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Trump focuses on nonexistent problems, worsens actual problems

By Robert B. Reich, Tribune Content Agency on

There's only one reason why Trump is doing these things -- to shore up his base.

Meanwhile, Trump is neglecting or worsening five genuinely big problems facing America:

1. Climate change, as exemplified by ever larger and more destructive hurricanes and coastal flooding.

Trump's response? Taking the United States out of the Paris accord, reversing every major initiative at the Environmental Protection Agency, and filling his administration with climate-change deniers.

2. The undermining of our democracy through voter suppression, gerrymandering and interference in our elections by foreign governments.

What's Trump's response to this? Alleging, with zero evidence, that 3 million to 5 million fraudulent votes were cast in the 2016 election, and then setting up a commission to find evidence of this in order to justify more voter suppression by states seeking to minimize minority votes.

Meanwhile, Trump is doing everything possible to prevent Americans from knowing more about Russia's interference in the 2016 election, but doing nothing to stop Russia from interfering again.

3. The proliferation of nuclear warheads and missiles around the world, and most recently the danger posed by North Korea.

What is Trump doing about this? Trying to get America out of its nuclear deal with Iran, thereby giving Iran an excuse to revive its nuclear program.

And rather than engage North Korea or pressure China to do something about Kim Jong Un -- whose nuclear program accelerated after Trump said during his campaign that he might support allowing Japan and South Korea to develop nuclear weapons -- Trump and his administration are doing nothing but issuing provocative statements.

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