Another day, Another Shitastrophe

trump, shitstorm

Franklin, Contributor

As I ponder the onslaught of political gaslighting, I’ve come to relish the memory of a gentler time when our biggest scandal was the president sporting a tan suit. Between porn stars, money laundering schemes, clandestine meetings with Russians, and living large on the taxpayer’s dime, the Trump administration can only be described as a “shitastrophe”. It began as a notably large shit show and rapidly morphed into a category 5 shitastrophe. For the linguistically curious, that’s synonymous with “clusterfuck”, but several degrees worse because it was a wholly preventable condition and one that could be eradicated immediately if Congressional conservatives would simply open their eyes.

We all understand the importance of rallying behind your party’s surprise leader, even if he is a vulgar, mean-spirited, philandering, pathologically lying ignoramus. We get the part about passing an agenda and tolerating “eccentricities”. We even get the part about how he deserves a little slack for being inexperienced in politics and governing. However, conservatives have urinated on their collective moral conscience, and traded basic accountability for idol worship, in their self-loathing, cult-like worship of Trump.

The Democrats can continue to illuminate the obvious unethical and illegal machinations of Trump and his confederacy of self-promoting shysters, but until Republicans come to some minute degree of existential epiphany, they remain happy to look the other way and recruit more delusional apologists. Every day is another day of shitastrophe that they pretend is justified, excusable, and unremarkably normal. It’s like watching a fire-breathing, live-grenade juggling chihuahua unicycling through a warehouse full of fireworks while shouting, “Nothing to see here!” in perfectly pronounced Klingon.

We are witnesses to a mob-like criminal enterprise destroying government agencies and constitutional norms for their own profit and self-aggrandizement. We are subject to an unrelenting diatribe of lies and told that the facts are contextually pliable and inherently unreliable. We are asked to make our own morality into an irrelevant emoji as an apologetic means to excuse the blatant bad behavior of our leader, who refers to all of his actions and promises in absurd, delusional superlatives.

So, now the Department of Homeland Security will track journalists and “media-influencers” to keep us safe from having to hear any criticism of America, or its Shit-Gibbon-in-Chief. Just another shovel of excrement to ensure the longevity of the shitastrophe. As if the trade war, the dismantling of environmental safety regulations, and the daily revelations of scandal just wasn’t enough corrosive crap?

As the abomination of Trump’s shitastrophe spreads, we must recognize that the only way to win this war of minds and hearts is to strenuously exercise the First Amendment. This is more than a resistance of memes, more than well-organized protest marches with creatively snarky home-made signs. This is about finding new and creative means to get galvanizing messages to the mainstream and learning innovative ways to craft narratives that inspire and unite.

Like many, I begrudgingly gave Trump a chance in the hope that the weight of presidential responsibility would temper his juvenile urges and narcissistically-driven penchant for chaos. Trump not only failed, but showed that his worst is a looming evil promise. We cannot afford a second term of Trump. We cannot be apathetic as he uses his first term to further divide us. Underestimating him would be devastating and stunningly foolish.

As I write this, Trump is sending National Guard troops to the southern border to stop an imaginary threat and to give his angry base more fuel for their racist fires. As I write this, his ex-campaign manager, Manafort, is facing hundreds of years in prison and trying to craft benign explanations for all his nefarious Russian entanglements. As I write this, the porn star Stormy Daniels, is litigating her hush money contract with Trump and his greasy attorney, Cohen. As I write this, I wonder what thing he will next deface or what vital institution he will cripple. I cringe as he smears excrement on the public trust. As I write this, I count the days until we vote again and pray we have someone to vote for, instead of against. I miss Obama in his tan suit.

Another day, another shitastrophe in the era of Trump.

We’re Watching the EPA get Neutered

trump, epa, pruitt, neuter

Jerry Waters, Contributor

Proving that it’s much easier to destroy than to create, EPA Chief Scott Pruitt has directed the agency in charge of protecting our environment to eliminate Obama-era gas mileage and emissions regulations for automakers. Maybe, next week corporations can just dump poisons in our drinking water and… oh, wait, he already did that.

Okay, so the new pro-pollution policies come after Pruitt has gutted clean water regulations and allowed corporate farms to spray produce with all sorts of horrifying insecticides and herbicides. Pruitt, like other Trump cabinet members, is on a mission to neuter to the agency he’s been tapped to lead. So, why should anyone be bothered that he’s been crashing at a condo paid for by natural gas lobbyist? What the frack, guys?

Ah, Pruitt, the asshat, who as Attorney General for Oklahoma, took money from the fossil fuel industry and sued the EPA fourteen times. Pruitt, the scholarly genius, who publicly declares that mankind’s pollution has absolutely nothing to do with global climate change. Just chew it all over with a second helping of chlorpyrifos, Pruitt’s favorite insecticide- you know, the one that’s only responsible for about 10,000 deaths a year.

Trump knew that Pruitt despised the EPA and that’s why he put him in charge of it. In fact, Trump made most of his cabinet choices ensuring they were in direct conflict with the agencies’ missions, in order to ensure that corporations could get away with figurative and literal murder.

The downright dangerous and unethical actions of Pruitt are merely symptomatic of a greater problem in the American psyche. It’s the idea that common sense regulations designed to keep businesses from ruining our environment or engaging in practices that are exploitative are somehow too onerous a burden. Conservatives continue to peddle the myth that businesses cannot be good stewards of the environment and make a profit simultaneously.

Trust me, the polluters are making obscene profits. They can afford to do the right thing, but their unquenchable greed is celebrated by many, rather than being recognized as a diagnosable obsession or a malignant evil. These observations are not an indictment of wealth or success. Instead, it’s a recognition of a corporate world that increasingly only gives lip service to ethics and puts short-term profit and shareholders ahead of everything else.

As Pruitt guts environmental regulations, we are left to hope that companies will make choices that protect us. Instead of dumping raw pollutants wherever they see fit, they’ll invest in technologies to limit their toxic waste or dispose of it in a way that doesn’t harm people or the planet. Yes, hope for that because their track records show that they’ll do just that, right? Hmmm, isn’t that why we needed the EPA and regulations in the first place?

Pruitt is also allowing our public lands to be sold or to be exploited for their natural resources. He could care less about ecosystems or habitats. His focus is pleasing the lobbying groups that fill his campaign coffers and give him under-the-table sweetheart deals. That’s why he constructed a $43,000 sound-proof and hacker-proof bunker in his EPA office- because doing the people’s business of protecting the environment, requires the utmost secrecy? Apparently, it also requires a full-time security detail and first-class flights. As head of the EPA, he sure wouldn’t want to be confused with a tree-hugger!

An oil spill happens in hours and the clean-up takes years. Air pollution doesn’t just magically disappear, nor do toxins in our drinking water. You’d think we would have learned from Superfund sites or rivers that used to catch fire. It’s going to be easy for Pruitt to destroy the decades of hard work and research that led to the EPA formulating regulations that have kept America’s polluters at bay.

Pro-business conservatives will idolize Pruitt, but the next generations, regardless of their political leanings, will suffer his polluted, soot-filled legacy as he neuters the EPA into impotence and tragic irrelevancy.