The DHS has turned out to be the perfect authoritarian tool in the hands of a corrupt administration, and there is ample evidence of the department’s role in degrading public life in America in the past several weeks.
Federal agencies will no longer have to take climate change into account when assessing the environmental impacts of highways, pipelines and other major infrastructure projects, according a Trump administration plan to weaken the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act.
Trump continues his attack on bedrock environmental regulations established over the past fifty years. During the 2015-2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised to dismantle most of the key climate and environmental policies that were in place. He has been enormously successful, according to the New York Times, with more than sixty environmental rules and regulations officially reversed, revoked or otherwise rolled back. An additional 34 rollbacks are in progress even during the pandemic.
Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr, facing the possibility of less than six months in command, are stepping up their attacks on governance. Five Inspectors General have been removed since April; the Post Office has been placed in the hands of a political ideologue; and sensitive data related to the coronavirus is being taken away from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last month, two new positions were created at the Census Bureau to allow ideologues to monitor the completion of the decennial census, which has been compromised by the pandemic.