Step Two: The Trees Are Disturbing, Yes, but Make the Effort to See the Forest

The recent immigrant policy, as wrong and infuriating as it is, is a shell in a shell game; what’s more, each shell contains a nut threatening to grow into a malignant tree. While people rightly rage about the blatant injustice toward immigrants, Bannon is offered a special throne at the National Security Council.  This is the strategy outlined: https://medium.com/…/the-immigration-ban-is-a-headfake…

The EPA and environmentalists’ and climate change scientists’ concerns are abraded  in typical GOP fashion: Lie, repeat the lie until people have heard it enough to think it’s true.  Remember when “X out of Y scientists say” suggested what followed was almost certain fact? You can thank big petroleum et alChristofacists (thank you,  for the term), and now the White House (go rogue Twitter feeds!) for the erosion as empiricism falls to “facts interfere with profits” and “I believe it, so it must be so.”

Then there’s the gutting of public and higher education, already well underway as corporate types have convinced colleges and universities they need someone with a head for business (e.g., “Columbia’s Identity Crisis”). Once the corps(es) assume control, expensive consulting firms are hired; reports are demanded where every program and person must justify their for-profit existence  in the organization no matter the evidence supporting their tradition of excellence or the success of their alumni; beloved, capable, entrepreneurial chairs are let go for no cause; all chairs are replaced with interim chairs – some of whom do not hold terminal degrees or working experience to support their elevation; they replace the deans with interim deans (see a pattern here?); courses get streamlined, watered down, mediocritized to resemble what every other school does (death to innovation!); they wear down faculty unions who must either give up the school or file complaint after complaint at the NLRB — often for the same damned offense over and over; departments merge and faculty fear losing their positions; one-third the staff are suddenly cut and set at odds against the adjuncts; enrollment drops, so tuition raises, then enrollment drops again until all the nonsense actions make one wonder if the corps(e) administration wants higher education to exist at all. And don’t get me started on public education. DeVos might as well be made of granite, because she’s a tombstone.

The GOP and their corporate puppet masters don’t want an educated, critically thinking, problem-solving citizenry — a population that could actually keep our country innovative and our economy expansive (but is harder to keep under thumb). They want people who can read and regurgitate the employee manual, who are so dopey-thankful for their “right to work” (misnomer of misnomers there) jobs, they don’t question anything, not the water poisoning them, not the oil pipeline through their lands, not the heavy metals (that apparently increase violent tendencies) in their soil and air, etc. Screw the future, they want easy big bucks now, and who are we to stand in their way? I’m waiting for the wrong asshole to sing-song, “let them eat cake,” too loud around the wrong crowd.

It’s a shell game, and it’s rigged; whatever shell you pick, you lose. The disenfranchising of rainbow marriages and lives, the defunding of Planned Parenthood – really, focus on any individual shell and a dozen more slide in and out of view. Step back, take a broad perspective – wherever the hand tries to engage your attention, you can be sure of missing something important either on or under the table.

Keeping calling your governmental representatives (look ’em up here and add them to your contacts) so your views balance against professional lobbyists and corporate interests — make those politicians do their jobs, keep speaking up, keep protesting, keep talking to people on “the other side”  but the surest move I can see is upturning the table in the next election, if there’s still a table.

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