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I need to start with a caveat. I am going to attempt mind reading (and, perhaps, some sarcasm). I have been paying attention to the actions of the current administration, including the application of immigration law and ICE enforcement. I believe that there are a good many citizens who see Trump doing exactly what they have always believed should be done to bring jobs to America as well as end the necessity for social spending. I want to explore the messages that the administration seems to be sending with these policies.

Dear unemployed person: We at the Trump administration are working tirelessly to deport people who are in this country so that there will be more jobs for you. But now many employers are telling us that no one will apply for them! This administration cannot do everything. You asked us for jobs, now go get them! You may have to move to agricultural areas. You will be required to learn dairy work, meat cutting, how to position irrigation equipment, and how to drive farm equipment. You will need to dress in work clothes that protect you from the sun and learn how to do physical labor without accident. Some of these jobs require you to move frequently, so you may want to purchase a trailer or RV. The good thing about these jobs is that often your whole family can be employed at the same place of work.

Dear employee of a dying industry: With the new tax reform package we have just passed, we have given employers whose products face a decline in market demand an incentive to keep some of you employed until the factory or the mine is of no more use. You will want to keep an eye out for other employment opportunities and other places you want to move, but you’re safe for now. Regulators at the EPA are working to make it easier for industries to abandon mines and factories without having to set aside money to clean up the environment around them, so they can keep you employed longer. Also note what we are doing for unemployed persons!

Dear social services recipient: The Trump administration is dedicated to bringing back the greatness of America. This America didn’t require social services because we were all capable of living our own lives without any help from the government. Families took care of each other. We didn’t bother with fancy medicine. The basics of first aid kept us alive. In times of need, we all just pitched in and helped those who, because of no fault of their own, fell on hard times. Probably the only good thing the Obamas did in the White House was to show us how to live by growing our own food. Remember victory gardens? Let’s bring them back and make everyone who can’t afford to hire staff self-sufficient.

Our fellow Americans: The Trump administration is dedicated to your right to do things the way you see fit. We want government to get out of your way. Everyone in America can teach kids to read, write, and do arithmetic. Our schools don’t have to be fancy and costly. If you know of a way to make money, go for it. Government doesn’t have to bog you down with regulations about safety and keeping the environment livable. The buyer is able to determine the safety of your product. You can solve your own problems and keep your family and friends safe by arming yourself and being watchful for anyone who is out to get you.

Have I missed anything? Are you hearing something else from the Trump administration? Does this message also apply locally? I’m curious. I want to know if I am effectively countering these messages with the public policy I advocate.

Linda Brugger retired from the Air Force and is a former chairwoman of the Twin Falls County Democrats.


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