An Irish immigrant friend of mine once told me that, in the Ireland of his youth, the word "noggin" was, as he put it "the most elastic word in the language."
"If my uncle said he had a 'noggin of whiskey,' that meant anything from a swallow to a quart," my friend said."
That kind of word is handy to know.
In America today, the most elastic word is "treason," which covers all the ground between Pres. Donald Trump's quid pro quo with Ukraine, to Hillary Clinton's lost and wandering emails.
What I am writing right now is probably treason, or it will be soon. Besides, at other times, I have used this column to give aid and comfort to African Americans, gays, children killed in school shootings and nonlegal immigrants held in dog cages. When they come for me, I'm not going to have to ask them why.
The betrayal of the country's laws we call "treason," but is it not just as much of a crime to betray our ideals?
To mock the disabled is treason. It is treason to encourage the ugly worm of racism, and treason to cut taxes on corporations and raise them for everyone else. It is treason to dig poisonously away at the root of civil discourse with lies and name-calling. It is treason to imply that a free press is the enemy of the people. It is treason to say, over and over again, that the elected representatives of the American people are untrue to their oaths when they question your conduct. It is treason to suggest that your loss of the next election may result in a revolution led by bikers and police officers.
This failed realtor at the top of our sick, white-faced government was elected by less than half those who voted, and that half was blind with rage and hatred for the country's first black president. With his mail-order bride and his callous butchery of the English language, this pus-filled toad of a leader is every self-made man who should have gotten some help with the making.
Treason? Trump stinks of treason. The crazy religious zealots who crashed planes into office buildings full of husbands and wives didn't harm America as much as this president, and the crazy religious zealots who support him re-crucify their Christ every day.
Treason? The traitors are those who voted for Trump so they could keep the guns no one was trying to take, the ones who wouldn't accept the right to abortion as settled law, the rebel-yelling buffoons who wave the Confederate flag, the banner of slavery and treason.
If you have the votes, you can rewrite any law, and if you are unsatisfied with the rewrite, you can bring the old law back again. The country did just that with the prohibition of alcohol, and we have started that process again with the legalization of marijuana.
But the ideals of the nation are not dry words in books. They are not rewritten at the whim of bitter fools who want it to be 1950 again. They are the cold wind that drives over the beaches of Normandy today, the heights at Gettysburg from which Union soldiers blew slavery apart with cannon.
The ideas of the nation have a pumping heart that circulates the blood of liberty, a heart that feels compassion for the poor, for the weak, for the enslaved, for the worker who risks his job and signs a union card, for the woman whose next $8-a-week raise will be eaten by child care costs, for the elderly man taking his blood pressure medication when he can afford to, not when he should.
Betraying those ideals is treason.
Step down, President Trump. You are a traitor.
To find out more about Marc Dion, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's latest book, a collection of his treasonous and un-American columns, is called "The Land of Trumpin'," and is available in paperback from Amazon.com, and for Nook, Kindle, iBooks and GooglePlay.
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