Dominating headlines on Tuesday were Donald Trump’s spectacular failure to describe a 737, which probably helped prove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s point that “He’s just not worth it” – the other dominant headline on Tuesday. What didn’t rank so high in the ratings was yet another horrific story coming from this administration’s internment camps. Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, who paid a visit to one of the camps in Homestead, Florida, was told by three of the detained children that staff threatened to keep misbehaving children separate from their families – further contradicting Kirstjen Nielsen’s testimony.
There are nearly 1,600 children at the facility Merkley visited alone. While officials swear that the Homestead facility is an orderly place, advocates have been painting a much different picture. This is the same facility where allegations of child sexual abuse arose last month are were reported in the Miami New Times, where children are not allowed to have physical contact with each other, and continue to be separated from each other. This is the real face of a national tragedy this administration owns – inerasable damage to human lives that their outright bigotry, xenophobia, and aspirations of autocracy can do.
As Speaker Pelosi said, Donald Trump isn’t worth it. Rather than covering his idiotic ramblings and tweets, a way to just amplify the number of people he can lie to, we need to put a face on the damage he is doing to America and its reputation abroad – harm that we could still be repairing years after he leaves office.
The focus throughout 2019 needs to be on the faces of everyday people – the families separated for months due to the racist policies of Homeland Security, the workers who suffer every time Trump shuts down the government in a tantrum, the journalists like Jamal Khashoggi, who are crucial for a functioning democracy and now face a job made more dangerous by emboldened despots throughout the world. Talk about these people – not the narcissist – and before long, the country will be ready to oust Donald Trump.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making