The big question is how far can they go?
Say a pair of robbers intend to grab your wallet from your back pocket. The street is crowded. It is not unusual for one person to bump into another in a crowd. The person who bumps you is very apologetic, even brushes you down while his partner removes your wallet. Take another example of intended distraction. A gang wants to break into your house and rob you. Rather than relying on the hoped-for event, one that no one will notice, they start a fire at another house in your neighborhood. Pretty soon there are police cars and fire trucks and noise and smoke and crowds. The damage done by the fire may be small or large but the gang doesn’t care. What matters is that no one notices as they break in and root around until they find what they are looking for and then escape with the swag.
The same thing is happening to us now. The newly elected Trump government is seeing how far they can go in breaking down formal, legal requirements and restrictions and get away with it. They ban the Muslims from getting into the US the first time, also from returning home from business or family trips. The Muslim outrage is their fire down the block. Everyone is up in arms. Huge crowds with posters are screaming “let them in” at airports though out the country. The ACLU is involved.
Trump fires his acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a longtime Government employee who ordered the Justice Department not to follow Trump’s immigration order. She rejected Trump’s anti-constitutional stance of condemning a people of a certain religion. The Trump White House said she had “betrayed the Department of Justice” and wasn’t “protecting the citizens of the United States.” The issue of protection is frequently used to shut out objecting voices. Eventually, Sally Yates will be replaced by Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) Do you notice enough people demanding that her firing be undone? The Department of Home Security felt it could ignore a Federal order and no one is taking it seriously enough. It is an important step in the wrong direction.
Then there is the issue of names. Remember how Nazi Germany asked for the name of Jews who had committed crimes. Giving these names to the public created an enemy’s list of people best removed. It made people ready to believe that Jews caused the you-fall-for-it Reichstag fire. Now Trump spoke of getting names of law-breaking Muslims, one assumes to eventually do the same
Then there are other lists. The Trump transition team asked for a list of all Department of Energy employees or contractors who have attended ”climate change meetings.” The Climate Change group is treated as clouded with Obama’s image, Trump’s rival and reportedly ” a bad president.”
Asked the names of people are looking at the consequences of increased carbon. In the coming 10 percent downsizing, it is clear who will be chosen to leave and who let stay. The person chosen to head the EPA, Attorney General Scott Pruitt, is a climate skeptic who has sued the EPA fourteen times.
Four members of the State Department, have quit. Trump in his utter disregard for the truth said he fired them. People want to regard this as a normal change in government but it isn’t. It is more a dismemberment of what works. The EPA has been ordered not to put out information. Many have used Twitter to break the environmental news with unknown names attached. There are cracks in the takeover but the game has not ended.
The new budget has enormous cuts to commerce and energy, to education which does not know how it will survive. The Committee of Public Broadcasting will be entirely privatized. There will be no money to the Natural endowment for the arts, similarly the National Committee for the Humanities. There is not a peep of a thought of taxing the rich, the billionaires and millionaires who make up this ruling body. It is a “let them eat cake” philosophy.
With the Sally Gates being fired affair, the main issue is that Trump ignored a Federal order. People standing in a protest line against Muslim exclusion, while a serious issue, is falsely cathartic in the larger sense. The Executive Order against Muslims was done outside the normal process. It had no legal reviews. The system of checks and balances the US has in place are not working.
People are forced to accept DeVos as Education Secretary, who made her money in non-public school education and as such has conflicting interests. DeVos is inappropriate for this job since she has repeatedly shown herself to be against Public schools and wants Christianity to be taught there. Most of the Trump “chosen” have their hands in the till of the thing they are there to supervise and are ill-equipped for the job.
Significant is Trump’s acceptance of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist. This alt-right, misogynistic, anti-Muslim, anti-Semite is kept on despite a public outcry. This shows Trump and his cabinet’s intent to throw aside much of what the US claims to stand for. Part of this is inevitable since they are so ill-prepared for the job. One hopes that the Trump government will gain wisdom and accept the guidance of experienced people who understand democratic values and how to make things work. But don’t count on it. Journalists, photographers at rallies are arrested as law-breakers. These people are the documenters of reality. We need them.
How far can they go?
The big scam is underway.
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