What's happening on our southern border demonstrates one thing. The Trump Administration is cruel. There's no other way to put it. Slice it. Dice it. Put it under a microscope and it still comes out mean and cruel. You can't find a kind word for wresting kids from their mothers' arms and locking them up in cages.
While our "zero tolerance" policy may be the most egregious example of the Trump Administration's cruelty, it hardly stands alone. Its whole approach towards the poor stands out as a prime example. Take food stamps for instance. The Trump Administration proposes to impose a work requirement on the poor in order to qualify for food stamps. Now theoretically there's nothing wrong with asking someone to work for their supper. But in the real world, if a single mom is forced to work, what happens to her children while she's away? Child care is expensive. Even with food stamps most poor families are barely scraping by, and I do mean barely. Factor in the added expense of child care and how does a poor family survive? But if the single mom DOESN'T work, she loses her food stamps making it just as hard if not harder for her to make ends meet.
Then there's the federal Children's Health Insurance Program, a source of medical care for thousands of poor, young children who couldn't otherwise afford it. Republicans in Congress held up funding for this vital program at the behest of the Trump Administration. The reason? It was to serve as a bargaining chip with the Democrats to induce some of them to support the Trump Administration's budget which included draconian spending cuts for discretionary social spending. They succeeded. So that children will continue to receive medical care but only because other social programs will either be eliminated or cut to the bone.
But this fits in with the Trump Administration's whole approach to health care in general. For Donald Trump affordable health care isn't a right, it's a privilege. If you can afford it, all well and good. If you can't, well that's just too bad. That's why the Trump Administration has tried so hard to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. Thus far this has proven to be a nut too tough for even the Trump Administration to crack. but that doesn't mean they won't keep trying.
One way the Trump Administration will seek to narrow the scope of affordable health care for this country is to allow employers who provide health insurance to provide cut rate policies to their workers. Yes, the premiums will go down markedly, but previously existing conditions won't be covered. As an added benefit, this provision will draw in huge numbers of younger people whose health care needs are generally minimal and at the same time force older people suffering from acute health care problems into much smaller insurance pools that will make their premiums skyrocket. The end result will only add to the level of suffering for the average American.
Deregulation has become the mantra of the Trump Administration. Granted, the elimination of those pesky federal rules and regulations will lower the cost of doing business for companies throughout this country. But at what expense? Sure the EPA with all its attendant bureaucracy can be a pain in the butt and cost businesses a lot of money. But what happens when the air we breathe is polluted and the water we drink is poisonous? I don't know but we'll soon find out.
The Trump Administration has divided the world into friends and foes. Friends are greeted with open arms and treated with every deference possible. Don't believe it? Ask Scott Pruitt! Ah, but the foes are attacked ruthlessly. And who are the enemies of the Trump Administration? Generally speaking, the poor and the helpless. That's what makes the "zero tolerance" policy so poignant. The poorest of the poor, attempting to escape from an environment of violence and intimidation, show up at our borders seeking asylum. They bring their children with them. What does the Trump Administration do? It slaps the parents in jail and warehouses the children.
But as bad as zero tolerance happens to be, it is just one of a series of cruel actions taken by this Administration. The poor, the working poor and the middle class have been targeted as enemies of the state, subject to policies that make what is an already difficult life that much harder to endure. And WE did it. We elected these people, in many instances knowing full well what exactly they had in mind to do. We unleashed Donald Trump's dogs of war and we set them out to hurt the least of these our brethren. Worse, we are shocked when the Trump Administration does exactly what Donald Trump promised he would do. Well, before we get all hot and bothered about the depths to which the Trump Administration has taken us, let us contemplate the fact that it was we the people who gave this Administration the power to do so!
Filed under: Politics