For the US, it is time to say goodbye to the American dream
In an era of revenge politics where reprisal and retribution rule the roost, it comes as no surprise that the racist bigot who runs the United States now will go after each piece of legislation or any steps conducive to human well-being that were taken by the previous president who also happened to be a man of colour.
Unpredictable Donald Trump, aka Agent Orange with his raccoon eyes and fake tan, is out to undo any and everything in true letter and spirit that his predecessor’s administration carefully put together to take care of the greater interests of the American people.
For instance, to Trump and the Republicans, healthcare is not a human right. Hence, they decided to recklessly repeal former president Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act for the sole purpose of demeaning the legacy of the former president. In the meantime, they put millions at the risk of losing their health coverage. Ironically, the guy who heads up the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency tasked to look after public health is himself against government-regulated health insurance.
By the same token, Republicans and Trump are against giving women the right to look after their reproductive health. They consider the idea nothing but a ghastly hoax. In an effort to appease the religious right, they’re out to squeeze and muzzle women’s interests without recognising the long-term ill effects on the society at large.
Banning gun-free school zones is something that is also being actively considered. This was another campaign promise that Trump and his National Rifle Association (NRA) cohorts want to implement. Granted that the American society is obsessed with weapons, the number of people who die every year on account of gun violence is astronomical. The ease of access and essentially non-existent background checks makes killing just about everyone’s favourite pastime.
There’s more talk about mac and cheese and french fries then gun control in this country. Obama, despite his best efforts, failed to make an impact on the gun-control regimen in all the years he spent in the White House. He would kick-off discussion after every subsequent gun-violence-related massacre but would soon find himself faced with a mountain of resistance. His arguments were shot down a gazillion times. Now with a gun-friendly president in the Oval Office, it’s a party every day for the Second Amendment hawks.
The point is that whatever little connection one felt at the human level with the government/state-run institutions in this highly aggressive, ‘you are on your own, buddy’ capitalist society, is now being flushed down the toilet.
Just recently, the White House decided to get rid of a highly recognised and successful ‘Let Girls Learn’ program, a global education initiative for the weaker sex that earned stellar reputation by drawing in funding from both the public and private sector to help women in more than 50 countries around the globe.
We all know how much Trump respects women. We all understand his rather complicated relationship with women. Regardless, his predator nature must not affect the weak and the feeble. While he continues to relentlessly butcher and plunder minority, immigrant, and women’s rights, the First Daughter, Ivanka Trump, is busy globe-trotting portraying herself as the champion of those cannot stand up for themselves. Rightly so, she was booed at the W2 Women’s Summit only a few weeks ago.
The hypocrisy of the Trump administration is too hard to miss. The contradictions and flat-out lies are taking a heavy toll on the masses. Trump’s flip-flopping, his showman-like ways and his blatant disregard for American values has belittled our respect for the government. But while hosting a late-night show on May 2nd, Jimmy Kimmel proved that not all showmen are crazy. Kimmel narrated his new-born baby’s struggles with health in an almost 15-minute monologue and pleaded to the president to help those in need and reminded the sick in the head old man in the White House that healthcare is a basic human necessity.
Trump is out to make a mockery of what matters to us as Americans. People keep wondering why they want to kill us. Why would they discontinue programs like ‘Let Girls Learn’? Why does he want to put to shame the good guy image that the US, for the most part, enjoys the world over? Why no more talk about peace and diplomacy or organising and running around helping out distressed nations?
Today, Agent Orange wants to welcome mass murderers like Rodrigo Duterte and will consider it his honour to meet the neurotic North Korean leader. He’s obsessed with Vladimir Putin and didn’t hesitate to go an extra mile to congratulate the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who decided to extend his authoritarian rule for life.
In a word, Trump is a bully and he likes to play ball with other bullies. Bullies don’t know humanity and, therefore, we will have to reprioritise our expectations, move to a different level of thinking and perpetually expect the unexpected.
Kimmel ended his monologue by saying,
“No parent should ever have to decide whether they can afford to save their child’s life. It just shouldn’t happen. Not here.”
I’m afraid Kimmel is dead wrong. We are all about to get pummelled because health, education, environment, our children’s future are no longer the government priorities. Post-haste, we need to gear up and battle this upsurge of violent, extremist and tyrannical absolutism.
Some believe that Trump may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. He may be the opportunity that this nation was waiting for to correct and reconfigure its course of action. With a grain of salt, I can accept the view but I won’t bet my money on it.
As the American value-system continues to get gutted, humiliated and mutilated, all one can hope for is a little dose of sanity for Trump, the tormentor. Perhaps the upcoming visit to the Vatican can have a positive impact on him and pivot him toward doing bigger and better things. Can Pope Francis – the man Trump ridiculed during the 2016 campaign – shower his blessings, put him on the path of repentance and plant the seeds of humanity in his heart?
I, for one, have strong doubts but miracles can sometimes happen.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.