(Warning: the following rant contains hyperbole, sarcasm and a healthy dose of anger, so read with care.)
Yes indeed folks, the unthinkable is busy happening as we sit around in our little bubbles of comfort.
Odds are good that if you are reading this, and no disrespect meant at all, you have enough food to eat, a roof that keeps most of the rain out most of the time, and have access to the greatest communication tools ever created. I know that description applies to me, my family and all my friends and even acquaintances.
Do you doubt that the sky is falling? How about Michael, Florence and Irma, to name a few of the most powerful-ever hurricanes. Or are these storms “fake news” created by the “deep state” under the direction of the wacko people known as liberals and progressives?
Perhaps the fact that we are dangerously close to the tipping point with respect to climate change might help convince people of sky-falling events? Oh, I forget global warming is another bit of “fake news.” Reason enough to just deregulate many Obama era attempts to decrease the various gas emissions that are scientifically proven to be slowly increasing the earth’s temperature.
Oh, silly me – there are a whole bunch of people who don’t believe in facts or science and are delighted that big business will be able to give shareholders more money.
Yes, our dear president and exalted leader is busy dismantling the various agencies that provide some protection from air and water pollution. After all, coal is coming back and the rise in deaths from asthma and other respiratory ills is just a price we pay to make sure that the stockholders will be enriched.
Please note that the administration is preparing to change the rules regarding the mercury emissions from coal plants so that human health will not be the main consideration. It is the cost to the coal industry to clean up their emissions that will be addressed first. Any of you conservative Trump supporters want to demonstrate what isn’t true about this?
Calaveras County is filled with citizens who voted for Mr. Trump, and will probably gladly do so in 2020. But their sky will start falling on them as the Republicans continue their attacks on the social safety nets, nets which view food and shelter as rights, not as privileges. We have about 1,600 households who receive food stamps and over 13,000 people, as of 2017,who are recipients of Social Security benefits. They will not be unscathed as the social safety net unravels.
Will his base ever realize that the president’s lack of respect for law, for the Constitution, and perhaps most importantly his continuous attacks on the press, are all tremendously dangerous to America and to its efforts at creating a workable democracy? Once the reality of the planned cuts sink in, it will be too late. The sky will have fallen and thousands or even millions of people will have died on the altar of greed, avarice and the rapacity of “trickle down” economics, the free market and capitalism.
If you need more evidence, look at Mr. Trump’s response to the probable murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, by Saudi Arabian operatives. His main concern is not the death but the need to continue the Saudi’s purchase of arms from American companies.
I do believe, having listened to Mr. Trump’s speeches to the many rallies he holds, that he was right when he said, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” His ability to persuade and bully people to achieve his ends is probably the greatest threat to the future of this country. His shouts of “lock her/him up” and “I’d like to punch him in the face” are evidence that he believes being a bully is a surefire way to achieve what he wants.
There seems to be ever increasing grounds to believe the sky is going to be falling on all of us if we don’t do something soon to rein in our congress and our president. Hope I’m wrong.
Kevin Wychopen is a semi-retired school counselor and columnist for the Enterprise. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.