Sunday, February 26, 2017

My Response to the White House "Joint Address Issues Survey"

Out of the blue I received an email from Trump's White House inviting me to take part in a "Joint Address Issues Survey." It states, in part, "Now is your chance to give your input. Let us know what issues you want President Trump to focus on and your ideas for the future of our country. Take the survey and share your thoughts."

The survey includes the usual heavily slanted and loaded questions, such as this: "Which accomplishment(s) do you consider the most significant of the Trump Administration so far?" It then lists a host of "accomplishments" (these, of course, are the "alternative-fact" sort of accomplishments) that one may acknowledge with a mouse click. Given that none of Trump's nefarious accomplishments (it would be more apt to call them misdeeds) was listed or at least credited properly (as a misdeed rather than an accomplishment) and that those that were do not in fact constitute accomplishments by any rational definition of the word, I left all these blank.

Fortunately, there was also a free-text area where one may contribute one's "Ideas to make America great again." Since they asked, this is what I wrote:

1)Trump should immediately stop lying and apologize to the American people for having done so. 2)Trump should issue a strongly worded statement to the effect that a free press is the cornerstone of a free and democratic society and that he fully respects the integrity of the news organizations that he has libeled with the false charge of presenting "fake news." 3)Trump should withdraw Neil Gorsuch as the nominee to fill the seat on the SCOTUS that was stolen by the Republicans and renominate Merrick Garland. 4)Trump should replace his cabinet with people who are actually qualified and who actually believe in the missions of the departments they will be leading. 5)Trump should direct his attorney general to immediately appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump campaign's connections to the Russian government including any possible collusion to subvert the United States elections last November. 6)Trump should stop ripping off the tax payers and pay for his own travel and security, as well as that of his family. 7)Trump should immediately fire Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller and denounce them for the neo-Nazi white nationalists that they are. 8)Trump should issue an apology to the American people for being one of the most divisive and destructive public figures in our nation's history; he should also apologize to the American people for making the United States a laughing stock before the rest of the world. 9)Trump should rescind his executive order banning refugees and Muslims from entering the United States. 10)Trump should rescind his executive order scaling back equal-access protections for transgender persons. 11)Trump should pursue comprehensive, rational, and humane immigration reform that doesn't destroy families and that doesn't deport productive and assimilated undocumented Americans, and he should publicly renounce his intention to waste billions of tax dollars on a wall across our border with Mexico. 12) Trump should immediately renounce his calls for repeal of the ACA and instead urge congress to improve it by guaranteeing coverage for all Americans; this should include a not-for-profit, government-administered public option (a Medicare-for-all approach). 13)Trump should direct the attorney general and the department of Justice to immediately step up monitoring and tracking of domestic white nationalist hate groups, including the KKK and neo-Nazi groups. 14)Trump should issue a statement apologizing for his office's recent Holocaust commemoration statement that failed to make any mention of the 6 million Jews who died in the attempted genocide of the Jewish people and which, through this very omission, served to advance the narrative of Holocaust deniers that the Jewish people were not singled out for extermination by the Nazis because they were Jews. 15)Trump should issue a strongly worded statement in support of a constitutional amendment reversing the Citizens United SCOTUS decision that has opened the floodgates of corporate money corrupting our democracy. 16)Trump should issue a strongly worded statement acknowledging that Roe v. Wade is settled law and acknowledging a woman's right to obtain a safe and legal abortion. 17)Trump should urge Congress to increase funding for Planned Parenthood because, besides providing cancer screenings and other important preventative health measures, Planned Parenthood actually prevents abortions by providing contraceptives. 18)Trump should commit the United States to getting off of fossil fuels and instead pursuing the development of renewable and "green" energy technologies; and he should recommit the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement. 19)Trump should urge Congress to enact real tax reform so that corporations, millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share of taxes. This should include an end to such gimmicks as taxing earned income at a higher rate than capital gains whereby Warren Buffet, for example, pays a lower tax rate, as a percent of his income, than his secretary does. It should also include cracking down on corporations and individuals who hide their wealth offshore in order to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. 20)Trump should greatly expand and urge Congress to fund improved benefits and services for our nation's veterans. 21)Trump should issue a public endorsement of increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour and he should use his executive-order powers to further that goal in all federal hiring and government-awarded contracts. 22)Trump should issue a proclamation rededicating the United States of America as a beacon of liberty and equal opportunity for all and stating unequivocally our nation's opposition to bigotry and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identification, sex, ability or disability, race, age, ethnicity, religion or lack of religion and nationality. 23)Trump should immediately make public his tax returns from the past ten years. 24)Trump and his immediately family should divest themselves of and liquidate any holdings or assets that may create a conflict of interest between their personal gain and their public service. 25)Trump should urge Congress to enact commonsense gun reform including mandatory background checks and the banning of high-powered military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. 26)Trump should convene a national conference on demilitarizing our nation's police forces and working toward fostering trust and mutual respect between police and the citizens they take an oath to protect and serve. 27)Trump should urge  Congress - and should use his executive-order powers - to eliminate private, for-profit prisons. 28)Trump should issue an executive order banning all drilling and mining on federally owned wilderness areas and national parks. 29)Trump should urge Congress to increase funding for infrastructure, the arts and humanities, education, public transportation, and early childhood nutrition and wellness programs (this should include parenting programs for new parents). 30)Trump should direct the relevant federal agencies within the executive branch to step up enforcement of basic animal welfare regulations including (but not limited to) the elimination of gestation crates, forced crowding and confinement of livestock and poultry and other inhumane factory-farm practices, the elimination of puppy mills and animal-fighting enterprises and putting other unscrupulous breeders out of business, and the strict enforcement of laws banning the trafficking of wildlife. 31)Trump should issue a statement in support of the Equal Rights Amendment. 32)And, last but not least, Trump should urge Congress to expand the 1996 federal anti-FGM bill to include all Americans - girls, boys, and intersex - because every child and every human being has a right to grow up with his genitals intact and to decide for himself which parts of his body he gets to keep.

Perhaps I should have stopped there but, gluttons for punishment that they are, they actually asked me if I had any additional comments. So I concluded by saying this:

Trump lied to the American people when he promised to "drain the swamp." Instead he packed his cabinet with Wall Street insiders. You're not fooling the majority of the American people, Trump. You're a liar and a fraud and we know it.