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.

A consultant’s view of the ‘deconstruction of America’

I have often used the technique of deconstructing a business in order to break down the business into its fundamentals. It often means breaking down the business model first to see how the business ‘ticks’. We move onto the organization, process, technology and finally performance measures. At the end, we have components all strewn about. What may have been 200 years of activity, life and culture had not only been dissected but now lies, inert ready to be analyzed. From then we analyze these components and begin to rebuild, again starting with a new business model that will become the framework for the new construction.

Why do I bring this up – it is because I am witnessing the deconstruction of America by a President and his advisors set upon to ‘make it great again’.
In history, we call this anarchy with the added ingredient of chaos. Anarchy requires chaos to succeed else it will have opposition from rational thinking. Anarchy is not the end state of a nation or ideology but the means to reach some sort of new state based on whatever formulation of principles of some sort of order and law.

We have a President that has never known anarchy or for that matter any type of social upheaval. He does have an advisor that has studied this topic and through a history of being a lone voice, a prophet never listened to, has found a disciple. Not just any disciple, but one that had the means and lack of morality to bring this team to the most powerful office in the world.

While this may sound extreme, history has shown that it was a tactic by autocratic leaders going back to the Greeks. Similarly, when it was impossible to conceive of change through peace and or war, anarchy or self-destruction often allowed a country or people to wipe the slate clean and start again.

In my life I have witnessed war, peace rallies, protest under dictatorship, protest under a democracy, anarchists in the streets chased by police. I have seen much of the world and what we humans have put in place to control us, or to point us in a single direction and possibly avoid chaos.

But I have never seen what is happening in 2016-2017. It is almost like following a script from history. The president, as soon as he came to office executed on a mission to discredit the basic components of our democracy. He used the political ‘greed’ of the majority party to create a contract. Let me do my thing and I will support your agenda in Congress.

And so the show began. First the free and open media, or the primary tool of democracy was discredited. Then the voice of opposition (million person protests’, and then the ultimate – create chaos through the use of executive power – immigration, border walls, climate change and elimination of common sense regulations. If you notice there is a furious pace to these executive orders so as to foment increased chaos.

But history has shown us that if we stick to our principles of being human beings much can be,not only stopped, but prevented.

See the next blog