Be­ware the Age of Don­ald Trump

The Washington Times Daily - - METRO - DEB­O­RAH SIM­MONS ● Deb­o­rah Sim­mons can be con­tacted at dsim­mons@wash­ing­ton­

You can dis­tract all the peo­ple some of the time, and some of the peo­ple all of the time, but you can­not dis­tract all the peo­ple all of the time. If David Grosso doesn’t get it, pub­lic school chil­dren won’t ei­ther.

We are in the midst of the age of dis­trac­tion, when Amer­i­cans of all stripes have seem­ingly fallen into one of three camps: 1) Re­sist by any means nec­es­sary; 2) Spend more money; 3) Blame Don­ald Trump.

Some politi­cians, even those not reg­is­tered as a Repub­li­can or Demo­crat, fall into all three.

Take Mr. Grosso, an at-large in­de­pen­dent mem­ber of the D.C. Coun­cil, who emailed an all-points bul­letin from Camps 1, 2 and 3 on Mon­day.

Ti­tled “Con­fronting the Chal­lenges D.C. Faces in the Age of Trump,” Mr. Grosso sent a spe­cial in­vi­ta­tion: “Faced with slim­mer fed­eral bud­gets and in­creased fed­eral in­ter­fer­ence, how do we pro­vide qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion, foster wel­com­ing and safe com­mu­ni­ties, de­liver vi­tal health and so­cial ser­vices, pro­tect hu­man rights, and pro­mote the arts and hu­man­i­ties?”

Mr. Grosso is rais­ing the crit­i­cal ques­tion, of course

— and cre­at­ing an­other dis­trac­tion.

The pres­i­dent has his own opin­ions about pub­lic school­ing, as does Mr. Grosso.

Mr. Grosso, how­ever, has given and con­tin­ues to give the pub­lic the opin­ion that D.C. par­ents and stu­dents would be on the los­ing end of Trump ed­u­ca­tion poli­cies, and the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s poli­cies on pub­lic safety, as well as other lo­cally funded pro­grams.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment al­lo­cates fed­eral fund­ing for D.C. pro­grams. What’s likely to change dur­ing the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is that some pro­grams might flat­line, but that does not nec­es­sar­ily mean city lead­ers must scrap those pro­gram.

For ex­am­ple, Grosso pol­i­tics fol­lows a so­cial­ist track. You know, force the candy store owner to give away the munchies in the junkie part of the store.

And ear­lier this spring, when it came time to back the mayor’s choice for po­lice chief, Mr. Grosso was the only coun­cil mem­ber who shook his head — re­ject­ing out of hand Peter New­sham’s years of ex­pe­ri­ence as a law en­forcer.

The Trump era is not a dis­trac­tion. It is an op­por­tu­nity, though, for lo­cal elected lead­ers to ask what works and what doesn’t, and move the lo­cal fund­ing nee­dles de­pend­ing on the an­swers.

That fewer fed­eral dol­lars might flow this way has al­ways been and al­ways will be a pos­si­bil­ity, re­gard­less of who is in the Oval Of­fice. What’s truly new for Mr. Grosso is that he be­came a law­maker un­der Barack Obama, when all the coun­cil had to do was hold out its hands.

Con­sider, ed­u­ca­tion. The words “slim­mer fed­eral bud­gets and in­creased fed­eral in­ter­fer­ence” weren’t pub­licly lobbed at the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion and Congress, which for eight years cre­ated and funded so many pots of ed­u­ca­tion money that, if some­one pro­posed with­hold­ing a $5 bill, pri­mal screams would be heard from coast to coast.

Mr. Grosso wants to know how to get more fed­eral money from the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Thank good­ness the Trump Cabi­net is propos­ing to mind pub­lic school­ing money, which would prove politi­cians can dis­tract all the peo­ple some of the time, and some of the peo­ple all the time, but they can­not dis­tract all the peo­ple all the time.

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