Friday, January 20, 2017

Politics

It is just past noon and Donald Trump has been sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. A president who rode his way into office on a platform of bigotry, ignorance, and falsehood—one who holds the truth in such contempt that he would contradict himself numerous times in the same day, over and over again throughout his campaign.
Trump was not elected on his merits, he was elected because the Citizens of the United States were extremely angry and upset with the way our government was being run in Congress. Despite President Obama’s herculean efforts to get a consensus going within the US Congress, he was thwarted by the conservatives effort to obstruct his every move and to discredit everything he tried to do. The conservatives maintained this effort throughout President Obama’s Presidential career from the moment President Obama announced his intention to run for the office. As a result, the conservatives, led by Mitch McConnell, gave us eight years of obstructionism and stagnation in our government.
The Democrats lost because they offered the establishment, which was exactly what the Citizens of the United States did NOT want.
When people become angry, they often say or do things on impulse that they greatly regret later. In their anger, the Citizens of the United States elected not an individual who was qualified to lead this country, but a bag of burning dog shit left on the steps of the US Government.
My expectations of the Trump administration are extraordinarily low. So low, I think the only two people who will be grateful for the Trump administration are George Bush and Dick Cheney, whose awful administration that left the United States in financial ruin will be so eclipsed by the coming disaster of Donald Trump that they will be forgotten by historians.
How bad will it be?
Consider this: every cabinet post filled by Trump was filled with a person who was dedicated to destroying that very department. Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education, et al, are filled with people who have spent their careers trying to take down those government agencies. 
The conservatives have been having an orgiastic free-for-all repealing every progressive measure that has been put in place over the past eight years and beyond. Every protection that we had left against graft and corruption in the government has either been removed or is in the process of being circumvented.
The Affordable Care Act has been effectively repealed over the past week as Congress voted to cut off its funding.
This is of particular importance to me. As a writer, I am self-employed. I don’t have a company around me that can subsidize my medical insurance. Nor do I belong to a large group of people who can negotiate a low-monthly payment based on our numbers. (It’s been tried over and over in the past, and the insurance companies keep refusing it.) As a self-employed individual, the only way I can get medical insurance for under $800 per month is to take an 80% deductible.
Yes, you read that right: an 80% deductible. Which pretty much means no real financial protection from illness at all. And it doesn’t cover prescriptions or emergency care.
The ACA (aka “Obama Care”) was the first time that there was a large pool of people large enough to negotiate the insurance companies down to a reasonable rate (roughly $350/month) for individuals. Had the government been able to add “Single Payer” status to that, meaning the government pays the insurance companies from one point source, the rate could have been ever lower than that.
At the same time the conservatives repealed the ACA, they also gutted funding for veterans medical services. Think the VA was in bad shape? Just wait, it’s going to get worse.
And just to put a cherry on it, when they voted to repeal the ACA at 1:30 in the morning, they added a couple of lines to the bill. One of which, means everyone who is worth more than $100 million will receive a nice check for $7 million dollars. A little payback bonus for their donations to supporting the GOP Presidential bid.
DeVos (I keep thinking “Davros”, the villain in Dr. Who credited with creating the Dalek race) is being nominated to run the Department of Education, is dedicated to shutting down public schooling. She is quoted as saying, “No one of any worth ever came out of public schooling.”
Our Founding Fathers of the United States knew that the best way to avoid authoritarianism from taking hold in the fledgling country was to ensure that the population was well educated. Despots and dictators have known over the years that the best way to control a population was to keep them ignorant of the truth and stupid enough not to realize it. DeVos stands directly against that principle.
Scott Pruitt has been put in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency. He has spent his entire professional career trying to take down the EPA and circumvent everything it does. He believes that science is just a scam and that global warming is just a marketing gimmick. I remember as a boy growing up about 70 miles east of New York that the skies were rarely blue. They were usually a yellowish or orangish grey color from all the smog coming out of New York City.
Ryan Zinke in charge of the Department of the Interior intends on shutting down our National Park system and selling off the park lands to commercial operations for mineral extraction. That includes kicking Native Americans off their tribal lands in favor of drilling for oil.
I can go on and on about each of these cabinet members coming in with Trump. Each one represents exactly the opposite of what each of these posts is about to do. This alone is a very clear message for just how much Trump cares about the Citizens of the United States versus making a profit for himself.
In the end, I don’t see Trump making it the full four years of his term. I feel the odds are 2-to-1 that he will be impeached and convicted for corruption, if not outright treason. The only thing really standing in the way of this actually happening is the conservatives of the GOP know that if Trump goes down, they are going with him. So the conservatives will do everything in their power to obstruct any legal action against Trump.
If he does make it four years, by that point the world will be in chaos. The United States economy will be in a worse mess than it was under Bush/Cheney, Russia will have occupied the Baltic States and retaken portions of East Europe, and it is likely that China will start taking parts of their neighbors for itself. The wealthiest of Americans no longer need the US any longer. They will have off-shored their wealth, taking a good 50% of the US money with them.
Now, Trump and his cohorts could surprise us with progressive and fact-based administrative policies. But I highly doubt that. Based on all their past performances, it is highly unlikely that they are going to pull a Prince Hal on us and become model politicians whose only goal is to improve the lives of Americans.

I would suggest investing in gold right about now. This is going to be a very rough four years for America.