*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
It’s fair to say most people don’t have to live on a farm or raise chickens, to have heard of the idiom “set the fox to guard the henhouse.” Typically, if a fox does happen to gain access a henhouse, they will just grab one hen and run away; it may have killed one chicken, but it doesn’t exterminate the lot of them. The idea of installing a fox in the henhouse to guard the flock is about as absurd as installing a person to protect or control resources when one knows they will exploit their position for profit.
The urban dictionary (UB) offers a fairly close example to what is about to happen to the people now that the Koch brothers are co-owners of America’s government. The UB’s example of “set the fox to guard the henhouse” regarding government is; “putting an industry insider on the board of an agency that regulates that industry.” Republicans have been doing that for ages and the only thing possibly worse is putting a sworn enemy of the agency as head of said agency with the full weight and power of the Koch’s federal government behind them; this is precisely what depraved Donnie is doing with every cabinet nominee.
Dastardly Donald has either found or was “directed” to find, people that want specific federal regulatory and protective agencies completely eliminated. Trump has signaled they will be tasked with running the agencies into the ground according to their particular bent, but one thing is crystal clear; every American citizen currently alive will be adversely affected by Dirty Don’s appointees regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation. Of course the filthy rich will be spared, but even the fanatically-religious evangelicals will feel the nasty effects of a government void of protections for the citizenry.
It is difficult to imagine exactly which agencies are likely to fare the worst in Trump’s America because they are all targets of the Koch brothers who have made no secret they have wanted them eliminated for over thirty years. Now, according to Trump’s selection of sworn enemies of the agencies they hope to lead (to extinction), the Kochs will get their demands fulfilled and there is nothing anyone, save the Electoral College, can do to stop them.
Each of Trump’s choices is, of course, unqualified to even have an informed opinion about or criticism of the agencies they hope to lead much less be put in charge. But they were not chosen because of their level of competence or expertise; they were chosen for their anger, hatred and desire to eliminate the specific agency of their contempt. It is safe to say the majority of Trump’s cabinet will serve as a “wrecking crew” created particularly to eliminate every possible protection the people now enjoy and create conditions remarkably similar to America prior to the New Deal. It is what Trump calls “making America great again” and exactly where the teabaggers want to “take their country back” to. It is a place they won’t like, but that’s the price of stupid people being allowed a voice in America.
Although it is a partial list so far, these are just a few of Trump’s choices to “wreck” a particular federal government agency.
To run the Department of Education, Trump chose an extremely wealthy woman who’s only familiarity with public schools and education is being its most zealous sworn enemy. The only thing Betsy DeVos knows about public schools is that she wants them eradicated from America. She wants them replaced with taxpayer-funded evangelical madrasas (Christian schools) and for-profit corporate charter schools. It is irrelevant if charters and evangelical schools are abject failures, so long as taxpayers keep the cash flowing, they are guaranteed to generate profit for corporations and churches; it will be the new raison d’être of the Education Department.
To pretend to “oversee” the Republican-created Environmental Protection Agency, Trump tapped a renowned anti-environmental protection crusader who wants the agency destroyed. He “proudly proclaims” the he is a “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda;” qualities Trump found so endearing he wants him to run the agency.
The devastating news for Americans is that in less than two months the malcontent opposed to environmental safeguards will set the EPA agenda. His funders in the fossil fuel industry have paid him handsomely over the years to contest the EPA’s right to exist as the only protection the American people have to ensure their air and water is safe. In January he will begin the task his petroleum industry bosses desire more than life itself; eradication of environmental protections. The cretin’s only knowledge of the EPA is keeping track of how many times he challenged their regulatory authority in the courts for the petroleum industry; now he will just eliminate the agency’s authority to “regulate.”
For secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Trump picked another incompetent who opposes government programs in general, but specifically those he claims encourage “dependency;” such as HUD. The retired neurosurgeon doesn’t believe there is any need to fight urban blight, provide rent assistance, prevent directed segregation or help homeowners fight foreclosures; so Trump picked him to run HUD. Ben Carson even criticizes attempts to end racial segregation in HUD’s fair housing practices, or what Carson calls “dangerous social-engineering schemes.”
Dirty Don’s most recent choice, a corporate fast-food CEO for labor secretary is the death knell for a minimum wage hike in the foreseeable future. A quote in the American Prospect attributed to Kendall Fells, the organizing director for the SEIU-funded Fight for $15 said, “Puzder as labor secretary is like putting Bernie Madoff in charge of the Treasury.” As an aside, Trump’s choice for Treasury Secretary is another story for another day, but it is tantamount to putting a Madoff-like character in charge of the Treasury.
Trump’s anti-labor corporate CEO, besides wanting the workforce replaced with robotics, wants the remaining human workers to earn slave wages. Over the past seven years, roughly “60 percent of all Labor Department investigations of Puzder’s restaurants found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), according to data compiled by Bloomberg.” It is safe to assume that as Labor Department secretary, Puzder will put a screeching halt to investigations into his restaurants. Then he will do his corporate CEO best to “reform” those damn pesky fair labor standards to favor corporate employers and punish the workforce.
This abbreviated list doesn’t begin to elucidate the clear and present danger to Americans’ way of life going forward. Suffice it to say that no American is going to be spared some loss; because those federal firewalls, those regulatory agencies, are going to be deconstructed with extreme prejudice.
Despicable Donald Trump is not assembling a cabinet; he is creating a wrecking crew to do precisely what the Koch brothers have wet dreams about; making America great again by taking it back to the turn of the 20th Century when the people were at the mercy of the rich and powerful with no protection whatsoever.