SHOCK & AWE

 

Bluntly, we are shocked (stunned) at the amount and kinds of corruption that exist today in our nation.

And we stand in silent awe at the amounts of money and influence being brought to bear on matters   that have never been discussed, proffered, campaigned for in our electoral system.

Which is to say, the world is not going to hell in a handbasket: it’s already there.

And with the Russian imbroglio taking so much air time, we are forgetting to look beneath that blanket of news/fake news to see what really is being passed by our legislatures and proposed by the President’s executive orders.

Clearly this is not the time to stand in silent awe, watching, looking on, shaking our heads.  In our own defense, our citizens until now may have been too trusting of our system – the surety that checks and balances can align the stars.   That our representatives really and truly do have our interests in their hearts.

The most egregious example of being had by our own teams in Washington is the recent defeat of the American Healthcare Bill.  Despite a nation screaming – at town halls, on the streets, in focus groups and in op-ed screeds – that the proposed legislation would make life unlivable for the poor, as well as a good portion of the middle class; for single-mothers; for the elderly – the House of Representatives, at the direction of Paul Ryan, shoves need, poverty, medical ignorance at us all.    America stood up and shouted the bill down.

Without that kind of activism, the House would have blithely passed a measure taxing the poor in favor of the rich, and decimating a new (if flawed) system of health care insurance that has already proven workable, needed, and approved.

House members ignored every sign, slogan, warning. They didn’t care about their constituents.  They wanted a tax break for the one percent and the devil take the hind most.   The fact that eventually the bill was thrown on the trash heap probably saved the Republicans from a massive defeat in 2018.   That defeat may still occur.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has been busy doing other “little things” that sail beneath the horizon.

The FCC has allowed internet companies to collect, collate and sell information on each of their  subscribers to marketers, to think tanks, to pollsters, and are now able to direct “personal” advertising at millions of unsuspecting Internet users.   Even better for big business, it appears we, the users, may be charged for this breach of our privacy.

The NRA, never to be forgotten, has received consent to help market and sell firearms even to those people known to be mentally challenged.  Swell.

Rivers and streams may now be polluted by the coal industry, allowing slag and runoff to be dumped into the water supplies of hundreds of towns and cities.

Clean air provisions are being rewritten to give Detroit a break on automobile emissions – Detroit, the city saved most recently by the Obama administration from bankruptcy.  Control of carbon emissions is now thought to be too heavy a load for big industry.

Vice-President Mike Pence, remember him?  said, “We’ll leave the scientific debates for the future.”  Thanks, Mike.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, coal miners are still hoping to get their old jobs back.  From robots? From technology?   This is largely because the administration is making them promises that provide only the most recent evidence of another instance of the definition of insanity.

And what do we hear about the age-old worry of conflict of interest among our excellent government honchos?  Carl Icahn has made an extra $225 million dollars on the stock market simply be being named a member of the President’s advisory group.   Dr. Tom Price is watching his nest-egg grow in the House.  And because we know nothing about what Mr. Trump owes and to whom, our foreign policy (such as it is) is coming to be perceived as being directed by HIS holdings and partnerships.

Now add the Russian roulette being played since last summer and which over-rides nearly every daily concern and what do we have?  A nation that is being led by profiteers, p.r. men, philosophers manques from the hard right, men and women with neither experience in government nor, often, in the greater world in which the United States of America has been used to being supreme.

This is not a list of items that trouble or frighten or threaten the well-being of our citizens.  It is, rather, a short, incomplete and purposeful list of items that have slewed out of the control of Trump’s appointees, most of whom he knows not and neither does he care.

The long and the short of where we are now is that Mr. Trump’s oft-repeated promise to shake things up in Washington has, instead, shaken the entire country and a good portion of the civilized world.

Watching a discussion on HLN set in Ohio between Trump supporters demonstrates just how hard-set his followers are, how much they believe in Trump’s every word and deed.   They believe and trust in Jared Kushner and his wife.  As well as in every single promise ever uttered by their leader.   Fake-news is to them daily manna.

The nation has a load of heavy lifting to do in order to re-assert its values and virtues.  Who knows how long this will take?

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