This week, the president of this nation signed an executive order which will in effect gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and throw millions of people into physical jeopardy as they lose their health care.
The president’s action was, in a word, deplorable and reprehensible.
His executive order ends federal payments to health insurers which have helped millions of Americans be able to afford health care, many for the first time in their lives. His executive order, he said, will result in “millions and millions of people signing up for health care.” (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-signs-health-care-executive-order-live-updates/)
The president’s administration will cut off subsidy payments which have helped people afford health care. Even some Republicans are concerned and say that the action will affect many people in their districts.
But this president does not care. And neither, it seems, does the GOP.
The president has been disgusted with the inability of the Republican Congress to “repeal and replace” the ACA. He has said publicly that “we should allow the ACA to fail,” and then repeal and replace it, and he has been doing all he could do to destroy the law.
This act by the president is the latest in his impulse-driven actions to undermine and undercut laws put in place by the Obama administration. His actions – from the immigration ban to voter suppression to now this hit against the ACA has revealed a president who does not seem to care about the rights of masses of American people, especially African Americans and people of color.
His treatment of Puerto Rico and its residents – US citizens – reeling from the after- effects of Hurricane Maria has caused the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, to lash out, criticizing the president for his slowness in bringing help to that island.
Is it racism that makes this president so heartless? Is his a particularly virulent strain of racism, or is his racism the sick norm? This man seems incapable of caring for anyone, and seems disinterested in being president to – anyone but his “base,” which includes self-avowed white nationalists. His ongoing advisor is none other than Steve Bannon, who has vowed to get rid of mainstream Republicans and replace them with people who think more along the lines of Bannon, the Breitbart News crew – and, apparently, this president.
Can a nation with a president who seemingly does not care about so large a swath of Americans survive? America has had racist presidents before but this man seems somehow worse. In this period of the “third deconstruction,” which is following the 8 years of Obama’s presidency and what Bishop William Barber has called the “third reconstruction,” this nation has a man in power who is uncovering the ever-present racism which has always been at America’s core.
He has emboldened white nationalists, who vow to take “their” streets back, and who declare that “Jews will not replace us.” He has called white nationalists “very fine people,” while he has called African-American athletes who have chosen to “take a knee” to protest police brutality “sons of a bitch.”
He is heartless in his racism, myopic in his determination to destroy everything President Obama ever did, and gutless in his capacity to ever admit he is ever wrong. But who he is is not the biggest problem; the biggest problem is that scores of Americans support him in his racism and hatred of people of color.
What will happen to people whose health care will slip from them as this president’s executive order takes effect and the cowardly, sycophant GOP does nothing to right this horrific wrong? What will this president and his racist colleagues say when people who for a moment enjoyed health care, slip back into despair, some dying, some being thrown into bankruptcy because they will not be able to afford health care?
Some people will wonder what is going to happen to the masses of people because of this president, but one person will not be concerned, and that is Donald J. Trump.
Rev. Dr Susan K Smith does workshops on the inability of the Bible and Constitution to end racism. To schedule her to speak to your group, email her at email@example.com