A Different Feeling

The 4th of July (as most Americans call Independence Day) has been my favorite holiday since I can remember. I have always liked it better than Christmas, my birthday or any other cause for celebration. Perhaps it was because I grew up in Buffalo loving baseball and it was the one holiday where the odds were in favor of baseball weather. The fond memories continued into adulthood, my first date with my wife was on a 4th of July many years ago. This year it just doesn’t feel the same and it’s all because Donald Trump is President. Let’s explore.

I certainly do not hide the fact that I disagree with Trump politically or that I feel he is unqualified to be President. I have disliked other Presidents in my lifetime but nothing like this. I didn’t like Nixon, Reagan or W. but I could figure out what they were doing. This guy is so bad and evil that he makes them all look like good Presidents.

The deregulatory (and lack of enforcement of) policies of Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover helped bring on the Great Depression. A similar philosophy by George W. Bush helped usher in the Great Recession which almost tanked the global economy. While he has been able to achieve nothing in the way of landmark legislation Trump has been effective in deregulation and appointing saboteurs to head enforcement agencies. How do you think this will end? Hint: don’t be fooled by early successes that are largely hyperbole and will not continue.

On the legislative front Trump is desperate for something he can claim as a victory. Trumpcare is currently hung up in the Senate and its passage is highly questionable. (Progressives: Don’t stop working against it; it isn’t dead yet!) The current version is estimated to take health care away from 23 million Americans. What has Trump suggested? He is touting a complete repeal of Obamacare with a replacement to be determined at some unspecified future date. That would take health care away from 32 million Americans and cause an estimated 200,000 premature deaths. Do you think Trump cares about them? I certainly don’t!

Warren Buffett has called Trumpcare the “Relief for the Rich Act.” The one thing consistent in every version of Trumpcare is a huge tax break for the wealthiest Americans. A legislative win and return on investment for Republican investors are Trump’s priorities; not the health of Americans.

In direct contradiction to repeated campaign “promises” Trumpcare calls for massive and debilitating cuts to Medicaid. I am among the many Americans who often confuse Medicaid and Medicare in speech. The inaccurate “trick” I use is the last letter of the program’s name. “E” for elderly and “d” for destitute; therefore I think of Medicare as part of retirement (which is incomplete) and Medicaid as “welfare” (a word that has a negative connotation). Medicaid is the principle program that finances the nursing home care of those suffering from dementia. These people can’t go get a job; they cannot take care of their bodily functions in many cases.

Any time a news source runs a story that doesn’t present Trump in a good light he calls it fake news. I find it interesting that after international media ran the story of Otto Warmbier, the American college student who North Korea released in a coma after it detained him and soon thereafter died, the Kim Jung-un regime called it a fake news story perpetrated by South Korea; Trump and Kim – both liars and both out of touch with reality.

I could go on but I’m just depressing myself and spoiling your holiday. Go out and enjoy yourself. Remember this country has survived the like of James Buchanan; we’ll survive Trump as long as he doesn’t start a nuclear war.

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