History Has Its Eyes on You

An abundance of fruits and vegetables

The Trump Administration truly is a bottomless pit of disappointment. This week, they have begun requiring all food boxes distributed by the USDA to include a message essentially giving his administration credit, signed by Trump himself.

I am tired of saying and hearing the same worn refrain: “This is a new low.” The actions of this administration are so far in the light-deprived depths of the ocean that there is no telling which direction is down and which is up. Each new action feels like an iterated amputation of American democracy, dismembering the country limb by limb.

But I will say that this particular action really gets under my skin. If you’ll recall, he did the same thing with the (ONE) COVID-19 relief check that was sent out to Americans several years ago back in April 2020. Perhaps his consequence-free career as a successfully failing businessman numbed him to reality.

But, Mr. President, let me remind you of how this whole republic thing works (since you clearly never got around to reading that Constitution that Gold Star father Khizr Khan brandished at you): I PAY TAXES and YOU WORK FOR ME. These food boxes are courtesy of me and millions of other tax-paying citizens just like me. We don’t need to sign our names or take credit for them – we are contented just knowing that the resources are being distributed to families in need.

But what makes your actions truly despicable is their proximity to the election. Your administration has spent the last four years diligently working to dismantle the social support programs that help the very families that are now depending on modest boxes of food to get by. I wonder how many wouldn’t need food boxes if your policies hadn’t castrated their earning potential. Or how many American workers would be happily back at their jobs if your administration had any semblance of a response to a pandemic whose threat level you knew about long before we did.

These food boxes, lifelines for so many Americans facing unprecedented levels of insecurity, are being distributed by organizations – nonprofits and local governments – that have been maimed by your stifling economic & social policies. And sure, we all know that this is a transparent propagandist ploy to swing disenfranchised white American voters to your side in November, but here’s a zinger: so many of the recipients of these food boxes are minorities – people desperately eager to vote you right out of office no matter what letter arrives with their food. But don’t worry, I’m sure the Proud Boys are enough for you.

Sir, if you are willing to take credit for the meager relief assistance you’ve managed to shamble together with your congressional hacks (no slight at all meant towards the hard work of the farmers and the USDA actually making this effort possible), you must also acknowledge that you were the one who made this relief necessary through a historic combination of ineptitude, incompetence, stupidity, and frigid cruelty.

You’ll be quarantined over the next few weeks while you recover from a disease (that I thought was supposed to magically go away when it got warmer?), so I hope you’ll do something out of the norm for you and actually reflect. If you’re capable of that, then I hope that one thought that crosses that vacuous desert of your brain is what a tremendously entertaining chapter your rule will be in future history books that warn against the hazards of authoritarian narcissism.

Published by Brian Bayer

With a degree in journalism from John Carroll University, Brian's post-collegiate road took him to Guayaquil, Ecuador, where he spent three and a half years wearing various hats, including as a teacher, a community outreach volunteer, and a freelance writer focusing on themes of social justice, poverty, and healthcare. While bearing witness to incredible injustice and inequity, he decided to seek the solutions by returning to his hometown of Pittsburgh and to pursue a graduate degree in International Development, which he earned in 2021. He is a proud fellow of the New Leaders Council, alumni of the Johnson Leadership Portfolio program, and serves as a board member with the Sto-Rox Neighborhood Health Council. As the founder and editor-in-chief of The Progress Pages, he hopes to provide a creative outlet for innovative minds seeking to elevate progressive ideology.

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