Attacks on Trump’s character are mere distractions from the real issues
Former FBI director James Comey likens the president of the United States to a mob boss, calls him “unethical and untethered to the truth” and declares him “morally unfit” to hold the office.
Big deal, right? Not really, not in these times. Even before the 2016 election, Trump was videotaped boasting about groping women. He said if he shot someone in the street, his supporters would still stand by him. Several women accused him of sexual molestation and worse and at least two others claim they had affairs with him and were bought off to keep silent.Yet, true to Trump’s assertion, nearly half of Americans still support him.
Trump is way past the point of being hurt by character concerns. They have not caused much worry among his supporters, the Republican leaderships in Congress or the Evangelicals, self-appointed guardians of American morality who gave him 80 percent of their votes. They merely serve as distractions from the real issues.
These include the people whom Trump has picked for his administration and the impact his policies will have on the country. Jeff Sessions had racist baggage before he became Attorney General, is nullifying measures ordered by former President Barack Obama to curb police shootings and is hostile to civil rights.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is doling out millions to charter schools, while teachers have to strike for a living wage. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, who is facing several federal investigations, is gutting policies curbing pollution and opening to oil drilling environmentally sensitive lands and all offshore sites, including off the Florida coast.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has purged the agency’s mission statement of promises of inclusivity and anti-discrimination. This lone black Cabinet member once said slaves were merely “immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships.”
Some appointees have already been forced out of office and some are under criminal investigation or indictment -- new inhabitants of the “swamp” that Trump promised to drain. In fact, he has extended blanket exemption from White House ethics rules for all his senior staff.
The Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – has been so gutted that the cost of health care is soaring. The recent multi-trilliondollar tax cuts permanently doles out hundreds of billions of dollars to the wealthiest people, with everyday Americans getting only a one-year benefit.
Some issues do not seem to be on the Trump agenda, such as voting rights, which have been rolled back, unemployment, housing and, particularly, poverty. Fifty years after the Kerner Report uncovered the appalling level of poverty, an updated study published this February concluded, “There are far more people who are poor now than was true 50 years ago. Inequality of income is worse.” Today, 46 percent of Americans are living in severe poverty -- 16 percent more that in 1975.
United Nations official Leilani Farha, on a tour to look at poverty, was astonished to see the number of homeless people, including a young man heating tortillas in a dirty skillet in San Francisco.“The last time I saw cooking on a sidewalk was in Mumbai,” Farha said, referring to the Indian city. Lack of diversity in the workplace is seen even in the FBI, of which Comey speaks with such reverence. Alice Speri, reporting for The Intercept on April 21, said 83 percent of the 13,500 agents are white and only 4.4 percent are black – down from 5.3 percent in the 1990s.
But if the grown-ups are unwilling to do the heavy lifting, the young are waking up to the country they may inherit. They have started with guns and school safety, with the March For Our Lives, on March 14, in Washington, D.C., organized by students of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where a gunman killed 14 students and three adults, followed by a nationwide protest at 2,500 schools on April 20 led by 15-year-old Lane Murdock of Connecticut.
Justin Blackman, 16, the only one to walk out of the 700-student Wilson Preparatory Academy in North Carolina on March 14, was joined by 350 schoolmates for the protest this month.
Delilah Matrese, 10, of Hamilton Elementary School in Pennsylvania, was also alone when she decided to walk out for the April 20 nationwide protest – but her father, Stephen Matrese, joined her.
Havana Chapman-Edwards, who accompanied her parents to the March 14 rally, also was the only student at Fort Hunt Elementary School in Virginia to walk out for this month’s protests. She is only 7 years old and her mother, Bethany Edwards, signed her out of class.
“She wanted to represent African and African American girls who are victims of gun violence, as well as her cousin, Tony, who was a victim of gun violence,” the mother said.
Today it is guns but, as these young people grow older, at least some of them will extend their activism to other issues as they see the tangled web of lies and deception that passes for politics. Therein may lie the hope for a much better America.
Whether you dote on “the Donald” or rail at his con, one thing is certain: Your eyes are not on the prize. What was called America – the Chevrolet, Apple Pie, and Democracy – especially for our over-forty crowd is long gone. What we have now is two fractured mainline political so-called “parties” that struggle for their opportunity to gore America’s nonrich in dissimilar ways.
American plutocrats, through their extensive lobbying machine, are insuring that future congresspersons are all representatives of wealth, because they all will be wealthy people. Congress has not had a raise in a decade. More than 60 Congressmen sleep in their offices because Washington, DC area rents are extremely high. A trickle will soon turn into a deluge of these civil servants leaving for other pursuits.
“Socialistic Capitalism” (SC) has always been in play at the top end of America’s hierarchical society, by plutocrats and oligarchs. America’s father, President George Washington, had a net worth of $525 million – that’s in 1789 dollars folks; you know Washington had more than 300 African slaves, to which he was said to be particularly mean, right? Democracy and human rights have been scaled by class since America’s inception. If you were white and owned property (including slaves, of course) you could vote – but not your wife nor any other woman could vote. During slavery and since, it’s been incredibly difficult for black people to receive justice regarding accusations by or about rich to poor white people, including vagrants.
Those that live the SC life enjoy a sharing of wealth and exclusive interaction and they call that democracy, because they are absolutely democratic within their vaunted realm of America’s hierarchy. Various levels of the American middle class are people that aspire to get as close to SC while they roil at foreign countries whose practices are similar, but are not called “a democratic republic.”
Unfortunately, black America appears to not understand that what glues America’s hierarchy is almost universal belief that God gave this land to white people from Europe! Not many white people can