Ever heard of the bystander effect? It’s a social psychological phenomenon wherein the presence of other people makes us less likely to help in an emergency situation. We turn into spectators rather than participants.
We’re doing it right now, all 330 million of us. Every day, sometimes many times a day, we watch the United States government being systematically dismantled from the inside. Piece by piece, dignity by dignity, standard by standard. And we do nothing.
Environmental protections, consumer protections, financial safeguards, laws, hope, ethics, honesty ~ poof ~ gone. We’ve stood quietly for more than two years and watched a once decent country transform into a churning sewer. We turned our heads, put our hands up, and we surrendered. Americans did. We surrendered our own country to yawning ambivalence.
By February, just five months into the fiscal year, Trump’s government had racked up a knee-buckling deficit of more than half a trillion dollars. Not billion, trillion — a 1 followed by 12 zeros or 10 to the 12th power or one million million —the biggest monthly budget deficit ever recorded. And all we got out of the deal was a shitty, vacuous president and a deeply corrupt political system. The giant shortfall is courtesy of falling tax revenue and increased federal spending. The Secret Service alone has wasted an estimated $100 million taxpayer dollars ($100,000,000.00) protecting Sideshow Don on 170 outings to Trump-owned golf courses. Golf carts alone accounted for $300,000.
The biggest contributor to the deficit, though, is the 2017 redistribution of wealth, which the GOP labeled a tax cut and we swallowed hook, line, and sinker. Hey, while we’re on the subject, how was your refund this year? Don’t get used to it, the GOP has plans for another ‘tax cut.’ They’d also like to relieve you of the burden of your healthcare coverage. Oh, don’t worry, none of this will happen until after the 2018 election. But between Sideshow’s fearmongering and Russia’s election hacking / social media influence, they’re feeling pretty darn confident.
You and I, we’re screwed. Farmers are screwed. Veterans are screwed. The middle class, the poor, the disabled, the elderly, the arts, education, disaster relief, all screwed. Well, who cares, right?
Science and climate change are a hoax. Fossil fuels are healthy. Infrastructure is too pricey (translation: there’s no benefit to lobbyists and donors). Russia is forthright and aboveboard, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, too. And take heart, Sideshow Don is monitoring social media. They can’t shut down Alex Jones and other extremists; they have every right to be heard and foment violence, you know.
Shhh, wait, do you hear an outcry. Yeah, neither do I and I give up. This new America isn’t worth saving or fighting for.
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