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Trump and his administration have been busy

Alt-right, skinhead, white nationalist, racist, xenophobe, anti-Semite, neo-Nazi, Klansperson, bigot, misogynist or white supremacist: all mean hate. Watch what is quietly going on in our government while we are alternately surprised (although we should not be), shocked, repulsed and disgusted by the Russian scandal, the U.S. exit from the Paris climate agreement, immigration crackdowns, the attempt to take health care from millions of poor and working people, the denigrating/disgusting attitude and speech toward women or, most recently, President Donald Trump's sympathy toward white supremacists. Again, not a surprise since he has surrounded himself with Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Sebastian Gorka, Kellyanne Conway, Jeff Sessions, Mike Pompeo, Mike Flynn and Steve King.

While we have been sidetracked by the headlines, Mr. Trump and the current GOP (not your old-time Republican party) have been quietly reshaping/dismantling our country. In the last six months so much damage has been done that it will take another 50 years to make it right again, if ever. Highlights of what President Trump and the GOP have done while we weren't looking: Repealed regulations for coal that protected our waterways; mangled the Clean Water Act to allow companies to dump waste in our streams, repealed penalties for firms that retaliate against nuclear whistle blowers; gutted the Fair Play and Safe Work Place Act that protects us from wage theft, health and safety risks, labor law violations and civil rights abuses; repealed Internet privacy rules to allow providers to share and sell our information; repealed protections for transgender children and repealed greenhouse gas laws. Froze laws to protect the privacy of substance abusers while in treatment, froze rules for commuter train safety, and froze rules to allow the Center for Disease Control to prevent the spread of Zika and Ebola. Suspended a ban on for-profit prisons that require that our law enforcement agencies provide them with quotas of prisoners resulting in more and longer jail and prison sentences and "pulled back" on filing civil rights lawsuits against police departments that engage in abusive, discriminatory practices. Dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA (the weather, hurricane agency), public schools and consumer protections. Privatizing plans to sell roads, national parks and monuments, air traffic control and schools. All bought and paid for with our tax dollars and we will pay again with tolls, fees and other hidden costs.

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Donald Trump and the GOP are dividing us with hate and fear to detract us from these issues. Every democratic country thinks they are different and fail to fully appreciate their freedoms until they are gone. Poland and Venezuela are perfect examples and the United States is on a similar path that will end our democracy as we know it. Be aware, use your voice and your vote! Michael Dukakis, former Massachusetts Governor, once said "we get the government we deserve."

Chara Mandile, Ocklawaha, Fla.

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