M.y Uncle Harry has seen it all and he has the years to prove it: he turned 100 on November 1st. (In case you’re wondering, he attributes his longevity every day to family, love, curiosity, and ice cream.) When Donald Trump was elected, Uncle Harry predicted the next four years would be horrific, but it only would There are two things that could not be undone even if the Democrats won in 2020: the destruction Trump would wreak to the environment and the judges he would do bet the Supreme Court.
Trump has more than fulfilled Uncle Harry’s predictions. In terms of the environment, Trump took the United States out of the Paris Agreement – it seems so long ago! -, What he has called a disaster. “He scrapped the Obama-era carbon footprint reductions, eased clean air regulations, weakened protection for marine life and endangered species, and opened public land to mining and logging (including two national monuments, Utah’s Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, which were named by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton) and much more. At every step, Trump has shown contempt for nature, from the humble sage grouse, whose habitat is no longer protected from mining and drilling, to our rapidly heating planet.
Fortunately, some of Trump’s plans have been shackled in court, but that’s not a guarantee. As Uncle Harry warned, and the whole world knows, the courts have been Trumpified. Trump’s three Supreme Court appointments (Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett) are so far to the right that Chief Justice John Roberts is now a centrist. And in a six Conservative court, Roberts ‘vote may not be required to seriously harm women’s rights, workers’ rights, civil and civil liberties, LGBTQ rights and, of course, voting rights. Could it be that what we naively considered our way of life – that long arc of the moral universe slowly approaching justice – can so easily be bent back by simply anointing three young, energetic reactionaries? Gorsuch is a lively youth of 53 years, Kavanaugh is a 55-year-old beer lover, and Barrett is only 48 years old. This trio will dance on the graves of many of you reading this, not to mention myself, provided Barrett’s manly supremacist tongues speak Christian cult allows women to dance. It is certainly no coincidence that Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an architect for the legal equality of women, should be replaced by a fembot of the Federalist Society who considers abortion barbaric and women should obey their husbands. As a Republican on the House Judiciary Committee tweeted when Barrett was confirmed: “Happy Birthday @HillaryClinton!”
Uncle Harry didn’t mention the lower courts, but let’s not forget that Trump nominated and the Senate confirmed 218 federal judges on lifelong dates; that is a quarter of the total number of federal judges. A great majority of them are white men; less than 5 percent are African American. Of the nine nominees who were rated “Unqualified” by the American Bar Association, seven were confirmed. Needless to say, they are very conservative. Regardless of who wins the White House, we’ll live with their judgments for a long, long time.
There are certainly many other Trump administration activities that cannot be corrected. The trauma that migrant children endured at the border will be with them for life, especially the 545 whose parents are the government admitted it can’t find and is thus effectively orphaned. in the The Washington PostCatherine Rampell has one long piece Details of the legal and bureaucratic measures Trump has taken to cut legal immigration in half in a way that will be difficult to reverse.
For me, however, the hardest part is undoing something more nebulous and troubling: the way Trump corrupted our understanding of truth and facts and simple human decency. He has fronted the most ordinary nonsensical aspects of life in a ridiculous culture war – even wearing a mask to protect himself from a potentially fatal disease. And no matter what Trump said or did, about four in ten Americans were right there with him. Nothing seemed to detract from their support: not the boasting and bullying, not the disgusting insults against women, not the shouts of xenophobes and white supremacists and neo-fascists, not the gross disparagement of anyone who disagreed with him, from journalists to Dr. Anthony Fauci. No matter what absurd allegations he makes at his rallies (he recently claimed doctors increased the number of Covid-19 deaths because they get more money for attributing a death to the coronavirus), he manages to get them in a short amount of time to surpass. But his supporters remain steadfast, apparently until death, according to a new Stanford University study He linked his rallies with around 30,000 Covid cases and 700 deaths. They may not believe or like everything he says, but they don’t care; that’s just Donald who is Donald, or as the evangelicals described him, King Cyrus is King Cyrus.
Trump made us a nation of screaming bullies and conspiracy theorists, and mean people who pride themselves on their indifference to the suffering of others. Maybe too many Americans have always been, but they kept it under wraps for fear of social disapproval. After all, that’s what “locker room talk” means: boasting about pussy grabbing is okay; Just don’t do it where women can hear you. Even so, I can’t remember a time when paranoid fantasies like QAnon could infect the minds of so many people, including a newly elected member of Congress. Or when right-wing militiamen brought weapons into the state capitals and planned to kidnap and murder a governor. Or when cars and trucks carrying flags from one candidate tried to push the other candidate’s campaign bus off the road, as Trump’s henchmen had recently done in Texas, only to get a thumbs up from the White House man. Maybe I lived a protected life.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris carried the day, but these four out of ten aren’t happily tied to the net for a hearty handshake over a well-played game. We can get rid of Trump. But Trumpism? That will be with us for the rest of Uncle Harry’s life and mine and maybe yours as well.