It’s Too Late Baby Now It’s Just Too Late

The announcement regarding Jerusalem initially triggered a thought that we were another minute closer to midnight on the nuclear clock. Initial thoughts were drowned out by a Carole King song instead. It was from an era where with youthful exuberance, we wanted to bring about positive change in this world, but “One of us is changin’, or maybe we’ve just stopped tryin’”. In pursuit of our “lives”, we looked over our shoulders and felt things were generally going in the right direction. Apathy creates a nice comfortable zone, until a triggering event that says it’s gone too far.

Somethin’ inside has died, and I can’t hide, and I just can’t fake it”.

I held out some hope for President Trump, given statements he made in the past. I saw the campaign Trump as a Reality TV star getting ratings that would then allow him to pursue the agenda of earlier Trump. Since the inauguration, I have been following statements with amusement as it is mainly US Citizenry effected by policy. Statements regarding North Korea had me concerned, as it went beyond domestic politics. The US has always been supportive of Israel, but this action looks more like the redesign of the flag with the current 50 stars replaced by the six-pointed variety.

In another post “Now for the Sins”, I made the case for acts that have consequences many years later. The US Hostage Crisis in 1978 could be traced to the overthrow of Iran’s civilian government in 1956. 9/11 had its seeds in the preamble to the Gulf War. The Viet Nam war was fought against Ho Chi Minh, who was a fan of the US and saw them as a beacon for anti-imperialism. Students of colonial history can provide the litany going back in time, but that is not the main thesis here.

The biggest point to be made is president Trump IS making a lot of changes, albeit through the Executive rather than the Legislature branch. It is likely true that he has instituted more change than most in their first year. The problem though is that his motivation is to spur a base of support that represents the worst in us. Hillary called them a basket of deplorables, and paid the price with the moderate faction of the Republican base. These changes are the equivalent of planting land mines. These mines however have a much larger kill radius and are the equivalent of nuclear land mines. Let’s visit a few.

The likely Legislative victory is the current Tax Reform Bill. Although there are nuggets of “good” changes, the overall effect is what sacrifices the very essence of the American Experiment. The ideals of the constitution enshrined values that represented a rebellion against a monarchy that advantaged the princely class. That princely class has reconstituted since the second world war, albeit with greater social mobility than existed in Europe. The jobs narrative is fake and this large-kill-radius mine, coupled with the fascination with guns may bring about violent rather than peaceful protests in the future.

The appointment of a Supreme Court Judge and many Federal Judges based solely on patronage is next. This causes decades of cases that will be used as precedent setting, with a Supreme Court that, by the end of the term, will likely represent the thinking of less than 20% of the US population. The result will be ceding the moral high ground to China within the next few decades. This large-kill-radius mine is the equivalent of the counter reformation of the middle ages.

America First is the underlying philosophy behind a Foreign Policy that is xenophobic. As Trump stated several times, each country SHOULD have the same motto. On the surface, this sounds like a reasonable statement, but in fact belies not just conflict between nations, but also conflict within different tribes within the country. In this case it is America First, as the multitude of tribes in the US have started a war already. “Building the Wall” will become metaphoric and there is a heavy price to pay for the walls between tribes, as an American may belong to several tribes simultaneously. This large-kill-radius mine may initiate the next civil war in the US.

The biggest issue for me though is on Environmental Policy. Although many believe that it will be tackled by other forces, cities, states, or large corporations, there are enough bad actors to rape our earth, whose defense will be that all legal requirements were met. Withdrawal from climate change agreements, appointments of Secretaries in Energy and the head of the EPA shows a clear disdain for fifty years of environmental progress. Two potentially disastrous issues dealt with effectively in that time were Acid Rain, and the Ozone layer. It took several years to see results, but I do remember the initial debates and the nay-sayers of the time. With climate change action today, we will not see results until 2050. A pull out by the US is yet another large-kill-radius mine.

The big question therefore is whether it’s too late baby. Carole King had something quite different in mind, but I still think the lyrics apply to the relationship between the citizens of the US and Donald Trump.

Ken Barrie lives in Calgary, Alberta. The founder of a small IT company, with an Education in Engineering, Ken has a keen interest in Social Justice issues.