2018 is a year of Trumpian excess, absolutely.
But it also marks a couple of anniversaries that helped us get where we are, as a nation.
40 years ago, in 1978, FISA courts were founded. We, as a nation, allowed secret courts with no oversight, no public access and no public record. More than 30 thousand requests to conduct surveillance outside of any legal channel have passed through the court. 12 (not 12 thousand, 12) have been denied. Jimmy Carter was the President who signed off on that.
30 years ago, in 1988, ‘Free Speech Zones’ were established under law. The government now reserves the right to relegate protest to times, places and conditions of government choice, making sure lawful protests are denied news coverage in time for the Republican national convention. Reagan benefited from it first, but the zones have been in constant use by every administration since then.
16 years ago, in 2002, the Guantanamo Bay prison camp became a place where the U.S. could freely detain foreign nationals and U.S. citizens indefinitely without giving them recourse to the rights and protections afforded by the U.S. constitution and centuries of law in our nation, including the routine use of torture. We can thank Bush 43 for one.
We’ve been sliding towards fascism for longer than some of the people reading this have been alive. It’s just that we are now at the point where nobody (on either side of the fence) feels the need to hide that.
So yeah, am I pissed that we’re sending children to ‘detainment centers’ with no parents, no legal representation and no transparency? Yes I am.
But surprised? Nope. This is where we’ve been headed for a long, long time.