Trump dossier”, former British Intelligence officer, Christopher Steele. The premise of this document, however, is the blanket allegation of the FBI’s abuse of power, a political scheme by Clinton and the Democrats, where through the unravelling of the aforementioned dossier the FBI prompted to assist with the issuing of a FISA warrant, resulting in the surveillance of informal Trump advisor Carter Page. Wow, that was a mouthful, I hope you weren’t reading it out loud. You could be called a Democrat, a Republican, or worse –a Russian! But, I digress.
On Saturday, just hours after the released memo made international headlines, the President of the United States tweeted this: “This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. There was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!” What the President didn’t realize, however, is that his declassification of this highly sensitive memo, with cautioned word from the FBI Director Christopher Wray, was disgraceful in, in of itself. The fact is that the FBI’s Investigation into alleged “Russian Collusion”, which many prominent Democrats, such as Senator Dianne Feinstein(D-CA) and Alan Dershowitz have decried for lack of evidence, is still proliferating throughout the many halls of the J. Edgar Hoover building. The exclusive releasing of this memo clearly exhibits Mr. Trump’s priorities to dismantle the FBI’s prerogative into this controversial probe. Moreover, President Trump directly contradicted his constant cries for the protection of law enforcement, since he utilizes his Congressional pawns to release information, which he unapologetically knows could jeopardize America’s highest-ranking law enforcement agency. Time and time again, President Trump boasts of his sole allegiance to ‘the little man’, yet disposes of his dignity when judicial force hits close to home.
The House Intelligence Committee, particularly the Republican majority, should also feel ashamed of themselves. Appeasing the President through the release of cherry-picked, highly sensitive information is disappointing. It truly seems as though devotion to their districts’ constituents is on the low end of the spectrum. Nunes and his team have not only provided information to terrorists who wish to threaten this nation’s security through the use of clandestine methods, but have set an ominous precedent to foreign allies, with a message of “Everything is up for grabs.”
All I’m saying is this: Democrats and Republicans must halt their partisan bickering and their tribal protectionism, taxing their colleagues’ proposals, as if it isn’t their own. It seems as though their identities trump their faithfulness to the United States’ constitution and its citizens, poisoning their agendas with de facto friendships, directly resulting in a hindering of their congressional capabilities. Midterms are coming, and the party who systematically pushes the American agenda for the citizenry will dominate the 116th Congress of the United States.