This blog is dedicated primarily to environmental issues, and so over the last four months, I have blogged with alarm and sadness and sometimes even anger as our new President has done everything within his power to dismantle the EPA–which is the primary federal agency for the protection of public health in this country. Families that I have represented, as well as countless hundreds of thousands of others, are alive and in good health today because the EPA takes seriously its job to warn us as to how dangerous certain industrial chemicals really are; notifies neighborhoods when those chemicals have invaded their air or drinking water, and forces polluters to clean them up.
Trump has also claimed global warming to be a “hoax”, abandoning our role as natural leaders on this important issue, and suddenly consigning the US to the status of a third world back-bencher on the issue perhaps most threatening to the future of mankind. He has appointed to head the EPA a dedicated stooge for the world’s most aggressive polluters (Scott Pruitt), who has joined Trump in discrediting and even firing scientists working for the federal government who have devoted their professional lives to making us all safer.
There has been an almost casual cruelty to Trump’s having done all of this, and so quickly, without even a glancing consideration afforded the millions of Americans–children, first among them–whose health and futures are now endangered because of these blindingly ill-advised actions.
As if he were trying to see how many citizens he could endanger in the shortest amount of time, Trump just two weeks ago engineered the passage of a bill in the House of Representatives which, if enacted into law, would strip health care from an estimated 24 million Americans–maybe more. Make their environment significantly more dangerous to their health, and make sure that, when they get sick because of it, they can’t afford a good doctor to help them recover.
Then he held a pep rally at the White House to celebrate having done this.
Yesterday, it was revealed that in last week’s private meeting in the oval office–to which the Russian media was invited but not the American press–the grinning-like-a-dunce president blithely spilled highly classified secrets to his Russian guests. Secrets, according to published reports, which were supposed to be kept from our enemies so as not to allow terrorists to endanger the lives of Americans. And yet Trump spilled these secrets, not to an ally, mind you, like Canada, England, Germany, etc. But to the Russians. With Trump, it always seems to be the Russians, doesn’t it?
There is an obvious and frightening thread that runs through all of this: Whether it’s trying to destroy the agency that’s there to protect our health (EPA); firing scientists whose job it is to warn us about threats to our health; celebrating the possible loss of health care for millions, or endangering our safety by blubbering our national security secrets to our worst enemy, Donald Trump is not just unwilling to protect the lives and health of Americans.
He seems anxious to put our lives in danger. What a terrible thing to say.
Is it maliciousness, or stupidity?
Does it really matter?