No question the presidency of Donald Trump poses exceptional threats and problems to the nation, its people, the rest of humanity, and the entire living world. There is no place for reducing animal abuse or diminishing animal-abuse culture or our species’ annihilation of nature in today’s U.S. government. I hear from many people that they are anxious, afraid, unable to sleep, fearful of each day’s news. But protesting and resisting Trump, rehashing his deceptions, wrongdoings, Constitution violations, and possible crimes, supporting candidates who might defeat Republicans, and following news that exposes and criticizes Trump will not suffice to prevent his potential harm or to institute better policies than his.
Trump is not just Trump, a bizarre, anomalous political phenomenon who somehow manipulated enough people to get elected president without ever before having held political office. Before Trump, the nation had long been on the wrong track. No matter who held what office. No matter what party held the majority in either or both houses of Congress. Trump reflects a deeply eroded Constitutional republic that has long placed consumer-capitalism and humanist extremism over democratic principles and the Enlightenment values articulated in the Constitution.
What so severely limits the capacity of current mainstream politics to solve the big problems it has created over the past century? In part, the reductionist approach where citizens and advocacy groups work on particular “issues” rather than promote a constructive holistic set of principles, policy proposals, and strategies for establishing and implementing them. The former approach sometimes succeeds at the margins: More human beings are able to obtain “health insurance.” A species is listed as endangered – its members cannot be legally hunted. Taxes are increased for the wealthy and lowered for everyone else. But the assault on human beings and Earth’s other animals continues with no letup.
Piecemeal victories are temporary and usually not large. They do not reflect a paradigm comporting with the ongoing American Revolution (as distinct from the War of Independence) and undermining the counterrevolution known as “conservatism” or “the right.” As long as gross economic inequality persists, a small number of oligarchs and massive corporations determine policy, and the majority of humans have to work too many hours to barely survive and maintain their families, the public will, the public interest, and the common good will languish and injustice and misery will prevail.
News and our other institutions prevent progress by presuming, and indoctrinating all of us to believe, that all of the options for governance and policy are those provided by the “major parties.” How many times have you heard broadcasters point out that political parties are not even provided for in the Constitution. Not often – but it’s true. The leading founders looked askance at political parties, concerned for what has in fact emerged: a crippling lock on policy and political imagination, by and for a greedy and powerful few, denying the value of the many. Needless to say, “the many,” in the public mind today, does not even pertain to nonhuman animals, the great majority of persons (bodies) on Earth and the ones who generate and maintain the vegetation, soil, and life-supporting systems that we all depend on.
For thousands and thousands of years, since the Animal-Abuse Revolution began deep in prehistoric times with the manufacture of weapons and the systematic destruction of our species’ natural predators, it was easy to believe harming nonhuman animals (“them”) benefited human beings (“us”). We know much, much better now. The ever-intensifying destruction of nonhuman life and increase of the human population at every stage have corresponded to the worsening of human health, the increase in war, the spread of poverty, and over time the shattering of human families and mental health.
Few people in government realize animal-abuse policy, culture, and practice are root causes of the human misery and injustice that still plague the United States despite centuries of heroic struggle. Help educate your officials, aides, and candidates. We don’t have to wait for the next “messiah” candidate, the Democrats who can “really put it to” the Republicans, or the scandal big enough to bring down Trump. Rather than hoping for what we don’t really want – more of the same anti-life policy with just a little more fairness to fellow humans – we can promote what is really needed: a new paradigm, a way of thinking capable of subverting the millennia-long Biocaust and halting our species’ annihilation of nature. Shaping policy is the citizen’s primary privilege and obligation.
Read Responsible Policies for Animals’ two-page background paper “Governing for Life: How Officials Can End Animal-Abuse Policy, Annihilation of Nature, and Resulting Human Misery by Upholding the Constitution and Its Stated Values.” Send copies to all of your elected officials with a brief note stating that you’re a constituent and you think the principles articulated in the paper are the ones people in government need to push if they want our nation and its people to thrive. I am glad to mail you copies, and you can read and print “Governing for Life” here:
For a brief essay explaining how our species got so nasty – how we went from being peaceable, weaponless, life-enjoying plant-foragers on the African savanna to managers of the Biocaust, against our biological nature and out innate desires – see my essay “Beyond Humanism, Toward a New Animalism”:
Together, we can create a life-supporting American society through a less-is-more paradigm rather than “make America great again” through enemy-mongering, more weapons than people, continuing rape of Earth and billions of its nonhuman animals, and channeling of Earth’s wealth to an elite few.