This morning I watched a video of Bernie Sanders in McDowell county West Virginia which was filmed a few days ago. He was interacting with some of the poorest residents of this country whose lives are devastated by poverty, drug addiction and the loss of family members to mine-related health issues, as well as unemployment far topping the national average. The accompanying film clips made me cry, especially the last one, where Bernie Sanders consoles a woman who has buried many relatives.
McDowell county voted 74% in favor of Trump in the 2016 election. Perhaps they were hoodwinked by Trump’s promise of reviving the coal industry. The only thing which has come to pass from the Trump administration are the weakening of policies to protect miners. Bernie Sanders, however, went to assure them that he’s in their corner.
Here is a compassionate man who has fought for the American people his entire public life. You could tell that he was particularly affected by their stories. Anyone with half a heart would be.
He listened as they told him of their health issues from working in the mines. They expressed gratitude for Obamacare and how our new administration is going to take that away. They were deeply concerned about the repeal of the Clean Streams Act by Donald Trump, which would poison their communities by letting mining companies dump sludge into their waters. They wondered about the jobs that Donald Trump promised.
My mind briefly flashed over the past few weeks of Trump: The hijacking of our government by corporate America as reflected in Trump’s cabinet picks. The bulldozing of federal agencies which protect us and the lack of compassion expressed in the Muslim Ban. There’s the spectre of massive conflicts of interest and of course, the potential of Russian hacking of the election. Trump’s undermining our First Amendment rights by screaming “fake news,” while his administration is handpicking news agencies to report on him. Donald Trump has told so many lies to the American public, embraced conspiracy theories and has absolutely nothing to back up his claim that former President Obama wiretapped him. The daily parade of distracting antics from the White House or Trump’s accusing tweets is draining our government’s ability to function coherently. How many special investigations are going on now? I’ve lost count. The public is barraged each day by a new smoke and mirrors tactic . It’s very tedious, no doubt, but it’s probably intentional to distract from the fact that Trump is not fit to be president and is mired in impeachable scandal.
The proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) or now as it’s being referred to – Trumpcare – is the utterly heartless Obamacare replacement. Millions like myself are now facing bankruptcy or premature death from preventable maladies.
It’s all too obvious that the Trump administration does not care. The GOP “party of no,” has gotten its clutches around the throat of America. These leeches will bleed us dry while stuffing money into the pockets of corporate America.
Trump’s just-released “America First Budget” calls for beefing up the military by 54 billion, building the wall and expanding deportation forces. The cuts include programs to help millions with heating assistance, Meals On Wheels, The EPA, training programs for workers, Habitat For Humanity, PBS, the science and research community, NIH, the National Endowment for the Arts, NASA – and just about anything which actually helps people – poor people especially.
Trump’s “America First” budget translates into “Put Americans Last.”
We had a chance at a government which would have promoted taking care of its citizens as the previous one did. Under either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, we would’ve fared much better regarding human & civil rights, the environment, creating jobs rebuilding the infrastructure, fighting climate change or championing worker protections. We’d probably be facing a better standard of living for all Americans with gains on raising the minimum wage. Lastly, which is horrifically obvious, we’d be far better off regarding healthcare for our citizens than what awaits us under Trumpcare.
We could have had this, but what have we got now?
Slash and burn.