Email #59, Subject: “government establishment”?

Although a majority of voters are not optimistic about President Trump’s ability to run the country, a majority still approve of his message. I just read a survey that reported that 72% agreed with this passage from his inauguration speech:

“For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. That all changes starting right here and right now because this moment is your moment, it belongs to you.”

This confuses me because the GOP has controlled the Senate for the last two years and the House for the last six. You personally have been in office for a quarter century. You’ve been Chair of the House Judiciary Committee for three years, after already serving as Chair of the House Agriculture Committee while President Bush was in office. You are a leading and long-standing member of the establishment.

The President is identifying you and other current GOP leaders as the small group of flourishing politicians reaping the rewards of government. Is this why you are so hesitant to criticize him? Your balanced budget amendment would block his Great Wall and infrastructure plans. His claims of massive voter fraud are widely dismissed, but you support them. Even though his failure to release his taxes falls far below the “highest standards” you have previously championed, you have said nothing about his conflicts of interest. Is your strategy to so align yourself with the President that you avoid the criticism of his populist message?

Chris Gavaler


Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an assistant professor of English at Washington and Lee University where he teaches creative writing, contemporary fiction, and comics. He has published two novels, Pretend I'm Not Here (HarperCollins 2002) and School For Tricksters (Southern Methodist University 2011), and two nonfictions, On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa University 2015) and Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury forthcoming 2017).

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