The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
EDEN PHILLPOTTS, A Shadow Passes
A graduate of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, George Payne teaches philosophy at Finger Lakes Community College and is the founder of Gandhi Earth Keepers International. Along with his contributions to Talker , the Messenger Post Newspapers also invited George to be a Guest Columnist. His most recent piece was Trump’s version of Christianity as a state religion is un-American, 3/2/17
UPDATE: on 3/7/17, the article below was published in NPR’S Public Media for Southern New Mexico & Far West Texas
Trump as Magician in Chief
Because the majority of Americans find themselves paralyzed in an induced state of moral and mental bewilderment over President Trump’s first 30 days in office, day after day the president and his staff plod along with their agenda. Despite the president’s manic Tweets and absurd conspiracy theories hatched in the middle of the night, the Trump administration has been laser focused on dismantling the institutions which have supported America for the past 240 years.
As a master illusionist, Trump has distracted and enamored both critics and followers alike. When we should be talking about how his policies will effect the social fabric of our free and democratic nation, the conversation has been sidetracked by the Russian soap opera. This is by design. For Trump will do almost anything to keep people from following and critiquing the various bills which he has tried to introduce since his inauguration.
HR 861, for example, will ultimately terminate the Environmental Protection Agency. HR 610, threatens vouchers for public education. HR 899, will lead to the abolishing of the Department of Education. HR 69, repeals protections in place for wildlife. HR 370, intends to repeal the Affordable Care Act. HR 354, defunds Planned Parenthood. HR 785, takes away the national right to work. HR 83, mobilizes against the Sanctuary Cities Bill. HR 147, criminalizes abortion. And HR 808, will place new sanctions against Iran and imperil the nuclear deal.
This is just the beginning.
While Trump and his production crew want us to believe that the battlefield is still being waged on the campaign trail and television sets, they know that the real war is fought in the trenches of the House Representatives and Senate. The real contest is not between Van Jones and Jeffrey Lord on CNN talk shows; it is in the hearts and minds of political leaders who must vote “Yes or “No.” They will either preserve or capsize our republic.
Again, since the battle is not happening in the cybersphere of Trump’s imagination but in the refined corridors of legislative government, the president is all too happy to make the story about Obama’s penchant for suppressing civil liberties, or the biased reporting of The New York Times. While Americans expend their bandwidth on events that never happened and stories which have no factual evidence, rest assured that the Trump administration will be working under the radar to push through one more measure in Congress. While people are hitting the streets to speak up for their rights — for their health & safety as citizens — Trump is working behind the scenes to reshape our beautiful country into his image. Everything you see is just smoke and mirrors.
By all standards it has been a brilliant (if depraved) act of political magic. The president has been able to use the media — which he routinely mocks and discredits — to help him make Americans believe that his injustice is aimed at journalists and former presidents rather than at themselves.