How much do you hate America?
That’s a rude, outrageous question, I know.
We answer that we’ve been saying our Pledge of Allegiance since we were children and we know by heart “God Bless America, Land That I Love.”
But a great swell of awful people hate America and are doing their darnedest to destroy it. I think back to that evil Rasputin, Steve Bannon, who said, when he was in the White House, “I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment. It only helps us when... they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”
That was only a few weeks after Donald Trump pushed open the doors of the Oval Office, and we all said, “He can’t really mean that, can he?
We were so blind.
The obvious conclusion, after Bannon’s words and everything the Trump administration has done since 2017, is that it hates America and wants, literally, to destroy it. On the largest and widest possible field, Trump’s collusion with the Russians, his invitations to undermine our elections and his resistance to creating any defenses against its attacks, plainly declare his hate.
His attacks on the Department of Justice over the past 21 months have literally torn the innards out of that crucial department and its Federal Bureau of Investigation. Now his appointment of Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general looks as if he’s created a hand-puppet who has a tainted resume and will willingly do Trump’s bidding.
What we’ve had for nearly two years now has been deliberate chaos, willful ignorance and incompetence on a scale we’ve never seen before.
It’s been two full years since the 2016 elections, and Trump has failed even to put forward a nominee for 139 of the top 704 federal government positions requiring Senate confirmation. That neglect has hamstrung many federal departments.
One important example is in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has no undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services, a part of the department that has a budget of more than $112 billion. The undersecretary manages a budget and program larger than many countries, including a food stamp program that provides vital lifelines to millions of our fellow citizens. The empty undersecretary’s job should be supervising 15 federal nutrition-assistance programs, including school meals and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and developing policies to end hunger and stop kids from being raised on junk foods.
“You may agree with all this if you despise the food stamp program as a disincentive to the poor taking responsibility for themselves,” says Michael Lewis in the New York Review of Books. “You may applaud it, if your company makes its profits from supplying junk food for school meals fed to 30 million American children. You may oppose its goals if you think ensuring that pregnant women and new mothers getting proper nutrition is socialism.”
Perhaps you agree with all of that. I think you’re better people than that, and I hope I am.
More than 100 million people turned out to vote last week. That was something different, a sea change vastly larger than in previous mid-term elections. It was the people saying they do not hate America. It was the people, in the millions, putting up a stop sign to Trump, his malign neglect, his hatred and his attempts to destroy these United States.
(Bomboy has written for more than 60 national magazines, is the author of six books and taught for more than 30 years in colleges and universities.)