The Greater Evil

In my last blog post, I advised my readers to vote for the lesser evil. A majority of my fellow Americans didn’t see it my way and now we find ourselves under the rule of the greater evil. What will this mean for our lives?

Economically, we are already seeing profound effects of our choice. Stock markets are tanking world- wide and those of us who were fortunate enough to have savings in an IRA or 401K will see much of their hard-earned money disappear. The financial elite don’t like Trump, they feel that he is a loose cannon with no firm grasp of economics. From what we know of his economic plans, they consist of cutting taxes, particularly for the wealthy, and abolishing regulations. That would seem to be a plutocrat’s fondest dream, but anyone with a firm grasp of economics realizes that trickle-down economics doesn’t work. It has been tried by two Republican administrations in the past forty years and has failed both times. That will not prevent Trump and the Republican Congress from trying it yet again. The essence of capitalism is that money must circulate. If people have money to spend and they spend it, the economy thrives. If people are paid the minimum wage and it’s not enough to live on, the economy fails. It is demand side, rather than supply side that drives the economy. We can expect a dismal economy under Trump. Trump opposes raising the minimum wage, and he will do nothing to protect the rights of workers.

What about the environment and the specter of climate change caused by global warming? Trump has denied that climate change exists. He has already said that he will promote the use of fossil fuels and fracking, and abolish all government efforts to promote renewable energy sources. We recently reached a critical level of CO2 in our atmosphere. As the Earth heats, due to the greenhouse effect of the CO2, the permafrost in much of the northern hemisphere will melt, and this will release large quantities of methane gas into the atmosphere. Methane gas is an even more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. The only way to prevent this, assuming that it isn’t already too late, would be to immediately curtail the use of fossil fuel and switch to renewable sources of energy. Some countries such as Germany and Iceland have either already done this or are well on their way to doing so. On November 8th, 2016, America may  well have doomed most life on Earth to extinction.

What about health care? The Republican Congress will immediately vote to abolish the Affordable Care Act. This will mean that people who obtained subsidized insurance under the act will no longer receive it. Worse yet, there will no longer be protection for people with pre-existing conditions. People with such conditions will no long be able to obtain medical insurance. Republicans have long been anxious to replace Medicare with a voucher plan. This will now be possible. Will this voucher plan meet the needs of our elders for medical care? Don’t count on it.

Trump has pledged to destroy ISIS, which is now in a number of countries of The Middle East and Africa. How does he plan to do that? Bombs? Boots on the ground? Since the Second World War, American interventions in foreign countries have generally had disastrous results, as witness the aftermath of the Viet Nam war, and the results of our interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. We can expect more of the same with Trump, and it won’t come cheap.

Trump has pledged to appoint judges to the Supreme Court who will overturn Roe Versus Wade. This is one reason that a lot of Evangelical Christians and Catholics voted for him. This has been the one wedge issue that has now brought about complete Republican domination of our government. What Evangelical Christians and Pro-life Catholics forget in their zeal to save the lives of embryos, is that prior to Roe V. Wade there were 500,000 illegal abortions per year in this country, and some 5,000 ended in the death of the woman. Roe V. Wade was not the beginning of abortion in this country. It was the end of women dying from them. What will be the punishment for women who seek an abortion? What will be the punishment for doctors who perform them? Besides Roe Versus Wade there are a multitude of issues that the Supreme Court will decide, and Trumps court will decide all of them in favor of the wealthy and the corporations.

I fear we are in for a perfect storm. The Presidency, the Senate, The House of Representatives and the Judiciary all in the hand of a party that has embraced the social and economic theories of Ayn Rand. Well played, America, well played.

 

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