Rick Wilson’s book Everything Trump Touches Dies came to mind yesterday when I read that the Endangered Species Act is in danger:
New rules will allow the administration to reduce the amount of habitat set aside for wildlife and remove tools that officials use to predict future harm to species as a result of climate change. It would also reveal for the first time in the law’s 45-year history the financial costs of protecting them. The long-anticipated changes, jointly announced by the Interior and Commerce departments, were undertaken as part of President Trump’s mandate to scale back government regulations on corporations, including the oil and gas industry, that want to drill on protected land.
I wondered again about our ongoing emergencies. I’m sure I’ve already asked, but who would have thought a few years ago that a festering heap of fast-food garbage named Donald Trump would somehow parlay his incompetence into a successful run for the most powerful job in the world?
“Ain’t no point to that question,” Swamp Rabbit said. “Might as well ask why mudslides and earthquakes happen.”
I tried to think of a character in literature like Trump, a minor sociopath who somehow rises to the top and tries to remake the world in his own foul image.
“What about that dude in Lord of the Rings?” Swamp Rabbit said. “The evil wizard who chops down all the trees and fouls up the water and builds a factory to breed an army of monsters? Saruman, his name was.”
“No way,” I replied. “Saruman was a good guy until he got depressed and started thinking that what’s rotten in the world is stronger than what’s good. Trump was always on the rotten side. He was born rotten.”
I reminded the rabbit that the Endangered Species Act helped save the bald eagle, the grizzly bear and other species when they had been all but wiped out, and that Trump’s rule revisions are a big blow to people who are working to keep the ecosystem from collapsing.
“What about Sauron, the actual lord of them rings?” Swamp Rabbit said. “He was always tempting peeps to switch to the dark side. He’s the dude who flipped Saruman.”
I shook my head. “Sauron is like Satan. He lives in the Dark Tower and has an all-seeing eye. Trump can’t see past the tacky gold trim in his New York penthouse.”
Swamp Rabbit scowled. “You sound like all them other peeps who thought Trump was a joke. Ain’t none of them laughin’ now.”
Footnote: I’d recommend Elizabeth Kolbert’s book The Sixth Extinction, but it might mess up your mind. You might end up like Saruman.