Monday, January 23, 2017

Musical Monday - It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine) by R.E.M.

Four days in and the new administration is already setting about dismantling what Americans have taken to be the normal state of affairs for at least a generation. With the assistance of a compliant Republican Congress, it is likely that the Trump administration will move to eliminate many of the programs and policies implemented as part of the New Deal, Great Society, and even Nixon era initiatives like the Environmental Protection Agency. In some cases, it appears that the Republican majorities would like to revert some of the policies and programs that were put in place in the 1890s, such as a nonpolitical civil service, and the very idea that there should be national parks. The administration seems dead set on eliminating the collection of post-World War II alliances and treaties that has allowed the United States to take a leadership role in international affairs.

There is a dangerous complacency among certain segments of the United States electorate, insofar as they have constructed a myth about themselves that says that they are the architects of their own success and prosperity. The reality is, much of what Americans take for granted as "normal" has been held up with support from Federal government policies and programs through their entire lifetimes. Now the GOP wants to eliminate those supports. I have a feeling that a lot of people who never realized how much they owe to the Federal government are about to find out, and it won't be pretty. The world as we knew it is likely over. I just hope the damage that ensues isn't too great to overcome.

Previous Musical Monday: Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday
Subsequent Musical Monday: You Ruined Everything by Jonathan Coulton

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