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Extensive damage throughout federal government due to policies enacted by current administration: repairs will be difficult but are essential to our survival

2020-08-03
picture by Open Clip Art Vectors courtesy of pixabay.com

As noted in yesterday’s post, there are numerous examples readily available that show the administration has consistently tried to destroy large parts of the federal administration and has succeeded in many places. This has come by political appointees who head the larger agencies and have made policies inimical to their original purposes. The administration has tried to cut appropriations for everything except the military and Homeland Security. Attempts are being made to reduce staff through attrition, layoffs, and forced resignations; disgusted civil servants have voluntarily departed.

I could research all the many ways this has happened and is continuing to happen, but I don’t have time to lay out all the details. There are too many other important subjects to write about. In some cases, the damage is being hidden. In other cases, the decline in reporters and reporting has led to insufficient information about these destructive actions.

The bottom line is this: if a Democratic President is elected in November, the new administration will inherit a badly damaged and diminished federal government. Many of the advances that took place during the previous administration have been reversed. Many of the agencies that had been doing good work have been hollowed out, with the departure of civil servants who had been dedicating their careers to the betterment of this country and could no longer operate effectively or stomach the behavior of the political appointees in charge.

Priorities will have to be established, and the most urgent problems will have to be addressed first. The removal of political appointees who have philosophies inimical to the work of the agencies they head will lead to more vacancies and may cause chaos.

The agencies most in need of rehabilitation are: the State Department, Justice, and ICE. Large numbers of career employees will leave or be forced out when they discover that their new bosses do not favor the policies that they have used to abuse immigrants and people of color.

ICE, for example, has many career employees who actually enjoy the oppressive tactics that their superiors have encouraged. These people will be unhappy with the new policies and should be encouraged to leave.

A similar situation exists among the 15,000 local police departments of this country. A large number of line policemen, perhaps the majority, feel that their duties, to protect and serve, include the oppression of poor people and nonwhites at will. It would be better for their communities if they all resigned and were replaced by new officers who want true justice and mercy. Police unions will have to be taken over by the few line police officers who support extensive changes in policy that can put a stop to the things that happened to Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and George Floyd.

At the same time, the deaths of people like Michael Brown will have to be left behind. There were no good witnesses to his killing. The new prosecutor who investigated his case was forced to close the case without making any indictments because he could not prove that Mr. Brown was shot unlawfully. The policeman who shot him was able to claim self-defense because no-one saw what happened. This is not to say that we should believe his claims, only that we cannot show beyond a reasonable doubt that he did not attack the policeman.

We have to pick our battles and prosecute the cases that have clear evidence of ill intent by miscreants like our current president. Like Adolf Hitler in “Mein Kampf”, this man made clear in his statements exactly what he wanted to do and why. We must reverse the damage he has done and repair our federal government. This will take time and great effort.

The changes we want will be opposed, tooth and nail, by the remaining Republican officeholders in the House and Senate. It is time to eliminate the filibuster and try to make up for time lost during the previous Democratic administration due to the obstruction of the Senate.

The loss of the majority in the House in 2010 can be tied directly to the failure of the Senate to push through the dramatic policy changes attempted by the administration of the time (not to minimize the negative propaganda churned out by the Tea Party.) There was a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate for only a few months, not long enough to do what was needed.

There is no longer any time to waste. All Democratic office-holders must be united at making the policy changes that will lead to an improvement in the well-being of the vast majority of the American populace. It will be hard, and far-right propaganda will attempt to twist the appearance of the changes until they look like something sinister.

The gravity of the crisis we face in this pandemic, combined with worsening wealth inequality and perverse medical insurance policies, makes it essential that we quickly reverse the decline of the average American both economically and physically.

Education, medical care, and public health must be reformed before we fall further behind. If not, authoritarian countries (China in particular, but also Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran) will overtake us and establish an antidemocratic hegemony over the world that forces us into ever-greater conflict.

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