The “savage fringe” of the Republican Party is relying on President Donald Trump’s antics as distraction from their legislative destruction, according to Noam Chomsky.
The linguist and political scientist has warned of this dynamic since Trump’s election, and he said it’s playing out as GOP lawmakers take a “wrecking ball” to regulatory oversight and civil rights, reported Alternet.
“These policies will harm the irrelevant general population and devastate future generations, but that’s of little concern to the Republicans,” Chomsky said. “They’ve been trying to push through similarly destructive legislation for years. Paul Ryan, for example, has long been advertising his ideal of virtually eliminating the federal government, apart from service to the Constituency (of private power and wealth) — though in the past he’s wrapped his proposals in spreadsheets so they would look wonkish to commentators.”
He said congressional Republicans — who have notably failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act — are hiding behind Trump’s “mad doings” to ram through legislation that guts worker rights, consumer protections, health programs and financial regulations.
“Much of this is being carried out stealthily, in closed sessions, with as little public notice as possible,” Chomsky said. “Other Republican policies are more open, such as pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, thereby isolating the U.S. as a pariah state that refuses to participate in international efforts to confront looming environmental disaster.”
Chomsky isn’t sure whether Trump is aware of what’s going on behind the scenes — but ultimately, it doesn’t matter.
“Whether Trump has any idea what he and his henchmen are up to is not clear,” Chomsky said. “Perhaps he is completely authentic: an ignorant, thin-skinned megalomaniac whose only ideology is himself. But what is happening under the rule of the extremist wing of the Republican organization is all too plain.”