Let’s put the people front and center

Dear President Trump,

How are you this morning? Are you back in the Oval Office this week? Ready to tackle important issues like infrastructure, education, taxes, and healthcare? How about working on filling key governmental offices that are currently lacking leaders and critical personnel? I know you and your Republican props want smaller government and there may well be places in need of trimming back but this will almost certainly result in a significant trade-off in services provided. It’s possible private industry could fill some gaps, when it is in their interest to do so, like having decent roads to get their goods to market or their employees to work safely. Maybe. I’m not holding my breath but there is a potentially logical argument for having industry step up to compensate for all the tax cuts (and political clout they have since being given “person status”) and loopholes they have been enjoying. It might just be simpler to close the loopholes and tax fairly but if we can get them to cover those costs (and the cost of fire and police protection and cleaning up their environmental impacts and…..) then maybe that’s a sort of ok trade-off.

However, I don’t see any corporations getting super excited about stepping in and handling things like the census. It might actually be in their interest to do so since they’d be able to get a micro-look at who lives where and thus could better target their marketing dollars. But let’s not go there. Let’s instead put the nation’s people front and center and count each of us accurately, including our ethnicities and races, genders and gender identities, sexual orientations, income levels, etc. We need you to appoint a competent director who cares about doing the job well and we need key positions filled and we need you to not make this into a political mess. The one thing that could be a crazy saving grace is that if you were to foment paranoia about people being counted (by the government) in the census, you will risk having your precious base (white people) be under-counted and I don’t think you all want that. You can bet that communities of color and LGBTQ people are going to be organizing to make sure we are counted properly so I suggest you appoint the needed people, provide the needed funding, and then stay out of the way and not undermine this effort.

May we all be safe.
May we all be happy.
May we all be healthy.
May we all count equally.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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