There are few surprises in Washington, D.C., politics. We’ve been reduced to exhausting ourselves determining when this administration is being hyperbolic, using “alternative facts” or attempting to use “facts” – without adding “alternative” to their assertions.
Has any other president been so disrespectful to his (co-equal) judiciary when he doesn’t like its decisions? Has there ever been a president like Trump with animus toward his predecessor that inspires his manufacture of lies that smear the man and the office, and in the process, diminish his own credibility?
Despite inheriting the best government in 17 years, Trump continues his reckless and undignified behaviors that are beneath those of Presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush and, of course, President Obama. Whether those presidents liked each other, they had/have enough class to respect their predecessors and successors. What can be done with a president who, in less than 60 days, has brought so much shame to the office, our nation, and likely, many who voted for him?
Should we have concerns about the proposed Trump budget recently submitted to Congress?
Contrasted against a 14 percent reduction for the Department of State, does his $54 billion increase in our defense budget indicate a predilection for war?
His new (disproportionate) budget for increased defense spending and homeland security suggests his preference for war over world stability through efforts for negotiated peace and justice.
The slashing of State funds prevents seasoned diplomats from performing their international mission of winning friends or influencing adversaries instead of resorting to war. His budget appears to spring from the paranoid pages of Steve Bannon’s ultra-nationalistic playbook.
How do we respond?
How must we respond to a demagogue who would convince us that free and independent news sources are a threat? How do we react to Trump’s insistence that any news opposing his worldview is invalid? Why should we accept his Orwellian model of democracy? I assume that he fears our being informed about the waste of time and money building his fence. In his ravings about the threat from our neighbors, he makes no mention of home-grown terrorists who attack us with little restriction.
As we creep incrementally toward control by “Big Brother,” Trump’s budget proposes to cut federal funding for public broadcasting, the arts and sciences. His budget slashes funds from the Environmental Protection Agency where all staff work hard to cleanse our environment pollution incidental to our techno-industrial lifestyle. Since one of the Administration’s first acts was lifting restrictions against dumping mining waste in America’s waters, under Trump’s EPA, our will to fix Flint, Michigan’s drinking water and other pollution hotspots is questioned.
Without regard for the sick and/or elderly who are dependent upon it for survival, this budget eliminates the Meals on Wheels program. Mr. Trump’s placement of millionaire and billionaire cronies in control of agencies vital to our well-being requires us to do more with fewer dollars – while they ravage programs that have protected the least of God’s children. Without compassion, they propose to implement tax-relief for the millionaire and billionaire class on the backs of the indigent.
This budget makes severe cuts to the arts, the sciences and programs for the poor who are already struggling for survival. It plays havoc with programs and community assistance that have decreased hunger, health challenges, unemployment, and the violence incidental to poverty. I predict this budget is a preview to future, more drastic cuts.
So, WHAT SHALL WE DO? WAITING IS NOT THE ANSWER! Call leaders at every level to stop the Trump agenda. Get on picket lines. Write letters to editors. Work with like-minded groups.
Pray. The Bible tells us, “Ask and it shall be given. Seek and you will find. Knock and doors shall be open to you.” DOING NOTHING IS NOT THE ANSWER!!!
Dr. E. Faye Williams is national chair of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc. Contact her via www.nationalcongressbw.org.