Shameful. And dare I say: Not very Christian. Zero – zilch – moral compass

This Administration’s tactics are appalling.

Make no mistake about it, while we are bashing Trump’s antics and behavior, his Administration is busy – VERY busy – doing some real damage.

Very busy indeed. Pursuing self-serving, self-righteous acts intended to appease their fundamentalist base while gutting away real programs that help the many.

Examples abound. They come at you every day. But, the media seldom seldom highlights these. Media outlets across the political spectrum much rather stay with the salacious scandals, be they real or fabricated.

While we are entertained by these juicy stories, this Presidency’s fanatic bureaucratic strike force is wasting no time finding opportunities to administratively implement their draconian views – for they know well that trying to do so legislatively is hard work and complicated.

Here are but three recent happenings that you might have heard about for a news cycle or two but could have serious long term consequences:

[1] The hoopla about them trying to obstruct the undocumented 16 year old held in a detention camp from getting an abortion masks the reality that they are doing nothing to support adoption or provide new-born universal healthcare – and are willing to destroy whatever little healthcare support there is for undocumented people.

[2] They brag about how the new regulation making it impossible for class action lawsuits against financial industry giants will avoid frivolous lawsuits while in fact it makes it impossible for consumers to band together to fight these giants. (Look it up. This one got almost zero press.)

[3] The V.P. goes in front of fundamentalists to announce that the Administration will shift its funding from the U.N. to religious institutions to provide aid to Christian refugees while the proposed budget deeply cuts USAID and the level of refugees they are willing to accept into the county is the lowest in decades.

Their actions seemed to be guided by some very simple protocols. All actions must (a) be diagrammatically opposed to anything the Obama did; and, (b) please fringe elements of the fundamentalist, alt-right core fanatics.

Shameful. And dare I say: Not very Christian. Zero – zilch – moral compass.




Making America small, divided, and mean – like it’s never been

A substantial number of people in the United States are clearly with Trump. That is no ‘fake news’.

The vast majority of Americans that identify as Republicans are still very much with him. And so are the vast majority of Americans that do not identify as Republicans yet voted for him. That too is no ‘fake news’.

The fact that many who did not vote for him – and many who did not vote – simply do not like the man is also no ‘fake news’.

I did not vote for him. I do not like him.

I do not mean ‘like’ like in a Facebook comment. I mean ‘like’ as in his personality bothers me; the way he talks turns me off; and I find his behavior un-presidential.

I also find myself seriously disagreeing with many (most) of his policy positions – but more about that in other postings…

Trump way of doing things is making America small, divided, and mean – like it’s never been before.

He is making America small by promoting a perverse sense of native nationalism; demeaning the presidency; and lying.

> Promoting perverse sense of nationalism.  Ever since the creation of nation-states, people who feel they ‘belong’ in any given nation-state have the inclination of feeling proud of their ‘Country’. Americans are no different. However, feeling proud of your Country does not mean you have to disparage or be against everybody else. And, being proud of your Country does not mean you have to select a ‘tribe’ inside your country as being better than the other ‘tribes’. Trump’s white nationalist views makes America small – not great.

> Demeaning the presidency.  The Presidency is our Nation’s highest elected office. It is to be revered, respected, and treasured. When Trump cheapens the Office of the United States President by engaging in arguments that to many are ‘beneath’ the Office; when he speaks in an overtly populist style; when he tries too hard to be ‘one of us’, he demeans the Office.

> Lying. President Trump lies. Of course, every President has had to forego sharing all details of certain circumstance; speak carefully about certain topics; or, conveniently avoid talking about certain things. That is called diplomacy. That is called tact. Trump has neither. When he lies to other world leaders, he makes America small; he demeans the office he holds.

He is dividing America by enticing political polarization; fanning the flames of extremism; and lying.

