Donald J. Trump has been inaugurated as the 45th president of the U.S. If you are a xenophobic isolationist nationalist, this is such great news. If you want climate chaos to worsen—more rising seas, more massive forest fires, more hideous hurricanes, more drought—this is the perfect storm for you.
On the other hand, if you hope for more progress toward getting along with the rest of humankind, if you want stricter laws and rules to protect our fresh water, if you strive in your life to slow the onslaught of climate chaos, well, sorry. Your nightmare has arrived.
It is hard to imagine a more seriously hypocritical “leader” than Donald Trump:
• While Trump rightly accused Hillary Clinton of having too much cozy contact with Wall Street financiers, he is not only a predatory capitalist himself, but has now handpicked several more to join his cabinet.
• Even though Trump claims he is upending the Washington elite in order to bring manufacturing and sawmill and mining and oil drilling and coal-burning jobs back to America’s heartland in order to make America great again, he says nary a word about job loss through automation (including many of the Carrier jobs he pretends to have saved), nothing about losing jobs to foreign manufacturers who produce far more efficient vehicles than Detroit ever did, nothing about ruining the last bit of ancient forests of America, and nothing about increased disease and pollution from the dirty jobs he promises to bring back.
• Trump claims he is going to create “great schools” and yet he proposed billionaire Betsy DeVos as his Secretary of Education, a woman with effectively zero experience in public education (her hearing was nothing short of embarrassing) except to oppose it and instead has been an activist for using taxpayer monies for private Christian schools.
• In his address, Trump claims that, “We’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own.” Huh? Apparently, I’ve missed hearing about all those foreign invading troops, all the missiles that have struck American towns, and all the foreign terrorists that have attacked us since 9.11.01. I would suspect the Republicans — who have been in control of the Senate and House — not to mention the Pentagon, are happy to know that finally all those attacks will stop.
• While Trump claims to care about the American people, he will likely sign the law eliminating Obamacare long before signing a better health care law into existence, thus throwing approximately 30 million Americans to the ravages of no health care.
There is so much more, but we can soon cease speculating and rise up to respond to his initiatives. I am wearing a t shirt today I haven’t worn in eight years. It has one word on it: Impeach.
Tom H. Hastings is Founding Director of PeaceVoice.