Donald Trump and Russia are all over the news and taking up all the air in political discussions. No doubt allegations surrounding the Trump campaign are important and worth looking into, but ultimately whether the smoke surrounding Trump and Russia has fire to go with it is less important than the series of small fires Trump’s cabinet and Republican lawmakers have been setting under the cover of the Russian controversy.
Deportations around the country and draconian plans for shifts in immigration policy. A massive swell in military spending at the expense of much needed state department and domestic programs. Numerous plans to throw millions of people off their health coverage have swirled around the capitol. An enormous shift in Department of Justice policy that seems likely to usher in a new era of mass incarceration reminiscent the Reagan era. Numerous hints at shifts in fiscal policy, namely repealing Dodd-Frank, that could potentially lead to another economic crisis. An administration fascinated with bluster, but seemingly apprehensive to stake out any meaningful policy positions.
All of these things are happening right now, while the world watches Donald Trump angry tweet baseless allegations at the Obama administration. And unfortunately no matter how the Russian controversy ends,these fundamental shifts in policy seem likely.
The Russian controversy doesn’t seem to be going away. Jeff Sessions has recused himself from any investigation. The FBI has been allegedly looking into the matter for months. Democrats in both houses of congress are clamoring for a deep and independent investigation. In the House those calls are being joined by Republicans in less secure districts such as Daryl Issa. In the senate anti-Russia stalwarts like John McCain and Lindsey Graham have long pushed for a deeper look into connections between Donald Trump and the Russians.
The point is, there is already mounting public pressure for a deep investigation and that doesn’t seem to be going away. In fact it would be disastrous if the public pressure did go away. It probably won’t though, so some of that outrage should be saved for any number of Republican policies that could potentially erode decades worth of progress in basically every arena of public policy. This criticism rings especially true for network news which as of late has been an up to minute Donald Trump and Russia drama update more than anything else.
That same complaint could be levied against any number of publications but as a whole print media has a lot more work detailing the numerous threads running through the Trump administration. Still, in the age of twitter politics and constant controversy, it’s important for people to step back and appreciate the broader picture and how Trump and his cohorts actions might impact the broader scope of history. Whether it ends in impeachment or an unscathed Trump administration, it’s important they do not weasel their way out of accountability while the rest of the country clamors over Russia.
Again Russia is important, but no matter how it ends it will not have the same impact on the broad scope of American history that another financial crisis or major military conflict might.
As someone who is personally outraged with the Russia revelations and who wants to see a thorough and independent investigation, I also try to remain aware of every other potentially devastating policy being pushed by the Trump administration. It’s not easy, especially when these changes aren’t breaking through to headlines or breaking coverage, but it’s incredibly important nonetheless.
Every time someone who has been in the country minding their own business for decades is deported should outrage everybody just as much as every time a new Trump-Russia connection is established. Every person who could potentially lose health care under a botched Obamacare repeal should engender the same level of outrage as every phone call to a Russian ambassador. Every single issue that could potentially impact the daily life of any American needs to be taken seriously and unfortunately the Russian connections seem to be taking all the air out of the room.