It goes without saying – although I will say it – public policy formulation and implementation is often a mix of data, facts and statistics with what you might call “the will of Congressional lobbyists” and  very rarely, “the public,” thrown in.  It is often the case that public policy is geared towards satisfying conflicting constituencies – the Sierra Club on one side and Exxon on the other – and what we wind up with is an action or regulation that goes some way towards solving a problem or tackling an issue but always seems less than fully satisfactory.   We see it everywhere this “never quite getting to where we want to go” in automobile mileage mandates, drug prices, environmental controls, food safety, and etc.  But in general, most public policy is based on some level of actual reality and reflects real world concerns of real people.   

We have had, of course, a few public policy initiatives that have not had a single fact or piece of data or real information behind them.  Most recently Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has called for the stripping of all Federal funds for Planned Parenthood which policy is simply based on lies that he exposed at his own Congressional hearing but in fact that he has chosen to ignore.  There have been similar such examples over the years like Voter ID Laws that have zip data to support them that our Red State brethren love to enact even though voter fraud is basically a myth.

So it will come as no surprise that President Donald J. Trump, who embraces conspiracy theories and has not shown a keen knowledge of the distinction between fact and fiction, is embarking on two new initiatives – criminal justice and illegal voting – that have questionable relationships with reality.  All right, yes, this is passive aggressive.   Here’s the re-write: “… that have NO relationship with reality.”

Let’s take voter fraud which is, frankly, the easiest to debunk.  Now, your president has complained nonstop about the “millions of illegal voters” that voted during the Presidential election that caused him to lose the popular vote to “Lock Her Up” Hillary Clinton.  We’ve seen reports of late that Trump wants to mount a massive investigation of the non-existent voter fraud and millions of illegal alien votes.  Yesterday his White House Senior Policy Advisor, Stephen Miller, in a particularly combative appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” supported Trump’s 3 million illegal votes, illegal aliens registering to vote by the millions, people reregistering to vote in more than one state, and dead people voting.  When challenged by host George Stephanopoulos to provide proof of these allegations, he could and did not. 

In a rather startling rebuke, Stephanopoulos had this to say to close out the segment:

The entire “voter fraud” issue is fake.  Sure, you will find all sorts of “evidence” of the massive voter fraud Your President Trump is talking about on Alex Jones’ “Infowars” and literally thousands of other “We Make Shit Up And Call It News” far right wing websites.  But it’s all nonsense.  You can Google from now until the Second Coming and you will not find a single study that shows there is significant fraudulent activity associated with voting.  None.  Not one.  But Your President Trump and his Propaganda Team believe it because they believe in Fake News, Alternate Sets of Facts and Conspiracy Theories.  God help us!
“Law And Order” is one of those call to arms phrases that politicians drag out from time to time to scare the bejusues out of folks and to rally the quivering masses to their cause.  Richard Nixon was famous for using “Law And Order” as a campaign theme.  Of course, look where it got him. 

Now I’m not exactly certain where these crime ridden, dark and destroyed cities Trump talks about are.  I mean on our road trip down South last year, we didn’t pass through any towns or cities where we had to close the windows and speed through to avoid being caught in the cross fire between rival gangs of illegal aliens.   Yes, Lumberton, North Carolina, did have a downtown that had lots of parking lots where thriving businesses should be, but then too there were a bunch of new restaurants and bars that seemed quite lively.  But, hey, what do I know?

Trump made “Law and Order” a primary campaign theme although it was kind of an add-on at the last minute.  I suppose he needed to beef up his Dark America theme so rampant crime is a crucial ingredient in the theme hen was selling and continues to sell.  Of course, data, statistics and what you might call “Non-Alternate Sets of Facts” show that serious crime is at it’s lowest levels in decades.  [[Charts}}  This reality, natch, does nothing to deter the Trump Administration and the Trump Team from creating public policy to combat this nonexistent dark, crime ridden America where you can’t even go to the grocery store without having your brains splattered onto your neighborhood sidewalk by a gang of Mexicans with AR-15’s.  I mean, it’s really bad out there.

But here’s what some of our law enforcement officers (cops, let’s say) have to say about Dark Crime Riddled America:

“Prominent police chiefs and prosecutors who fear that the new administration is out of step with evidence that pubic safety depends on building trust” not arrests and convictions.

“We don’t want any more policy bromides grounded in campaign promises. We want ideas grounded in practical wisdom about how to protect our cities.”

 “No one in law enforcement is going to take a position against protecting law enforcement officers – but I think promoting equal justice and equal protection for everyone is the job of district attorneys and our leadership. Mr. Trump has been silent about fatal police shootings of unarmed citizwns. 

Thanks no doubt in large part to Trump, there is a perception that crime is getting worse. Last year, a Gallup poll found that the percentage of Americans worried about crime was at a 15-year high. But Gallup has been tracking opinions about crime in other ways that are instructive for comparing fear of crime with actual crime.

Listen to Stephen Miller about the balance of powers among the three branches of government.  Apparently he, and others in the Trump Administration, believe that President Trump has unlimited powers.  The powers of a dictator. 

This guy is a fool and a tool.   Doesn't he look like that bastard of an uncle you have who thinks he knows everything?

Have A Good Day!! 


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