Richardt Stormsgaard: Traversing the Trump swamp
The World Economic Forum rates the U.S. health care system best equipped by far to handle a global pandemic.
We have better funding, staff, and equipment than any other advanced nation, yet Trump willfully ignored and undermined the advice of American and international experts. Trump called the virus a “hoax” invented by his political opponents and when the U.S. belatedly did institute lockdowns they were woefully inadequate compared to Asian and European countries.
He has ordered 169 executive orders mostly to titillate his extremist base but refused to order U.S. companies to produce the PPE and testing materials against this new and deadly virus that could have saved ten of thousands of lives and small American businesses. Seven months later, U.S. testing is so slow and inadequate that often each infected person infects dozens more. Our response has been among the very worst in the world, similar to India, Brazil and Mexico. Even with our superior health care system, the U.S. with 4% of the global population has racked up approximately 25% of the deaths worldwide.
Trump owes his election to Russian election interference and the fact that Republican-led states prevented millions of voters in Democratic districts from voting. Donald Trump openly asked for Russian assistance during the 2016 campaign, and as a direct result, dozens of Trump operators were indicted and convicted during the beginning of his administration while the DOJ, the FBI, and the CIA were still relatively untainted by the Trump corruption.
Trump bragged that he could get away with shooting somebody on 5th Avenue. What he has gotten away with is severely damaging our system of rule of law.
The vast amounts of evidence that led to calls for his impeachment made the transgressions of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton look like choir boys stealing cookies out of the church cookie jar compared to the massive corruption of the Trump administration. Soliciting foreign help from a long-time U.S. adversary, constant and countless violations of the constitutional Emoluments Clause that prohibits a president from achieving financial gain from holding office, overwhelming evidence of obstruction of justice, advocating violence against and persecuting political opponents, abuse of power, and waging a constant war against the free press are the most obvious.
The Republican-controlled Senate prevented testimony about the multitudes of his misdeeds and acquitted Trump. Trump installed Bill Barr as head of Department of Justice as his personal henchman to protect himself and groundlessly harass his political opponents like we might expect to witness in post-Soviet republics or various banana-republics south of our border.
As we are nearing the 2020 election the Trump administration is working to sabotage the U.S. Postal Office. It was established by the Constitution and today is the most popular American government agency with more than 90% support among Americans. Businesses rely on it and tens of millions of individuals’ medicines and social security checks are delivered by the USPS. As the new postmaster general, the recently appointed longtime Trump ally DeJoy has fired 23 post office executives, laid off countless personnel, and eliminated over-time work. Somewhere between 500 and 700 sorting machines have been removed to unknown locations and Western states are having mail drop boxes removed from streets and shopping malls in a blatant attempt to suppress the vote in the 2020 election as Trump has openly suggested is his plan to win a second term.
Under normal conditions, the 2020 Census would be finished by the end of 2020, but because of inevitable delays due to the coronavirus it was planned to be finalized in April 2021. Trump is now planning to terminate the already greatly delayed census a month early, and leave an estimated 60 million of harder-to-reach American households uncounted. Four former directors of the census from both Republican and Democratic administrations have strongly objected and urged the Trump Administration to complete the count in an honest manner as required by the U.S. Constitution.
Dozens of respected lifetime Republican former members of previous administrations, as well as a substantial number of Trump appointees who came to know him personally, have labeled him an existential threat to our republic and our democracy, not to mentions hundreds of moderate Republican politicians, commentators and writers.
In their view the 2020 election is not about conventional partisan politics, but about preventing our political system from being corrupted perhaps beyond repair by another four years of Trump’s totalitarianism.
Richardt Stormsgaard lives in Nevada City.
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