In another display of bare-knuckled, unprincipled ruthlessness, Scott Pruitt of Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency has a solution to the stubborn nature of facts: Replace the scientists who assess those facts with people who will tell you what you want to hear. That’s right — the agenda now is to begin removing actual scientists from the EPA’s Board of Science Counselors and replace them with non-academics. The idea is to replace “the academic scientists with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate.”
And this is how it happens. This is how a nation dismantles its apparatus of facts, science-based decision-making and truth. Right before your eyes, and on your watch. One brick crumbles after another. A powerful interest group has a clear self-interest in undermining the facts that are in its way, and it sets about using its political muscle to remove them, one obstacle at a time.
It’s not just climate. It’s health care. It’s everything.
The Trump administration is becoming an outright fire sale on influence-buying and fact destruction. Everybody pays verbal tribute to our Constitution, but the Constitution rests on a larger, deeper foundation. That foundation is a respect for the truth. When that gives way, neither the Constitution nor anything else stands straight.
After that, there is no basis for reasoned discussion, rational policy or accountability. A fact is nothing more than what the government says is a fact today.
It’s what President Trump says is a fact today.
If you thought it was time to get used to Trump, think again. Don’t get used to this. Don’t get tired. Don’t let this happen here.