Donald Trump, President-elect of the United States of America is not, by any stretch of the imagination, backing off his campaign rhetoric or what he promised to do to Progressive programs and regulations. We should prepare for environmental damage on an scale unheard of since the EPA was chartered under President Nixon. We should prepare for the normalization of overt racism and sexism among our co-workers and neighbors. A description of the men and women he has chosen to be his Cabinet and Kitchen Cabinet members leaves no doubt and demonstrates the thesis, to wit:
- A Secretary of Education who believes public education funding should be diverted to various private education approaches, including religion-based charter schools and academies. She is widely considered to be an enemy of public education.
- An Attorney General who has been denounced for racial comments by attorneys who practiced before him when he was a federal judge, staff from his days as a federal judge and staff from his days as a senator, not to mention Senatorial colleagues.·
- An EPA Director who has sued EPA several times on the basis that the regulations that prompted the suit were excessive (courts often agreed that a new look was required, but the regs often came back stronger) or were not supported by science (a common right-wing and industry canard virtually never accepted as valid by the court). Although unsuccessful in the long run, these lawsuits often did manage to delay implementation of needed environmental regulations for months to years.·
- A Secretary of Labor who is presently CEO of a company that owns Hardees and Carl Jr. fast food restaurants, and who has vehemently opposed regulations that benefit labor. He has also opposed the idea of a federally mandated minimum wage. He is also prone to bouts of political incorrectness.·
- As Secretary of Defense (a civilian position) a retired Marine general whose nickname is “Mad Dog.”·
- A Secretary of State who is presently the CEO of ExxonMobil, America’s largest energy company. He also supported through the company a con on America against the idea that global warming was a man-induced phenomenon, delaying for two decades any effective governmental efforts to reduce carbon dioxide production.·
- A Secretary of the Interior who has promised to lift the Interior Department’s moratorium on mining permits on federal land, and to lift the stream buffer zone rule for coal mines. Perhaps worse, he will reopen “large swaths” of the continental shelf to oil and gas extraction.·
- A Secretary of Energy who has said the department should be abolished.·
- As Secretary of Housing, the most anti-science Neuro-surgeon ever Board certified. He has said he doesn’t believe the US government has a role in housing.
- A Senior Strategist who is an avowed White Supremacist.·
- A primary Speech Writer who is a smarmy little racist with ties to white supremacist and race-baiting groups.
It is evident from this list, that however much the President-elect may appear to be backing away from some of his promises and some of the positions he took during the campaign, he intends the bulk of the destruction of five generations of progressive legislation and programs to go forward.
Couple all the above with a Congress that is slavering over the opportunity to gut Social Security (up to a 28% reduction in payments, with all or part of the system privatized, putting one’s entire future in the hands of Wall Street brokers) and Medicare and Medicaid (some sort of voucher system with perhaps an FSA), and to repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka ACA or Obamacare) in favor of their “Plan.” Note that nobody in the House, where these particular destructive measures will originate, is discussing increasing the Social Security contribution cap, preferably to unlimited, which would (because employers match all employee “contributions,” effectively double the amount), according to Bernie Sanders, guarantee Social Security’s solvency for the next 40 to 50 years.
Just to be clear, the Republican healthcare “Plan” can be summed up as follows:
- Work ‘til you die
- Don’t get old
- Don’t get sick
- If you do get sick, die quick
- If you insist on recovering, relocate to re-established County Poor House.
This plan is also known as the “Increase Medical Equipment Manufacturers’ and Pharmaceutical Companies’ Stock Price Plan.
My only consolation is that the fools who foisted this disaster upon us will be drowned in the same tsunami that swamps us. And make no mistake, we’re gonna get swamped. By the time Trump and this Congress are done, we’ll have not only the most reactionary Supreme Court in history, but we’ll have the most reactionary federal judiciary system in history. And it will be that way for a loo-o-ng time. There are presently a hundred and seven federal judgeship vacancies with fifty-nine vacancies pending.
To quote the president-father of the worst president in modern history until this coming January 20: "We're in deep doodoo."