I mean, this is ridiculous. Impeachment? At a time like this? With all the problems this country and this world are facing? I believe in the rule of law and holding elected officials accountable, but what my neighbors are concerned about isn’t some phone call the president made. We’re concerned about making sure Congress takes an active role in solving our problems by withdrawing the United States from every international commitment it’s ever made.
Though it could do much better, the United States has historically been a world leader in the total numbers of refugees it allows to resettle here, a trend that has as its legal basis the United States Refugee Act of 1980, which has as its basis in the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees. So sure, there are laws about how the US should treat refugees, and these laws grew out of an international commitment to provide safety to persecuted people around the world. Which is why it’s very, very important for Congress to do everything it can to support the president’s decision to ignore laws, ignore precedent, and flout our international commitments. A country doesn’t lay waste to its moral high ground and global leadership role by accident. You have to actually get out there and commit crimes. Congress: step up.
Climate change is one of the most pressing problems this world faces. So what Congress must do is come together as one cohesive body and do absolutely nothing to prevent the catastrophic and deadly effects of a warming planet. Yes, President Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement. But Congress needs to do its part by subsidizing industries that profit off of environmental annihilation and pass laws making clear that it’s the free market’s job to determine how much pollution the atmosphere and the human body can handle. That’s the only way we can live up to the idealistic creed that has animated our nation since the signing of the Declaration of Independence: “If China gets to pollute, then so should we.”
The international paradigm that treated domestic violence as a human rights issue found its expression in the United States as the Violence Against Women’s Act. The law represents how domestic grassroots activism and growing international acknowledgment of a serious problem can come together to effect positive change. Thankfully, Congress has not reauthorized this law. The immediate effect has been a disaster for many types of people, including immigrants seeking protection under its provisions. Congress’s immoral, degenerate, dangerous behavior that undermines human rights and makes people’s lives worse gives me hope. One day, we won’t be a nation of laws; we’ll be a nation that used to have laws.
The fact that the State Department is in a period of barely restrained chaos is well known. Congress, where have you been on this? Where’s your chaos? Until friends of friends with no background in energy are leading the Subcommittee on Energy, I’ll know you aren’t taking seriously the sacred oath you took to party loyalty.
On so many issues, from LGBTQ rights to women’s rights to indigenous rights, America — with the help of Congress — must abdicate its leadership role and flout its international commitments in favor of blinkered myopia motivated by greed, white-washed nostalgia, an allergy to evidence, and cruelty that pretends to be even-handed righteousness.
It’s not just international commitments that Congress and the president must come together to disregard. There are so many voices right here in the US that we must ignore, too, from young people demanding action to prevent gun violence to historians arguing that massive inequality undermines democracy. And it sickens me that Congress won’t have time to belittle these voices now that there’s an impeachment inquiry.
Congress, you’ve got work to do. So stop all this impeachment business and actually get to work empowering people whose sense of civic and global duty is nonexistent.