The fact is, I am no longer concerned about mere ideology: statism vs. states rights, left vs. right, etc. It has now become simply a matter of the irrational and completely unacceptable behavior by the man the Electoral College will elect as POTUS. It has become a terrifying existential threat, and I am in no way employing hyperbole, at least not from my personal perspective.
The array of Drumpf’s Cabinet choices stands as powerful testimony to an implicit agenda that should make every American tremble. Ignore for a monent whether you favor or oppose “active government involvement.” If a Department of Education exists, then shouldn’t the appointee at least support public education? If the EPA (a Nixon creation) exists, does it make sense to name as its head a client-denier and a man who has never said no to the fossil fuel industry? Who has actively supported less regulation of specific toxins? Does it make sense to load up the Cabinet with recently retired generals, and in particular, the DoD, which has, almost without exception, been headed by a non-military man since the founding of the Republic? A Labor secretary who opposes unions and raising the miniimum wage? A HHS secretary who has been the most active opponent of not only Obamacare, but essentially all forms of health subsidies? Rick Perry for Energy? The man who was unable to remember the name of this department when he tried to list the three departments he would get rid of as president. He had been vowing to get rid of the Deaprtment of Energy all during the primary season.
Add to these choices the nomination of Rex Tillerson, the man who received from Putin the highest civilian honor Russia has to bestow, a man who has closer personal ties to Putin than almost anyone in the West, as Secretary of State?? This is an all-out assault on the workings of the federal government at every level.
Then there’s Drumpf’s refusal to attend the daily presidential intelligence briefings (“I’m too smart”). And then to simply dismiss the CIA’s assertion that Russia was actively involved in working for Drumpf’s election via cyber-attacks, an assertion that had the CIA’s strongest possible confidence level, as “ridiculous, nobody knows after the fact who did the hacking.” I, and almost all tech-oriented people, are very well aware that, yes, tools absolutely exist that can detect who did the hacking.
His endless tweet storm, which is what we are obviously going get in lieu of press briefings. His personally attacking SNL, Boeing, union heads, and anyone else who has expressed opposition or pushed back on his actions. His breaking four decades of a “one China” policy without apparently even noticing what a diplomatic blunder that represented. Or worse, not giving a damn. And now his shady connections to Turkish strong man Erdogan, positioning himself to be ready to extradite the rebel leader Turkey wants back.
The component of outrage that is represented by his business conflicts, and the absurd way he plans to “take care of all that”, that’s almost petty in comparison to all the rest. Which is amazing, when one thinks of the scandal this would represent if it were the sole blemish we had to deal with. It’s the sort of thing that would normally lead to resignation or indictment.
All of this, and whatever each new day is going to bring, makes me cringe in horror. I find it difficult to even breathe sometimes, when I attempt to contemplate the totality. So, no, ideology is no longer my concern. We are so far past such niceties as to make that discussion seem laughably pedantic.
When China has already begun flying nuclear bomber sorties over the South China Sea, and Putin continues to move his armies and missles around the borders of Eastern Europe, I think the the term “existential threat” is completely justified.
© 2016 Chuck Puckett