It?s not the threat of a terror attack on U.S. soil that keeps me up at night; it?s how President Trump will respond to one that worries me most. That?s not to say that attacks like those in London and Manchester don?t scare me ? they do. Like every other parent, I worry about my children attending a concert, or traveling with my family via plane or train.
But it?s the volatility of our unhinged president, and the incendiary words that come from his Twitter-happy fingers that keep me up late into the night: how he doubled down on his calls for a Muslim ban after the London Bridge incident, the way he attacked the mayor of London throughout the morning Monday.
Mr. Trump?s written assault on Mayor Sadiq Khan was despicable and highly embarrassing, even for him. I can only conclude that Trump chose to go after a man whose city had just endured a terror attack because that mayor is Muslim. Is Trump trying to make enemies of our greatest allies? He certainly started down that road at the G-7 Summit, followed by his idiotic decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord.
What will happen when there is another major terror attack on our soil? Because that is not an if. We can be sure that ISIS is patiently waiting to poke the American tiger. They will most certainly test our president, and we can only hope that they will be thwarted before an attack is carried out. But I can?t stop thinking about what would happen if they?re successful ? if we suffered a large-scale attack on American soil.
What will our president and his minions do in the aftermath? Will they tell Americans the truth? Will the president start tweeting and talking before he?s gathered the facts? Will he listen to the U.S. intelligence services that he has so often derided? The first problem in such a scenario will be the credibility of the president and the White House staff, and the information and tone they project to the country and the world.
What will happen when our president unleashes his fury and ignorance on the Muslim world?
Will he drop bombs or worse, nuclear weapons, somewhere in the Middle East and kill thousands of civilians, spark a wider war?
Will the White House shut our borders, register American Muslims and put them in internment camps? Will the government encourage citizens to snuff them out, report their ?suspicious? neighbors to the authorities?
It doesn?t help that I recently watched The Handmaid?s Tale. I don?t think that kind of dystopia will ever happen here. But I do believe that President Trump could consolidate power in a similar fashion under the guise of protecting Americans. I can imagine him seizing bank accounts and companies, sending out the army and the National Guard to patrol streets, making unilateral decisions that would put Americans in even graver danger by stoking the wrath of ISIS and completely disenfranchising Muslim youth here and abroad. And I can picture him further cutting us off from our NATO allies, who came to our aid after September 11th.
Of course Bannon, Miller, Sessions and Conway will gladly go along with him if not lead the way, write his speeches, whisper hateful ideas in his ear long after everyone else has left the White House for the night. And that sad collection of stooges known as Congressional Republicans will keep their mouths shut. His supporters will double down on their love of the president and buy into his lies, as they are wont to do.
If the Paris Accord and Republican reaction have taught us anything, it is that there are too few Republicans who care anything for truth, for ethics, for the planet. This White House and its enablers are comprised of people who make terrible decisions and then conjure ?facts? to back them up. And the country is filled with people who believe them.
I try to tune out the insanity. I?ve tried watching great comedy series like Catastrophe before I go to sleep rather than the news or The Handmaid?s Tale. But in this climate of one political tornado after another, if you blink, you miss it. And as disturbing as it all is, we must be in the know. We can?t hide in the basement to wait out the storm, or stick our heads under our pillows, or dismiss the president?s latest infraction with a shrug. It is better to be sleepless, knowledgeable and on high alert than rested and ignorant.
After all, I can sleep when I?m dead. Now is the time to stay wide awake. It?s the president who needs to get off his phone and get some sleep.
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