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A Mindless Decision

POLITICAL CROSSFIRE By Justin A. Williams,  Political Editor

Trump’s Budget Cuts Slash Mental Health $$$$$

What is the value of a human mind? In our society, we often neglect the state of our mental health for the necessities life requires: the job, the kids, the schooling,etc. When we become anxious or depressed, even cripplingly so, we still churn our feet, wake up at six am and “act” as though nothing is wrong for the sake of, well, many things. Sometimes we want to simply tough it out, sometimes we are just too busy to stop and take some moments for ourselves, yet other times the stigma of mental illness or even getting help precludes us from doing what is also necessary, taking care of ourselves.

So what is our government to do when we ,the citizens, are so apt to neglect our own mental health,an aspect of us that we simply must admit we can not and should not ignore. The consequences of ignoring our feelings are that  we face the dangers of a mind without proper rest, proper support and if needed proper medication. Pres. Trump has made his decision for this annual budgetary season and it will be to slash the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration by $665 million. While spending will continue at decent spending allotments for veterans and children, nothing to ignore, this particular slashing signals that during a time where there seems to be more calls from the right and left to fix mental health care,  we invest more funding to address this crisis. In truth, spending on mental health in a broad sense has taken hits when budgets need to be cut before as it was during the Reagan Administration.

But in a time when politicians still fight over regulating access to gun purchase and licensing, the move by Trump stands as a clear sign of our competing forces –those who see the connection between the mentally ill and the threat they are to society with a gun and those who don’t.  Gun supporters are quick to blame our “failing mental health administration” for the onslaught of shootings in the past two years. If their case is correct, then what Trump has done in cutting funds to correct the ‘failing mental health administration,” and has gone against the popular opinion of his chief supporters – NRA and his political allies.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.  Trump appears to care less about helping Americans keep a healthy mind–or get care for their mental health. He cut $ 665 million dollars in funding for mental health education and treatment.


After the shooting in Florida at Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead and many injured in the wake of a shooter who had numerous interactions with law enforcement and clear mental health issues, Trump expressed his grief saying,

“To every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain…”

In a second breath, Trump then tweeted from  the White House for more than six minutes in an emotional rant about,  ‘the power of America to recover and unite ,’ so long as gun reform is never mentioned as a solution. The latter part can be insinuated of course, if not literally taken from his speech, since as soon as the shooting was a memory the topic quickly shifted to a debate about whether gun reform or mental health reform was the answer to gun violence.

This budgetary choice to cut mental health funding is an indication that there is a clear and present mental illness running rampant throughout the Trump administration causing delusions and a break from reality. So, how can the Trump administration proclaim that untreated  mental illness behind school shootings and random acts of gun violence, when their votes in favor of cutting and funding, not restricting gun sales and endorsing lax background checks are direct contributing factors to this crisis.

Trump has made  mindless decision based on a sheer rush to judgement. He aims to appease those who are victimized and placate those who support his views.  Trump is one of those leaders who say one thing and mean another, leaders who call for our best in the worst times, but wont give us their best for the hard times to come– and they will come.

Violence is contagious and apparently so is bad policy making. From one mistakened and unenlightened approach to gun reform came this budgetary decision in its wake. The two don’t have to be related causally to be correlated immorally.

Trump has said he wants to “tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”Are these just sugarpill words for his congression of followers to earn their gratitude and get their applause?  A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and a loss of 665 million dollars is a terrible way to waste it. Trump appears to care less about Americans keeping a healthy mind or getting care for their mental health and more about- who really knows.




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