> Enticing political polarization. Every President is also the leader of a political party. That is the nature of our democratic system. Once in power, however, most Presidents have tried to unite the Country by reaching out to those who voted against him with olive branches and such. Not Trump. He has hardened the positions that his ‘base’ expects of him. He disparages the opposition political parties. He drives wedges among different political views. He polarizes.

> Fanning the flames of extremism. Trump polarizes in many ways. One way that is abhorable is when he refuses to discredit extremist views and instead winks at the extremist leaders as if saying “I got your back.’ What Trump has done is to unleash – and try to mainstream – the visceral extremist views regarding White supremacism and climate change denial pseudo-science by fanning the flames with Tweets and campaign style rhetoric.

> Lying. President Trump lies. He lies about his timid rejection of White supremacists. He lies by using bad data and scientifically dubious references to support his position regarding climate change, benefits of proposed tax system revisions, and educational policies. With these lies he further polarizes the political landscape.

He is making America mean by abusing power dynamics; tweeting disparaging insults; and lying.

> Abusing Power Dynamics. Trump seems to find cheap thrills in picking ‘fights’ with people in position of limited power well beyond his position. This, of course, is the classic definition of harassment and bullying. When Trump picks a fight with the likes of the Mayor of San Juan Puerto Rico, or a Congresswoman he is abusing his power. It is not unlike a CEO publicly chastising an Administrative Assistant or a plant manager. It is harassment; it is bullying.

> Tweeting disparaging insults. Trump is taking America down to the gutter. His propensity to Tweet insults is making a mockery out of the Presidency. He has lowered the Office to the status of a television game show. Jerry Springer would be proud.

> Lying. President Trump lies. Trump’s choice of blurry words and unambiguous lies using mean-spirited words is unbecoming of a President. His right-out-lies – documented by many reputable sources – sets an awful example for our youth and future leaders. It is as if he is saying: “Want to get ahead? Be mean – consistently and callously. Insult constantly. Lie whether you have to or not.”

To my friends, family and foes that have opted to stay with Trump in this race to the low road and gutter, I say: Good riddance. For me, I will #RESIST both his policies and personality.


A pathetic President: Trump in Puerto Rico

{This is a guest post from my sister, Carmen Villafañe. I could not have said it better!}

WHO – much less the President of this country – would THROW supplies to the victims of a natural disaster as if he were playing volleyball?

WHY would the comparison of disasters of this magnitude even be necessary when speaking with the leadership of an island nation that is US territory, under extremely dire circumstances to alleviate the trauma and hardships their people are undergoing?

HOW is it possible for the budget issue to be brought up in such a crass manner in the face of an entire country who has very limited or no power, lacks clean drinking water and entire areas where it’s citizens – AMERICAN CITIZENS – are still cut off from access to relief efforts happening on the rest of the island?

I have chosen NOT to repost the glaring footage* of this visit because I find it offensive. My heart breaks for the PUERTO RICAN people, who still can’t give a clear death toll post-Maria due to inaccessibility on many parts of the island & who are struggling in the day-to-day called SURVIVAL after such a devastating hit. {If you must see the footage, it is here.}

The lack of RESPECT for HUMAN DIGNITY in the attitude & actions of the man who carries the title of President of the United States towards some of the weakest among us – who are our OWN, as much as Floridians & Texans – is a clear reflection of his priorities.

Those are NOT the priorities of the people of the USA. We are compassionate, decent & empathetic towards others in times of need, capable of setting politics aside and putting PEOPLE first. Politics have no place in this (nor any) humanitarian crisis.

I can only ACT in solidarity through helping with my time, treasure & talent when others are in need. I can only PRAY to be sensitive to those in need and that my attitudes & actions reflect my sincere effort & desire to help in the best way possible for THEM, not for me. Also, I pray that as a country, we look inward and re-assess our compass, so that our history as a generous nation always remain in the very fiber of our being.

This post is my reflective response to what I witnessed this afternoon in the news about the President’s visit to PR.

If you respond, please do so with respect.

God bless the USA!