video 1.5 minutes
NPR’s Weekend Edition last Saturday included a story on the seperation of a Guatemalan mother and her 3 year old son. Through an interpreter the NPR host, Scott Simon, conducted the interview. Near the end of the interview Simon choked up at what had been done to this mother and her son. Her almost broke down on the air. Listeners could tell that the cruelty of what happened to these two humans was almost more than he could take.
What Simon didn’t say was that the policies that broke this family apart and that worked hard to make the split permanent was caused by policies imposed by the Trump administration. These policies appear to have been imposed for little good reason. These policies that have split more than 2500 families – some of whom will never be reunited – are very symbolic of the Republican Party from the courthouse to the White House.
When Iowa Republican Party chair Jeff Kaufmann stated back in July prior to a visit by Trump to Iowa to campaign for endangered Republican congressman Rod Blum that:
“The Republican Party of Iowa stands with President Donald Trump. We’re proud of you, Mr. President,” Kaufmann said Friday. “There! We’ve got that out of the way.”
Ordinary citizens would have to wonder just what it was that Mr. Kaufmann was talking about. The crisis at the border of families being separated and children being abused by immigration officials had already been going on for several months and was the focal point of much of the news coverage at the time. This was also the time period when the administration was ordered to reunite families that they had split up and they failed miserably leaving some 500+ families still split. Is that what Mr. Kaufmann and Iowa’s Republicans proud of?
Sticking with the theme of children, perhaps Mr. Kaufmann and Iowa Republicans are proud of Trump’s attempt to defund the Children’s Health Program (CHiP) in an attempt to leave poor children without health care.
Or maybe Mr. Kaufmann and Iowa’s Republicans are proud of the ongoing attempts by the Republican congress to shrink or eliminate the food stamp program. Cutting food stamps is currently in the House version of the farm bill. This is something that the aforementioned endangered congress member Rod Blum heartily approves of.
How about the climate? As the Trump administration makes one regulatory change after another to environmental laws it gets harder and harder for kids to breathe in the good old USA. Included among these changes are pushing hard for the burning of the dirtiest of fuels, coal. The most recent change is to stop the guidelines for raising vehicle mileage as quickly as they can.
Hey kids, cut yourself a chuck of air and sit down and chew it while you think of how Mr. Kaufmann and Iowa’s Republicans are so proud of Mr. Trump.
Let’s see – they’ve tried to cut your medical care, your food, are OK with poisoning your air and when they can split families for apart as some form of macabre punishment – what else could they do? Well how about ruining your education. If you can get through the first twelve years of school that are now junked up with anti-science curricula being taught in some jurisdictions as equal to real science then you may get to go on to college. But hold on a second – are you rich?
Paul Deaton has a nice write up yesterday concerning how Iowa is diverting money for public education to private education, thus shortchanging the purpose of public funding of education here.
If you are not rich, the chances of being able to get a post secondary education are lessening every year. If you are willing to take on debt til death maybe you also can continue your education. The Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is in the process of making changes that will make it harder to repay student loans and the rate remains incredibly high.
Can’t you feel the pride just welling up inside? Let’s not forget the DACA kids – those kids who came to the US when they were very young with undocumented relatives. Many are now reaching adulthood and have known no other country as their home. For the Trump administration these kids are a political football to kick around. With the very aggressive ultra right winger Stephen Miller leading the way the administration has been doing its damndest to “return” the DACA kids to countries they have no affiliation with.
As if children didn’t have enough problems of their own caused by the administration, let’s not forget what the administration wants to do to the children’s “peripherals.” By that I mean their parents. There is of course the on going assault on the ACA. From Day 1 of this administration there has been a concerted and focused war on the ACA with a return to the bad old days of no money, no health insurance and pre-existing conditions.
If the assault on the ACA wasn’t enough, there is the continuing assault on Medicaid and the two crown jewel programs for the elderly Medicare and Social Security. The house might get a little crowded when Grandma and Grandpa move in.
And for the parents there is the near total destruction of unions to the point that most American workers lose ground to inflation every year since there is no unions to fight for them. So while the kids take on the chin Mom and dad along with Grandma and Grandpa are also being fleeced by the administration. Who knows what the unstructured and totally by the gut tariff program will bring. Several manufacturers are moving facilities overseas to beat the tariffs.
Quite a bit to be proud of there, right Mr. Kaufmann?
A little later Mr. Kaufmann stated:
“Do we agree 100 percent of the time? No. No one does. Are we proud of him? Absolutely. Is he better than the left-wing nuts that they’d like to replace him with? Always!” Kaufmann yelled into the microphone, the volume of his voice so loud it drew chuckles from the crowd.
Those “left-wing nuts” Mr. Kaufmann refers to have been calling for things like universal health care, funding of education through bachelor’s degree, good education based on evidence, cleaning up the environment and joining the rest of the world in using modern earth friendly technologies for energy, good jobs, good retirement programs including Social Security – note Medicare would be part of the universal health care – and stable economic policies based on proven economic theory. These were things the country as a whole used to agree were good things.
Looks to me like the “left-wing nuts” are much more stable, more humane and much more in touch with reality.
Stay proud Mr. Kaufmann. Especially of the way this administration treats children and “others.”