Syria, the EPA and Children

Wed, April 5, 2017

When you read this it would have been a week since chemical bombs were dropped on a rebel-held village in Syria killing men, women, and children. I would like you to focus on the children here (as difficult it is to watch suffocating children), because two days earlier, President Trump and EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt signed another executive order allowing the use of a chemical pesticide that the EPA’s own laboratories proved to be harmful to children and animals. Upon signing the order the President looked up to his right and smiling, handed the pen he just used to the CEO of Dow Chemicals.

Further to this event and the day before the bombing the Secretary of State announced that we cannot do anything about Assad and that the Syrian people will have to do something. The day after the bombing Shawn Spicer, the President’s spokesman blamed the Obama administration and its weak approach towards Assad, for the bombing and pictures of suffocating children.

Ok, so what does this all have to do with anything. I believe we are watching the ‘deconstruction’ of what makes America really great. Not that we should be the policeman of the world, or that we should stop every war that is out there, or that we need to spread our political system everywhere or that we should constantly preach the greatness of our Constitution. No, we are watching our own moral base as a nation become impervious to the wrong doing all around us.

Our forefathers must have been prescient in separating religion from state. I think they were counting on morality to be the final check and balance to the actions of the state. Well, we are facing a major moral test now. What are we going to do?

When I used the word ‘deconstruction’, I took it out of context. It was used by Steve Bannon, as ‘deconstruction of the administration,’ at a rally for conservatives. We are witnessing the deconstruction of moral truths that all parties ascribed too since 1776. We are told to equate religion with terrorism, we are told to equate nationality with people that are rapist and drug runners. We are told that women are still objects and that have still to prove themselves to men in the workplace. We are told that, while a man has total control of his body, women do not.

But the ultimate moral outrage comes from watching adults in our government and overseas ruin the lives of children today and for the future. These are beings that are born into chemical bombs dropping on them, playing in a field unaware of the poison they breathe. Or simply drinking water that appears so clean and taste so good but could lead to long-term maladies.
I often wonder if Trump a grandfather, or the parents and grandparents of children that sit in the Congress and Senate ever reflect on their decisions and what the impact will be not just to their constituents but on their familial legacy.

The operative word and the mission for the EPA are protection. In fact, it is the legal duty of the agency. Yet we are seeing the deconstruction of this agency resulting in the poisoning of rivers with coal dust, removing air pollution regulations, allowing for the drilling of more oil when none is needed and stopping the move towards clean energy. We are further told that all of this is being done to increase employment in the US (note – now that Trump is president he is accepting the Obama rising employment figuresI) I am pretty sure that if given the choice between living and having a job, I would opt for living, especially for my children. That last one, well we promised to do that with 150 other countries, who as one of two major polluters in this world can make the ultimate difference.

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