If there’s one thing Donald Trump is good at, it’s creating chaos. He generates a new scandal, lie, or outrageous executive order almost daily.
Well, okay… In the case of lies, Trump averages several per day. But the daily chaos tends to draw attention away from the chaos of the previous day. And it’s amplified by the departmental chaos created by his underlings.
When the outrages come this thick and fast, they can easily overwhelm the opposition. Here’s what I mean…
They Did What?
Betsy DeVos loosens rules meant to protect students from predatory for-profit colleges. You’re upset. But then the EPA starts to chip away at the Clean Air Act. So, you move to address that. You’ve barely gotten started when Trump okays polluting streams with mine waste. And you can’t let that one go unanswered. Except, next thing you know, the Dept. of Justice is attacking its own FBI…
Now, I don’t have these in order. But they’re all outrageous things this administration has done. And they’re just a drop in the bucket. Now add racist immigration policies… attempts to dismantle the social safety net… ballooning the national debt with tax breaks for the rich… attacks on the Endangered Species Act… rolling back civil rights protections… packing courts with un- and under-qualified judges… and more.
Plus, there’s Trump’s support for white nationalists… verbal attacks against our closest allies… encouraging dictators… weakening NATO… and his countless Twitter feuds. The name-calling. The whacko conspiracy theories. And the lies. Over 14,000 of them in barely 3 years.
Would you stick with a spouse who lied to you an average of 14 times a day? Yet the GOP seems to think it’s a plus in their president.
And maybe that’s their strategy.
Death by Shrapnel
Just before the turn of the 19th century, a British Royal Artillery officer “improved” on the cannonball. Lt. Henry Shrapnel invented a hollow ball, filled with lead shot, that exploded in mid-air. The explosion showered the area in fast-moving lead pellets.
This meant a cannonball – instead of killing or maiming a few soldiers – could take out dozens at a time. Shrapnel’s invention was so effective, his government awarded him a lifetime pension of more than 80,000 pounds sterling (in today’s values).
And those flying bits of metal became forever linked to Shrapnel’s name.
They may have also inspired the current GOP strategy. Instead of lobbing cannonballs to eliminate voting rights or environmental protections all at once, the GOP seems to be using shrapnel.
You can’t get Americans to agree that minorities shouldn’t be able to vote. But you can chip away at the minority vote by eliminating rural polling locations… requiring tougher proofs for eligibility… and restricting early voting.
All of these moves can be excused by claiming they’re “anti-fraud” measures. Even though widespread voter fraud is a myth.
Implemented on a state-by-state basis, these measures aren’t a cannonball. But they sure stink of shrapnel.
Their sheer volume makes combating them hard. The GOP controls most state legislatures… plus the U.S. Senate and the White House. The constant barrage of new scandals, lies, and outrages makes a coordinated response even harder.
But the stakes are too high to fail. Our Democracy is being driven towards oligarchy… our economy is sliding into hopeless debt… and the American Dream may be gasping for its last breaths.
Which is why every concerned American has to vote. Even if it’s hard to register. Even if there are few opportunities to vote early. Even if it costs a few hours’ pay.
2020 is our opportunity to seize control of our destiny once again. Imagine the joy your children and grandchildren will feel if we do.
And how they may suffer if we fail.
Believe it or not, Uncle Sam will give you a hand. You can register online to vote in 38 states at https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote… plus D.C.
Be prepared to defend democracy. Don’t let the GOP steal another election. Register… vote… and win!