Dare Call It Treason
As we watch policy develop for the nation, disturbing warning signs jump to the headlines. Foremost is the lack of concern by the GOP that the president’s family conducted secret meetings with Russia to undermine a U.S. election. The president’s son and son-in-law met with Russians connected to the Federal Security Service, the old KGB intelligence service. Emails reveal that the Trump team received “very high level and sensitive information” to help the GOP win the election. Trump lawyers claim the only thing wrong was that the meeting became public. Evidently, the less the public knows, the better. Little mention is made of the possible hacking of election machines or how the GOP coordinated planning with the Kremlin, which both Russia and Trump try to keep secret.
Once known as Russia’s fiercest rival, today’s GOP has become a Russian ally coupled with a president described as “Putin’s boyfriend.” The president now calls for a joint U.S.-Russian cybersecurity team, after Russia has hacked its way through America’s corporate computer system. Where once the GOP attacked Democrats for “being soft on communism, they now enable the current administration, as they dance around what is rapidly becoming a kleptocracy. The president’s supporters evidently believe the winner takes all by any means necessary.
As private business takes control of the companies, who make billions off the U.S. government, bring their owners and investors boundless wealth, and will be freed from many of the constraints placed on U.S. soldiers. The president’s supporters try to keep the nation focused on an Islamic enemy, while milking the U.S. budget for profit, and continuing the occupation of Afghanistan.
Today’s GOP is devoting itself to overthrowing the U.S. government and wants corporations to have more control—long a dream of the party that became known as “the party of big business.” As the far-right forces take control of the GOP, they are attacking government on every level. The New York Times reports that the administration has 71 appointees who represented businesses in cases against government regulation, staff members from secret money groups, employees of industry who oppose regulations, and lobbyists.
These appointees are working full time to overturn protections of air and water pollution, consumer protections, bank and financial regulations, and other rules that protect Americans from corporate misdeeds. While the public sorts through stupid presidential Twitter posts—misnaming China’s leader as being the leader of Taiwan, calling the Japanese prime minister “President Abe,” and mixing up the leaders of Singapore and Indonesia—his appointees seek to end government support of birth control for women. Ideological fanatics, called “nutters” in England, have long opposed birth control in any form and find a sympathetic ear in the current president. “The longer you stay on the pill, the longer you ruin your uterus for baby-hosting,” claims the president’s special assistant for health policy.
The president’s backers claim that their “religious beliefs,” exempt them from government laws that apply to every other citizen. Even more egregious are the attempts of the GOP to roll back new rules of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that protect customers against arbitration. Under the old rules, companies demand that you sign a contract, which includes mandatory arbitration for such things as credit cards, bank accounts, employment, and purchases. Under these “arbitration clauses” you give up your right to sue, and instead go to a company’s secret arbitration panel if you feel you’ve been cheated by their policies. Because you no longer go before a judge, companies can do things such as charge excessive fees on overdrafts, steal your wages, provide poor medical care, abuse you sexually, and even kill you, and prevent you from seeking justice in a courtroom.
Under old arbitration rules, as a customer you cannot join in a class action or seek other relief because you’ve signed away your rights. If you don’t sign, companies refuse to hire you, give you a credit card or do business with you. The GOP is fighting the new rules by rallying the public against “fat cat” Democratic lawyers who might make money when companies are sued for acting illegally.
One Texas House member goes as far as to claim that the rules allow bureaucrats to control people’s lives. Presumably he believes that the government is infringing on corporations’ right to control your life. The GOP gets away with such policies because the president’s supporters remain dead set on opposing government. They are willing to sacrifice their own well-being, their families, their futures, and their lives to a new group in Washington that is turning their lives over to corporations. They follow the president’s motto, “ethics are for suckers,” and none dare call it treason.
Don Monkerud is a California-based writer on cultural, social, and political issues. His articles have appeared in a variety of magazines.