My next newspaper column.
Friday, December 22, 2017
The Temperature At Which It All Burns Down
My next newspaper column.
Vulnerable, Entitlement, Diversity, Transgender, Fetus. Evidence-based. Science-based.
Attendees at a meeting confirmed researchers at the Centers for Disease Control were told not to use those words. Days later, CDC’s head issued a non-denial denial, claiming reports “mischaracterized” what was said. Either way, it’s hardly Trump’s first attack on knowledge.
The EPA website scrubbed references to climate change and links to resources for understanding it. Ryan Zinke just upbraided a national park superintendent for using the phrase. On Monday, though the Pentagon disagrees, Trump removed global warming from the list of security threats to our nation. Leadership! Problem solved.
Is it hot in here? Feels like 451º Fahrenheit.
None who still support Trump will find this disturbing. Certainly not Congressional Republicans, whose latest secretion is a greedy, grift-, graft-, and loophole-laden, dishonestly sold, economically unsound (see: Kansas) tax bill, refusing input from experts, holding no hearings, addressing concerns of none but their corporate benefactors. Overstated? We’ll find out. Maybe even before it’s too late.
How obvious is their disregard for you, Trumpophiles; how cheaply bought they believe you to be? Temporary trifles for you; permanent payola for the corpocracy.
In happier times, liberals and conservatives wanted the same thing: the best future for America and its children. Differences lay in how to achieve it; especially the role of government in protecting and providing. The end, if not the means, was shared. If it still applies to some, it most surely does NOT to Congressional Republicans currently in our employ, nor to the temporary indweller of the Gold House.
If you act to silence scientists, defund and ignore their research, you’re not concerned about your kids’ future. More so if you choose to allow widespread poisoning of their forever home. Whitewashing history books, diverting taxpayer funds to Bible schools and Scientology-based charter schools steals from kids intent on learning to think for themselves. That’s not forward-looking, either.
If your idea of tax reform is ninety percent of it benefitting the top one percent, busting the budget to prepare for defunding social programs, gifting unpublicized carve-outs to America’s most wealthy, you’re concerned only about self-enrichment, future be damned. If you supported a candidate for the senate notorious for flouting Supreme Court rulings, ruing the end of slavery and subservience of women, advocating repressive theocracy, you favor neither democracy nor the Constitution.
But that’s just nibbling at the parchment’s edges. We’re now witnessing a Constitutional-crisis-inducing effort to delegitimize inquiry into interference in our democratic institutions by a foreign enemy. Fox “news,” Trump’s Soviet-modeled propaganda organ and disinformation generator, is leading the calumniation. Attacking Robert Mueller as “a partisan hack,” leader of “a coup,” and worse, Fox talkers speak with one increasingly seditious voice. Long since having crossed all lines, one even implied a Jones-worthy FBI assassination plot against Trump.
Robert Mueller, Republican, Vietnam Marine veteran decorated for bravery, whose reputation for dogged honesty serving presidents of both parties has been unquestioned throughout his career: pilloried by miscreants fearful of what he’ll find, afraid of being thrown off the money train, of their arrant mendacity being revealed. Preprogrammed, the Foxified swallow it: hooked, party-lined, America-sinkers.
In the world’s longest-lasting (so far), most admired (until now) and emulated democracy, we’re witnessing suppression of facts our government dislikes, of voting by people it dislikes, and, now, coordinated attempts to subvert a constitutionally empowered inquiry it dislikes, into its very legitimacy. How can any lover of what America once stood for not be appalled?
Unable to refute content, unhappy readers charge that, consumed by hatred of Trump and Trumpists, I’m not even-handed or civil enough. (Thoughts on Hannity? Pirro? Limbaugh? Asking for a friend.) They miss the point: it’s not hatred, it’s love. Of a country to whose sick I dedicated a career of healing; in one of whose wars I was wounded while serving; in which my vulnerable grandchildren will grow up. I wish its democracy to endure, with breathable air, tolerable climate, diversity valued, its wealth more generously accessible, policies evidence-based, treatment of transgender people and fetuses science-based, entitlement to health and happiness a given.
Trump and his co-conspirators are looting America, attacking our founding principles, burning it all down. This isn’t a time to discuss the occasional value of fires. Such exigency demands non-stop shouting, “Wake up!!” Screaming at the top of our lungs.
Oh. And Merry Christmas.[Image source]
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