Thursday, July 05, 2018

Dropped From Sight

In this week's version of "it's the end of America as we know it" President Trump will soon nominate another Supreme Court Justice. Anthony Kennedy retired last week, kicking off a nomination firestorm that will dominate headlines into fall.

For perspective I pulled up the 2018 Time covers to see if the overturning of Roe v. Wade (a threatened occurrence, BTW, with every Supreme Court nomination by a Republican President since 1987) would be more outrageous than any of the other things that Donald J. Trump was responsible for this year.

There were several weeks of #MeToo coverage that recounted numerous incidents of sexism, sexual harassment, and sexual assault that predated not only President Trump but also the 21st century. Yes, let's shame or prosecute the people responsible, but at least give President Trump indirect credit. #MeToo would never have happened under President Hillary Clinton, with big-time supporter Harvey Weinstein yukking it up with the Big He in the Lincoln bedroom.

Then there are President Trump's inflammatory speeches and tweets directed at Kim Jong Un. Time's February mushroom cloud (which indeed would have been worse than anything going on with the Supreme Court) was superseded by the June cover that showed the two leaders talking amiably.

And what happened to those determined, angry kids who want gun restrictions? I agree that stopping school shootings has to be a national priority. Despite the polarization, surely we can reach common ground on mental illness, rapid-fire technology, and background checks. Or was it all a voter registration drive for Democrats?

Then there are the pictures of border families and crying kids who seem to elicit powerful emotions from people on all sides of the illegal immigration issue. Here's where over two decades of screening grant requests has hardened my heart. Everyone who wants money knows that crying babies trump nearly all rational consideration. OK, reunite the border families, but you still have to deliberate over the adults, some of whom are using their children to catch a break. Note: in California alone there are over 50,000 children separated from their parents by Child Protective Services, undoubtedly for good reason. Over 20,000 are age 5 or younger; I'll bet some of them cried when they were taken away, but their pictures aren't on the cover of Time. I do get it, CPS good, border patrol bad. Indeed, I have to work on my hardened heart.

Other observations: 1) the portraits of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a sexual-predator felon are both cast in shadow. I wonder what Time's editorial position is on these guys. 2) Pictures or representations of President Trump appear on four covers, only one of which is non-hostile. If Time were a person, I'd advise it to get therapy for its obsession. 3) What happened to Russia-Russia-Russia and the anytime-now impeachment of Donald Trump? 4) What happened to the tariff wars that will plunge the world into the next Great Depression? (I'm actually worried about this one and wonder why they're not using this to undermine the President's support from business.)

Now that I've done the half-year in review I feel a lot better. These "crises" must not have been so important after all because they've dropped from sight.

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