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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/15/16

Walling Trump Out

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green wall against Trump
green wall against Trump
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Will America be dragged behind Trump's worst policies? He intends to smash doors to remove immigrants, to kill environmental rules and Obamacare, to confine women's rights, to boost dirty energy and weapons manufacture, to encourage racists, to expand the drug war and its prison population.

Decades ago we thought President Johnson would destroy our entire generation. Then we thought Nixon was the scariest thug in the basement. Then we thought Reagan would blow up the world. Then we thought Bush Sr. (head of CIA) would put us all in jail. Then we thought George W would drag us into hell.

All these Republicans, and the Democrats in between, caused great damage. To the environment. To the Constitution. To the middle class. To the poor. To other nations.

Many regard Trump as Godzilla, trampling everything good. But regardless who is elected, the military is unleashed. Deportations grow. The prisons boom. Farms and cities bust.

Today Trump wins official authority, supported by a congress of millionaires and lobbyists. Their laws foreclose our homes, jack up medical insurance rates, send our jobs overseas, poison our food and water, send our youth to war and jail. They serve corporations, regardless what happens to your community.

Green Billy Penn
Green Billy Penn
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Rather than be chained to monstrosity we may evolve to become city-states. We will need local officials willing to confront federal authority on behalf of immigrants, so that we are not later threatened with jail for sheltering people in our attics.

Americans can build our own Green Walls of innovation: regional food, health co-ops, land use, new schools, local environmental standards, municipal citizenship rights, municipal bank, local currencies, preemptive laws, corporate taxes. These will enable Philadelphia to depend less on the federal funds that our defiance would risk.

Here's a closer look at our local capability to set national examples of healthy development:

JOBS: We can create 100,000 jobs rebuilding America so every bridge is safe and every house is secure. Green jobs create far more jobs that can't be exported and that lower our utility costs, without poisoning our children's water and air.

HEALTH CARE: We can expand health care and cut prices by creating regional health co-ops. These were once the backbone of American health financing. One hundred years ago, co-op members paid pennies per week to build hospitals, clinics, senior housing, orphanages.

HOUSING: An America run by Americans for Americans is fully capable of retrofitting all homes so they're earthquake-proof, hurricane-proof, tornado-proof, flood-proof, drought-proof, fireproof, and bank-proof. Deep insulation is the best fuel. Tiny houses and "earthships" amid greenhouses create eco-villages that employ veterans, returning citizens, and us all.

FOOD: Our 30,000 vacant lots enable us to build edible cities, reducing our dependence on imported food in the winter. And employing thousands, as above.

TRANSPORTATION: Decentralized services shorten commuting distances so that bikes, buses and feet do the job. We are more powerful with fewer cars.

FINANCE: We can take direct control of money to make sure it serves our communities and reduces national debt. There are several approaches: create local currencies to strengthen local economies, create regional and state banks to reinvest locally, create regional stock exchanges to focus capital on job creation, issue money through the Treasury Department rather than through banks, tax real estate flips and stock speculation.

FOREIGN POLICY: We can challenge dangerous militarism with "Municipal Foreign Policy." Trump's conservative status permits him to make peace with communist China and Russia, just like Nixon reached to China and Reagan made treaties with Russia. Now after 14 years of self-destructive war we can move our budget from weapons to construction, creating more jobs per dollar while building an America that the world will envy.

ABORTION: No society has ever completely prevented random pregnancy. The surest way to prevent abortion is through birth control. We will pick up slack for Planned Parenthood. This Pro-Life Pledge challenges us to honor all life.

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Paul Glover teaches Metropolitan Ecology at Temple University. He is founder of Ithaca HOURS local currency, Philadelphia Orchard Project, Ithaca Health Alliance, Green Jobs Philly, Citizen Planners of Los Angeles, and many other groups. He is (more...)
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