Are newspaper readers — as I am — a bit curious about our new president’s suspicious devotion to the Russian President Vladimir Putin? Could it be because of business? Espionage? Blackmail? Or God knows what? His secretary of state holds hands with the Russian strongman; his ex-security adviser surreptitiously chitchatted with the Russian ambassador. Free election conversations went back and forth like AC volts.
Of equal suspicion is the president’s nominated cabinet — billionaire-millionaire men and women to the core; each in his or her own way directly opposed to the purposes of the federal agencies they will direct. His questionable cabinet includes: secretary of state, attorney general, labor, agriculture, education, commerce, transportation, energy, health and human services, housing, interior, treasury.
To the West Virginians who placed their hope and vote — some 68.7 percent — on a shoot-from-the-hip candidate, one can say: “Goodbye, EPA. Goodbye, affordable health care. Goodbye, affordable housing. Goodbye, decent wages. Goodbye, public schools. Goodbye, diplomacy.
“Hello, pollution. Hello, uninsured masses. Hello, sub-prime mortgages. Hello, Wall Street shenanigans. Hello, income disparity. Hello, K-12 sabotage. Hello, jingoism. Hello, knee-jerk defense. Hello, isolation. Hello, chaos!”
What is extraordinary about the past election is that blue-collar workers elected governments — federal-state-local — that have in the past stood as their subjugators and have little inclination to improve their situation. The mortgage-default beneficiaries and card-carrying members of the 1 percent siphoned off 95 percent of this country’s income, while leaving scraps for 95 percent of us. The election’s payback to the unemployed, under-employed and underpaid will be that members of this cabinet will continue to champion subpar wages, under-employment and a docile, insecure, subservient workforce choking on polluted air, soil and water.
West Virginia workers wanted them, they got them. Now what? Hope lives eternal.