President Trump announced that he will move the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Then he arrogantly warned United Nations’ member states not to protest his decision. So, did the world’s community of nations cower and follow the great leader’s dictate? The final tally of votes in the UN General Assembly: USA 9, World 128. It was a humiliating defeat. What was Trump’s reaction? He said, “We don’t care.”
Judging from his rhetoric and actions since the inauguration, I think we can extend that response to domestic issues:
Millions of Americans insured by the Affordable Care Act will lose coverage in the wake of the Trump/Republican corporate welfare bill (aka “Tax Reform”) that primarily aids corporations and the wealthy. I think Trump would respond with these words to people who fear they won’t get much tax relief and will lose health insurance: “We don’t care.”
Nine million low-income children are also in danger of losing health insurance because Trump and Congress failed to make the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) a priority. Thus, funding for CHIP is lapsing. What is Trump’s response to the moms and dads who fear for their children’s health? I think it is, “We don’t care.”
Eight hundred thousand young people brought to the United States as children are mired in anxiety-riddled limbo. They have been reared and educated in this country. Many are working and paying taxes, some are in college, and others are serving in our military. Yet the nation they call “home” is threatening to deport them. It should be easy to fix this human crisis: pass legislation granting them legal residency and a path to citizenship. It is the just and compassionate thing to do, but the president and the Republican leadership refuse to act. And their refusal tells the dreamers: “We don’t care.”
Millions of American citizens in Puerto Rico remain without food, water, electricity, and health care. By tossing rolls of paper towels to people instead of providing them needed assistance President Trump seemed to be saying, “We don’t care.”
Climate change is bringing environmental ruin to communities around the globe. In response, the world’s nations gathered in Paris to forge an agreement for combating global warming. President Obama was among the first to sign. Donald Trump quickly repudiated the agreement, making America the world’s only major country refusing to act. His stated reason is that it would hurt the American economy. His response to the community of nations implies, “We don’t care.”
The president’s reaction to the Paris climate change agreement was just a precursor of things to come. More than 200 scientists and nearly 100 environmental protection professionals have left the Environmental Protection Agency since Trump’s election. Decades of knowledge and professional expertise have been jettisoned and replaced by political appointees. Again, the response seems to be, “We don’t care.”
Timothy Egan reported in the December 23 New York Times that “When Americans were asked in a recent Quinnipiac survey to describe…the first word that comes to mind when thinking of Trump, the most common reply was ‘idiot.’ That was followed closely by ‘liar,’ ‘incompetent’ and ‘moron.’”
I imagine that Trump’s response to the majority of Americans who think he is doing a crummy job is that our opinion doesn’t matter to him. He simply doesn’t care. But, millions of us do care, and that is our saving grace–––and Trump’s potential downfall.
In a CNN poll that asked Americans about their leanings in 2018 congressional elections, Democrats were ahead of Republicans, 56-38. An aggregate of polls by FiveThirtyEight has Democrats ahead 49.6-37.4.
Dozens of Democrats–––many of whom are millennials, women and veterans––– are announcing their intention to run for Congress. The party’s daunting goal is that no Republican-held seat should go unchallenged. And, as of November, 538 men and 266 women have raised individual contributions as Democratic candidates for the 2018 House elections. That compares to 50 women and 380 men on the Republican side.
Abigail Spanberger, 37, is an example of the new wave of Democratic women who are challenging incumbent Republican Congresspersons. She has a law enforcement background as an 8-year veteran of the CIA, and is one of several women running in a primary to challenge Republican Congressman Dave Brat in Virginia’s seventh district.
I was introduced to Abigail by my niece, and have had two conversations with her. She is young, bright, thoughtful, patriotic, committed and seemingly undaunted by the task ahead of her. She and all of the other young women and men who are jumping into the 2018 political fray represent my hope for the future. And that is my operative word: hope. While I am not yet optimistic, I am deeply hopeful that change is on the horizon.