Donald Trump managed to figure out a way to destroy American values and America itself simultaneously. It frustrates me to tell you that as you read this, government contractors are literally blowing up a cherished national monument in Arizona to make way for Trump’s racist border wall. To add further insult to injury, American taxpayers—not Mexico, as promised—are footing the bill for this costly abomination.
Currently, the National Park Service’s information page for Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument paints a beautiful, serene picture. Its inviting text reads: “Look closely. Look again. The sights and sounds of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, an International Biosphere Reserve, reveal a thriving community of plants and animals. Human stories echo throughout this desert preserve, chronicling thousands of years of desert living. A scenic drive, wilderness hike or a night of camping will expose you to a living desert that thrives.”
Tragically, these engaging words about a cherished American treasure may need to change after Trump’s wrecking crew finishes its environmental hit job. Thanks to exceptional yet disturbing reporting from The Intercept yesterday, we know that Trump is blasting his way through a mountain on protected lands at Organ Pipe Cactus. Not surprisingly, the demolition appears to be proceeding without meaningful environmental monitoring and after breaking a promise to respect ancient burial sites.
Blasting started only a week ago, yet the effects are already alarming. For example, workers have drained water from a rare desert aquifer so that they can mix concrete that would be needed to support the wall. They have also uprooted countless saguaro cacti while bulldozing a wide path for their construction vehicles. If the wall gets built, even more environmental damage would occur. Quitobaquito Springs, a spiritual place that is the only naturally occurring source of fresh water in the area, would be threatened, and the bright lights that would shine on the wall at night would irreversibly end the migration of rare desert animal species.
Trump’s brazen assault on our country and what it stands for proves that his psychopathy—untreated and unchecked—knows no bounds. Trumpism is a dangerous, amoral plague that will continue sickening America for as long as it lingers. It must be demolished at the ballot box this November.