Where to Begin?

In January, one of the new president’s first actions should be to address some issues that have affected more Americans than they ever considered possible, starting with a new Federal Communications Commission consisting of new Board members. Their first task must be the review and subsequent revocation of Fox’s “News” license.

Why target Fox? Because by their constant kowtowing to the president and his whims and suggesting alternative facts which are nothing more than conspiracy theories, they have endangered the health, safety and the very lives of millions of Americans. Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch and his family. They are not American citizens. Their programming which they blithely refer to as “news” is not news at all, but a mass compendium of falsehoods, theories and commentary from the extreme right of the political spectrum all rolled into one big Democrat-bashing morass. More importantly, they have acted as the conduit to the president and his cronies which feeds the constant negativity in our political discourse today. Today, thanks in no small part to their involvement in politics, more Americans distrust the government to help them in their daily lives than any other time in our history and this is also a tragedy, and a deadly one at that. This is the legacy of Ronald Reagan and historians are now starting to look askance at him and his legacy as a result, and rightly so.

The insidiousness of this administration’s manipulation of facts and truths has also managed to produce a mistrust of the judicial system upon which we rely to keep our politicians in check. The same thing happened in 1933 which ushered in the Nazi regime under Hitler. It is no accident that as soon as Donald Trump began his speeches by insulting minorities, the disabled, people of color and the veterans that died serving this county, neo-Nazis crawled out from under the woodwork to support him. Why any Israeli or Jew still supports Trump, their allegiance does not comport with his comments and actions and inaction since taking office.

And then there is “The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies” (“Federalist Society”). This “501(c)(3)” organization has an Internal Revenue Service exemption from taxes, which legally, they should never have been given. The sole purpose of the Society is to promote their judicial choices based on their conservative and Libertarian ideals. They prepare lists for Republicans who then choose – basically rubber-stamp their choices with whoever they want to nominate to the Federal courts. This accounts for the poor quality of judges and justices selected since Trump became president. It also means those individuals are not properly vetted for misdeeds or other questionable behavior. This is precisely how Brett Kavanaugh got onto the Supreme Court when he is nothing more than a frat boy in search of a kegger. He was known to have received over $200,000 to cover some of his debts and no one ever questioned the source of those funds. Outside the Koch, Scailfe and Mercer families, no one knows who actually funds the Federalist Society. Suffice it to say, billionaires do not need to be given tax exemptions for their pet projects that only serve to damage political discourse in the U.S. while installing their anointed ones to positions of great influence.

No administration will ever be able to “drain the swamp” so long as these groups flourish and spread their message of no government interference, no regulation and no checks on their control over our lives. For people who believe in the concept of “limited government,” they seem to espouse interference in all our lives to our collective detriment. The Federalists masquerade as a group dedicated to social reform. The truth is much more sinister and wide-ranging. They do not believe in a woman’s right to choose, nor do they have any problem with interference in elections by foreign adversaries. They are interested in undoing every single piece of legislation addressing environmental pollution and they are opposed to universal health care. They have had their legions of lobbyists and representatives in the government fight to weaken and even destroy social security and Medicare. One would think that business leaders would want a healthy workforce, but that is not in their interest.

I am not suggesting any radical efforts to remove the influence of conservative groups in all aspects of our daily lives. I am merely suggesting we finally rein them in when we re-establish our control over these forces that do not mean us well. That is what “good government” requires of us all.

About the Author
Rachel Grenadier was an olah from the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2003 who returned to the United States in 2015. She really wanted to stay in Israel, but decided that having family members nearby was better for her health than a bunch of devoted, but crazed, Israeli friends who kept telling her hummous would cure her terminal heart condition. She has her B.A. and M.A. from George Mason University in Virginia and is the author of two books: the autobiographical "Israeli Men and Other Disasters" and "Kishon: The Story of Israel's Naval Commandoes and their Fight for Justice". She is now living in Virginia with her three Israeli psychologically-challenged cats and yet, denies being a "hoarder".
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