Is Trump setting the stage for a Chernobyl in America?
HBO Chernobyl screenshot -- HBO promo photograph

According to a columnist for the Daily Beast, HBO's widely praised mini-series about the nuclear power plant accident in Chernobyl in 1986 should serve as a cautionary tale during the Donald Trump era which has seen the White House choose political ideology over science.

Noting that Chernobyl creator, Craig Mazin has pointed out that he was motivated to create the miniseries as a "riposte to the global war on truth," the Beast's Clive Irving said Americans would be wise to sit up an take notice.

"The Trump administration is engaged in an attack on scientific truth every bit as brazen as anything in the history of the Soviet Union as it sweeps aside all warnings about the consequences of climate change," Irving writes. "Indeed, climate change can be seen like a slow motion version of Chernobyl on a far larger scale—a runaway failure of control over forces of enormous energy with the entire planet at risk. In responding to it the White House has come to resemble a kind of bastard combination of deregulated capitalism and Soviet-style perversion of language, an American version of the politburo."

According to the columnist, Donald Trump all but perfectly echoes the Soviet leaders who brooked no dissent when it came to their chosen government policies. He also noted that Trump's rabid base is accepting of his every word -- which is dangerous for all.

"Trump is the face and voice of this change of regime because he is always consumed with the need to personally own it," he explained. "This kind of megalomania was something that the Soviet system suffered but eventually rejected – after the death of Stalin it was denounced as the cult of personality and future Russian leaders (until Putin) were careful not to repeat it."

More importantly, he added, Republicans in Congress -- always willing to roll back regulations and cut corners -- are willing participants and cheerleaders for Trump's war on science.

"All those Republican senators who have to suffer the indignity of appearing to be Trump toadies don’t really care because they have waited decades for a White House with the balls to roll back all the science-based compromises made by previous Republican presidents—starting with Richard Nixon and his acceptance of the need for a government role in environmental protection and including George Bush senior’s final acceptance of the link between cancer and smoking," Irving recalled.

Irving also noted the similarities of Soviet-era politicians lying to the public and drew a direct link to the president and his White House which maintains its own reality that aligns with what the president thinks on any given day.

"This White House has never thought that any lie incurs a debt to the truth, and in its own attempt to suppress scientific truth is as careless with public safety as the politburo," he added. "To us Legasov’s desperate question, 'What is the cost of lies?' carries more menace than he could possibly have imagined."

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