Despite President-elect Donald Trump’s long-standing view that climate change is a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese government, the American people elected him anyway putting the fate of the entire planet at risk. Relive Trump’s stupidity below:
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
NBC News just called it the great freeze – coldest weather in years. Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2014
Give me clean, beautiful and healthy air – not the same old climate change (global warming) bullshit! I am tired of hearing this nonsense.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2014
Now that Trump is weeks away from occupying the Oval Office his staff has been working towards that transition by sending out a questionnaire to individuals who are employed by the Department of Energy (DoE). The questionnaire is riddled with loaded questions, and the fear by some political analysts is Trump will use the answers given to marginalize employees who do not believe as he does.
In total 74 questions were presented for DoE employees to answer, many of which had little to do actual policy, and are believed to have been crafted in a way to allow Trump to be vindictive in the future. For example, one question asked employees to list any memberships they had to any professional society, which is not the business of an employer. The First Amendment provides individuals the freedom of association, and they may not be penalized by the government through sanction or otherwise. Further employees were asked to list any meetings which they attended on the subject of climate change, and to turn over any materials they retained from said meetings. Why would Trump be seeking this information for any reason other than to purge the DoE of those who believe in the overwhelming evidence of climate change?
Any politically motivated inquisition against federal civil servants who, under the direction of a previous administration, carried out policies that you now oppose, would call into question your commitment to the rule of law and the peaceful transition of power. Civil servants should never be punished for having executed policies with which a new administration disagrees. That would be tantamount to an illegal modern-day political witch hunt, and would have a profoundly chilling impact on our dedicated federal workforce.
A former adviser to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which exists to protect federal workers from workplace retaliation, named Jason Zuckerman indicated Trump’s actions are not quite illegal — at least not yet. Zukerman said, “I think we’re probably not there yet, but the real issue will be, what will they do with that information?”
This same sentiment was echoed by Tom Divine, who is the legal director of the Government Accountability Project. He said of Trump’s questionnaire:
This type of action is designed to create the infrastructure to create an enemies list or a menu of federal workers who will be targeted and also to lay the foundation to engage in surveillance against potential whistleblowers.
Zuckerman warned, however, that employees have little wiggle room when working for the government. He elaborated, “One has to be very careful about this. In the U.S. government you don’t want to engage in insubordination. If you are asked to do something that’s reasonable and it’s legitimate, you have to do it.”
Reasonable and legitimate are the two debatable words in that sentence, as Trump and his cohorts have proved themselves not to be capable of being either. What will happen when Trump begins to push the DoE for false scientific reports to justify giving corporations the tax breaks and environmental incentives that he inevitably will grant? Will it be unreasonable for employees to resist their employer’s wishes? Will these individuals be persecuted for not following direct orders, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that shows the orders are based on pseudoscience and willful ignorance?
Such has been the case for the entirety of Trump’s political career of smoke and mirrors and it would be foolish and naive to expect anything different from the future President of the United States.
Lou Colagiovanni is an investigative journalist living in Las Vegas who specializes in politics and crime. His work has been highlighted all over the world and he is regularly featured on television and radio.