Russian election interference on behalf of the corrupt Donald Trump campaign is well known and his campaign manager is now in prison. The corruption of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee’s successful efforts to throttle Bernie Sanders’s ascendancy in the primary is also well known, as well as the disastrous outcome. And despite the endless blather emanating from the Oval Office, we all know that Clinton won the popular vote by millions while Trump rode the Electoral College vote to the presidency.
Trump is now facing his own impeachment. Not for 2016 crimes, but those of 2019 in seeking yet more foreign interference in U.S. elections on his behalf. In the meantime, the crimes his policies and political appointees are inflicting on the environment and humanity roll on, unimpeded by a divided Congress and a Senate Republican majority too intimidated by the ghosts of 2016 and Trump’s MAGA hat-wearing base to do their constitutionally mandated duties of checks and balances on the executive branch.
Meanwhile, the promises Trump made in 2016 amounted to exactly nothing. There is no 2,000-mile border wall and Mexico isn’t paying for anything; that money for replacement panels came from schools, housing and services for military families. The Rust Belt has not had a resurgence of industry and continues to rust as the U.S. manufacturing sector shrinks. Nor has the “chosen one” managed to intimidate China with his ill-fated trade war — although he is driving farmers and ranchers into bankruptcy at an alarming rate. As for getting rid of the deficit, we are now at record levels of debt and it’s getting worse.
Simply put, the Trump of 2019 is not the Trump of 2016 and his power and influence are as faded as his broken promises to make America great again.
The future, however, cares less about Trump’s demise than the impacts from a planet warming faster than predicted. British Columbia’s grizzly bears are starving due to vastly diminished salmon runs as the ocean warms. Here at home, massive “landscape level” deforestation continues, obliterating not only existing ecosystems, but neutering the ability of the forests to efficiently pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while providing “optimal natural protection against extreme weather events, like flooding and droughts.”
Unfortunately, Montana’s politicians, like far too many nationally, continue to prevaricate when it comes to the mounting disasters of global warming. Just last week Montana’s Democrat Sen. Jon Tester said “the Green New Deal presented an opportunity to have a debate about climate change.” Just what we need, “a debate” to add more hot air to the atmosphere. And of course our Republican congressional delegation, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, are still lashed to the mast of Trump’s denials that climate change exists.
2016 is far behind the nation and world but a perilous future looms. Time for our politicians to face that fact, leave the ghosts of that disreputable election behind and start providing vitally needed concrete policies and actions to address global warming — or just admit their shameful legacy of selling out future generations because they fear the no-longer-relevant political past.