Some rules really are made to be followed

Dear President Trump,

Although I’m careful not to stray too far outside the lines, I’ve never been much of a stickler for following rules, especially those I deem unnecessary or overly controlling. I realize that some people who know me would read this and laugh since I do still carry around a lot of “good girl” tendencies and can get somewhat holier than thou about some things if I’m not careful. But really, I flout all sorts of rules all the time. I know you do too, though, let’s be clear – we are fundamentally different in that I’m super careful about following rules designed to protect others and you are patently allergic to following such rules.

The reason I’m bringing this up is that tonight as I was making dinner, I found myself very carefully rinsing the quinoa before cooking it, something I pretty much never do. I usually get too frustrated with the amount of grain loss but decided to find the finest meshed thing we have and to do it in increments that fit that fine mesh thing. It was kind of soothing and it worked ok. And actually, the cooked quinoa was better than usual so maybe there is something to that particular rule. The upshot is that in this time of covid when following all the sanitation social distancing rules is so critical, I’m apparently finding it comforting to follow all sorts of rules I wouldn’t normally follow.

I just took a break from this letter and was perusing the HP when I saw the article entitled “Trump goes full ‘shock doctrine’ as pandemic rages,” which is all about how you and your administration are taking advantage of the horrible covid-19 situation to throw super basic air and water pollution protection standards (rules) out the window. Did you actually read yesterday’s letter and decide that not enough Americans are dying each year from air pollution? Really? What the hell is wrong with you? Oh, and while you’re at it, you’re also turning over meat inspection functions to a private company (that should go well) and laying down a 200+ mile road through pristine Alaska wilds so that you all can get to the copper and zinc you’ve been salivating over. Here’s the HP’s assessment of what you all are doing:

“The moves offer yet another jarring real-time example of what the author Naomi Klein dubbed “the shock doctrine”: the phenomenon wherein profiteers and their allies in government exploit the mayhem of a public emergency to push through unpopular policy changes that benefit industry.”

Apparently you all are actually, baldly using the covid-19 crisis as cover for this rule breaking:

“In a letter to Trump last week, the oil industry’s biggest trade group, the American Petroleum Institute, requested regulatory relief (during the covid-crisis; my insertion based on the rest of the article), including “temporarily waiving non-essential compliance obligations.””

Did you see the new infection and fatality numbers today? I had to stop refreshing the Worldometer covid-19 webpage mid-day because the numbers were overwhelming, but I checked again a little bit ago and we added 18,691 new cases and had 400 more deaths today. And this is in the context of completely inadequate testing (which, by the way, means you don’t know jack about which counties are “safe” and could be reopened for business by Easter and which ones aren’t, you idiot) across the whole country. So, really, our numbers are probably far, far worse and yet we have a president who insists that governors grovel on bended knee for what their states need and who blithely undermines public safety by trashing environmental protections.

Can we stop this ride now? Or better yet, can we just get rid of you, the crazy carny who’s pushing this whole contraption so far past its tolerances that it’s beyond terrifying?

May we be safe from our sick POTUS.
May we be willing to not look the other way.
May we not flout rules that protect our health and well-being.
May we never, ever make peace with evil leadership.

Tracy Simpson

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