No need to make up ‘fake news’
We should be so proud. Thanks to Donald Trump we’re right down there with Syria and Nicaragua, dragging bottom as the only three nations to reject the Paris climate agreement aimed at cutting man-caused greenhouse gas emissions in a voluntary worldwide effort to deal with climate change.
We’re led by a president who, in at a time which called for care and compassion, didn’t offer that to Londoners immediately after the weekend terror attack but first used his 140-character Twitter limit to score political points and criticize their mayor. A president who then left the White House with Peyton Manning for another taxpayer-financed Sunday visit to one of his golf courses before offering help and condolences 24-hours after the attacks.
Unfortunately, you don’t need to make this stuff up, to create “fake news.”
The two weekend examples are the latest in a string of embarrassments threatening to leave the U.S. isolated from the remainder of the world — a world where even longtime allies now look to one another instead of toward Washington D.C. for leadership and mutual support. In just 137 days, Donald Trump has served as a one-man wrecking crew intent on demolishing not only our international standing but also destroying whatever semblance might be left of the “we’re all in this together” attitude which has bound Americans together since the Revolutionary War.
Actually, it’s inaccurate to say the current state of affairs is the product of just one man. Helping grease the skids in this 137-day downhill slide are GOP leaders like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and acolytes such as our own Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton. Either agreeing philosophically or fearing the wrath of an activist right-wing base, they stay silent or go along with schemes to cut revenues with tax breaks for the wealthy and slash safety nets such as farm and food programs and health care while supposedly expanding military and infrastructure spending, including that mystical promised wall.
Equally complicit are rank-and-file Main Street Republicans who remain silent. Why, we can only guess. Perhaps it’s hope another boom in the perpetually uncertain fossil fuel industry might stave off seeking more long-term balance in our local economy. Maybe it seems logical that “some of the above” policies ignoring science and cutting research budgets will not stifle thriving solar, wind and energy conservation industries that together provide more jobs nationally than coal, gas and oil.
Could it be a belief that our outdoor recreation economy can continue to grow despite administration attacks on national monuments and clean air and water protections that threaten public land amenities attractive to both visitors and new job-seeking residents? Or the hope that local farmers worried about “global drying” and a ski industry fearful of shorter seasons, both battling worker shortages that can only be exacerbated by still unrealized border and travel promises, will find ways to survive?
There are some encouraging signs.
Hold your breath waiting for the Republican-controlled Senate to go along with the House-passed health care bill and you’ll likely require a pulmonary specialist or need to have one of our local undertakers on speed dial. Even northwest Colorado ranchers recognize the folly of shutting off backyard input into Bureau of Land Management decisions from broad-based local Resource Advisory Councils. Cooler heads, like those in the auto industry pointing out that BMW’s largest factory is located in South Carolina, are pointing out the danger of oft-threatened and ill-advised trade wars.
Polls show independent voters abandoning Trump. Fox News viewership is sliding. CNN and MSNBC ratings are up. Conservative radio commentators are as likely to be cannibalizing “RINOs” as attacking “Libtards” these days. The New York Times and Washington Post are adding subscribers.
The administration’s military leaders are warning that any money saved by short-sighted cutting of diplomatic budgets will need to be spent buying more bullets in an increasingly unstable world. Thankfully, Republican and Democratic governors and local government leaders, including Gov. Hickenlooper, are pledging continued efforts to deal with climate change and foster energy efficiency despite the Trump administration’s decision to exit the Paris accord.
Yes, he’s my president too — elected in a process that’s served us well for more than 200 years. But who knows how far we’ll sink with 1,323 days still to go?