A misguided editorial

I would like to comment on the A-T editorial of 5/14/2018, a Breitbart-like harangue about “moving the US out of a corner” supposedly built by Democrats and President Obama. It seems you are as obsessed with our former president as is our current occupant of the White House.

Granted, you have limited space. So why even bring up issues that you proceed to ignore? For example, you state Obama painted the US into a corner on health care. I am truly sorry you ignore the fact that 20 million people received help with Obama’s plan. People with pre-existing conditions were now covered, and young people could be kept on parental plans until age 26. Yes, there were problems with the ACA, but if a certain political party would have had the decency to work with the party of that president, a truly all-encompassing program for our nation could have been achieved.

Do you, the editorial board, ignore all the truths about the coal industry? First, there is drastic fall in demand of coal exports as well as internal U.S. usage; thus, much less is being mined, and automated technology has reduced the number of needed miners, not Obama influences. No matter what is stated by the coal companies, there is no such thing as “clean” coal. Coal is the leading cause of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, and ignoring the scientific reality that human-influenced climate change is real and is the major problem facing our planet is both short-sighted and destructive. Coal mining has polluted streams and lakes both with chemical runoff and acid rain across our nation, and the environmental impact of mountaintop removal is obvious to anyone who has seen it. Yes, there were many presidential (Clinton, Bush and Obama) regulations on the coal industry, but the majority served the very important function of protecting our national environment. Finally, the biggest drop in the need for coal production has been due to alternate energy sources, especially natural gas.

And then there is Iran! First, this “horrible” Obama’s efforts helped develop one of the better diplomatic actions taken in the Middle East. Also, please stop ignoring the fact that five other nations were a part of this negotiation. Were France and Germany and Great Britain and Russia and China all wrong in pushing the Iranian government to the agreement? Is Trump the only person with the diplomatic foresight to see the folly of this plan? Hardly; our current president has no ability to see beyond the morning “FOX and Friends” show. No, the agreement did not speak to missiles or the export of terrorism; that was never its intent. However, it did do the most important thing possible, which was to drastically slow down the ability of that regime to develop nuclear arms. That is all that was intended, and it provided a great starting point upon which other “reasonable” world leaders could base future negotiatians. Now, through the incredibly misinformed action of our president, such possibilities are gone. Remember, Iran is a country that historically cannot be pushed, and now with Trump and Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia all pushing the ayatollah, there is no predicting what negative outcomes might occur.

In the area of political actions, our president is guided by only one egocentric drive; the complete erasure of Obama’s political, moral and ethical bequests to our country. Why? Simply because he is a man much more admired and respected both at home and abroad than Trump ever could be. Beginning with his “birther” rants long before he was the candidate for the Republican Party, Mr. Trump has sought to destroy everything in the Obama legacy. His ridiculous claims of having a much larger inaugural turnout than Obama, his accusations (later withdrawn) of Obama wiretapping Trump Tower, the cronyism of Cabinet selections guaranteed to remove vital environmental regulations through the EPA, to decimate Obama’s designation of important national parks through the Department of Interior and the reinstatement of “for-profit” colleges by the Department of Education all point to a narcissistic president incapable of seeing the good in anyone but himself. Pulling out of the Paris Accord was devastating, and who knows what Trump will do with some very important trade agreements (he constantly changes his mind about trade with China). And, finally, the withdrawal from the Iran agreement and the moving of our embassy to Jerusalem were two actions guaranteed to plunge the region into anarchy. So much more could be said about the irresponsible political actions of our president (not to mention the personal), but his Twitters say it all.

It was ironic that the political cartoon on the editorial page in the same issue of the A-T shows Trump at his desk, shredding the works of Obama. This is Trump’s only “reason to rule”; to my knowledge, no other president in the long and storied history of our nation has worked so hard to lay waste to his predecessor. This is not something we as individuals or a nation should be proud of, and I dislike seeing our own local editorial board falling right into this pit of Trumpian populism.

Bob Murray,