It’s been a while since I wrote, but as this blog is meant to be an outlet for an over-pouring mind I suppose this is the perfect day to come back to it.
I’ve never really liked it when people say “America is the greatest country in the world”, however; I normally come around to granting a concession in my scathing reply which is that in many ways it is one of the greatest countries in the world in which to live. Though now I see, given the events of the past few months, that America is going to be a lot worse place to be from this day forward.
At the head, we have a leader who is an expert at riling people around him in fear and petty hatred. With him we are witnessing the degradation of critical thought and reasoned analysis. But this is what he needs, as else no one could follow him if they really considered what he says. For example, he is yet to release his tax returns. The only excuse he ever gives is an oblivious irrelevancy, and it only serves to obscure more important matters. From the start we were concerned that maybe he was not as rich as he claims, and that he would be shown to be a big fake or that he had in fact not paid taxes in 20 years (both have a very high probability of being true), but now there is another dimension being thrust into the spotlight: ethical conflicts of interest.
In fact, one thing that Trump seems to have done incredibly well is create a writhing cesspool of cabinet appointments with all sorts of ethical problems. You have his Housing and Urban Development pick refusing to say that he will not siphon money into projects in which Trump is invested, which is kind strange because we would almost never know anyway as Trump won’t tell us where his investments are. But as he has chosen a neurosurgeon with no relevant experience to lead HUD who really only has a political reputation of being a complete laughable moron, it seems that HUD may turn into a nice siphon of money from your taxes into the president’s coffers.
Then we have his education pick. She has been getting a lot of press recently with her senate interviews where they have figured out that she knows nothing about current issues in education reform and thinks that bear attacks are a relevant threat to everyday American school children. More troubling is that she lied to the senate (a federal offense that should immediately end her appointment) about not sitting on the board of her parent’s company which is a registered hate group at the Southern Poverty Law Center for its position against homosexuality which they specifically lobby to be taught to children! When confronted with this fact with 990 tax forms she doubled down on her lie and said that the forms were are 12 year running clerical error. This is not to even mention that she is the sister of a very shady mercenary who is creeping closer and closer to Trump’s ear and has made his fortune off of privatizing and intensifying warfare.
Next there is SOS pick, the recently CEO of Exxon Mobile, a man who received the “award of friendship” from Vlad Putin for doing good oil deals with Russia, whose old company (Exxon Mobile) has billions of dollars more in drilling deals waiting to go through with Russia once regulations are lifted. You have his General Mattis pick, which violates the law which states that the head of the CIA needs to be filled by a civilian to ensure that the entirety of defense thinking does not go straight through the military arm of power. Then there is his top policy advisor, who is a known and outspoken white supremacist. Donald has also appointed his son in law to a top position, likely breaking anti-nepotism laws in the process.
So, what does this all have to do with making America a worse place to live? Aside from the horror of what these people believe in, and what actions are being supported by our government across the country, we are establishing a further shift in politics where we normalize brazen ethics violations and corruption. The people in power are trusting more and more power with themselves while taking it away from the people. There is a famous quote that the people should not fear the government, but that the government should fear the people. Well, this only works if the people have the means to speak out against and check government power. With the further militarization of the police, attacks on journalists, and anti-protest laws coming down the pipe across the country (really, please read that one if you even want to pretend to care about the constitution) it seems the teeth are being taken away from the people and it will be the government who instead does the biting. It won’t be nice to live in the crushing jaws of authoritarianism, in a state where the powerful are lawless and the common person lives under lash and chain.
As ever, thanks for reading.