The following post, written by The Rev. Robert A. Franek, is a part of Politicus Policy Discussion, in which writers draw connections between real lives and public policy.
Has it only been two weeks, well two weeks and two days? Already the cost of the new administration on the lives of ordinary people is beyond belief. And I don’t just mean the financial costs whether of security at Trump Tower in New York City, his reckless executive orders, or his vacation this weekend. Keeping track of these costs is important and necessary, especially since this is the party that claims to value fiscal responsibility and reduced government spending (or does that only apply when speaking of those who are poor, disenfranchised, and caught in a system of oppression).
In addition to financial costs, there are also human costs in worry, stress, and fear. There are the opportunity costs of protesting his incompetent and irresponsible actions rather than advocating for positive change. There are costs to the environment that impact the ecosystems of plants and trees, rivers and lakes, fish and animals which ultimately affect the lives of every person on the planet.
Donald Trump’s now temporarily blocked Muslim ban created chaos at airports, tore families apart, and kept refugees from reaching safer communities. More at least one child was delayed getting much needed medical care. So much needless human pain and suffering caused by an illegal, unconstitutional, and immoral executive order hastily implemented and with no factual basis in achieving the intent to keep Americans safe.
Keeping Americans safe is easier said than done by this new administration. In his first operation as Commander-in-Chief Trump ordered a raid in Yemen without “sufficient intelligence, ground support, or adequate backup preparations” according Reuters. The decision reportedly made over dinner in conversation with political advisors and not intelligence and military experts led to the death of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens along with other non-combatant civilians including women and children. An untold amount of suffering and grief is causing distress among family and friends from Peoria, Illinois, to Yemen largely because Trump failed to fully prepare for this operation in consultation with experts in multiple fields and heeding their reports.
It is bad enough this administration is having a hard time consulting and trusting intelligence and military experts and the reports they provide. But when all goes bad rather than taking responsibility they blame Obama in another attempt to rewrite history.
The human costs in anxiety and anger are adding up along with hours invested in protests and in calling U.S. Representatives and Senators to protests many of Donald Trump’s executive orders like his border wall and Muslim ban as well as cabinet nominees, not the least of which are Betsy DeVoss and Senator Jeffery Sessions. As Sarah Jones reported, “It is vital that senators be accessible to their constituents at such a critical time of Trump-caused upheaval. People are afraid, they need to be heard.”
More, Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and the House Republicans voting to allow the mentally ill to have guns and that coal mines can poison our water is causing distress and outrage across the nation.
There is also the time and energy the media must spend debunking “alternative facts” known to the rest of reality as lies. Add to that the countless hours of energy spent by people on social media engaging in “debates” over reality. No doubt, the barrage of propaganda and fake news needs to be debunked and the truth told both by the professional media and everyday people on social media and in personal social circles. Still, it is shocking that the new leader of the free world and his associates are causing debates over observable facts and reality itself.
It is difficult to measure the toll of gas lighting the nation on a regular basis, however the effects can already be seen.
In little more than a dozen days and with polling to prove it, the American people are not happy and are coming out in droves to protest the taxing effects of the new administration on the people of this country and around the world.
Like the financial costs to the taxpayers of this country, these human costs will continue to add up, and for anyone with a moral compass these costs are far more concerning and troubling.
The moral resistance to the new administration has at its heart the human costs to people in this country and around the world. The resistance will not stop until the fundamental human rights of all people are assured and no longer under threat.