In America It’s Now Every Man, Woman and Child for Themselves

by Bob Schwartz

The founders of America had a dream, fueled by the Enlightenment and by what we might call Christian realism about how people really are.

It would be ideal to depend on the kindness of strangers, but experience has shown that strangers cannot always be relied on and are not always kind. Instead, as a national community, we are committed—by the Constitution those founders hammered out—to “promote the general welfare.”

With many ups and downs, and some real gaps, that has generally worked out during the first two centuries of that American dream. Those days may not be over, but the founding principle is under serious, if not existential, threat.

The Shutdown is just one example, but a glaring one. At best, Trump and his cohort believe that forcing federal workers to work without pay will be taken care of by the private sector. At worst and most likely, they just don’t care.

America has tried political philosophies that leaned to individual self-help and more limited government. But never before has the governing philosophy (if you can call it that) literally pushed Americans—Americans working for other Americans—into forced labor and economic hardship.

Welcome to Trump America, where it’s every man, woman and child for themselves.

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