The Kind of People Who Are Running Our Government These Days

Along with the stench the Trump family brought to Washington came a trailing stench that is being smelled in the far reaches of government.

Whether it’s the EPA secretary who thinks his job is to protect the environment from clean-up efforts or the son in-law who is profoundly ethics-challenged to the attorney general who’s a throwback to the 1950s or the head of the Centers for Disease Control who buys stocks in tobacco companies or the communications director who lasted a week because of an extraordinary string of lapses of judgment or the press secretary who lied through his teeth or the treasury secretary whose wife lorded her wealth over her husband’s detractors or the health and human services secretary who thought holding high office meant never having to fly commercial again or the national security advisor who lied to the vice president about potentially illegal actions to the senior advisor who went on television and told people to buy products being sold by the president’s daughter, this administration is rife with people who consistently exercise incredibly flawed judgment and just plain bad thinking – if, in fact, they’re actually thinking at all.

Let us add to this list the name of Carl Higbie, former chief of external affairs for the Corporation for National and Community Service, which runs the AmeriCorps program. AmeriCorps, it should be noted, describes itself as “…a network of local, state, and national service programs that connects over 70,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet community needs in education, the environment, public safety, health, and homeland security. AmeriCorps’ members serve with more than 2,000 non-profits, public agencies, and community organizations.”

In other words, AmeriCorps is the good guys.

But somehow, a really bad guy got himself a job fairly high up in the good guys AmeriCorps organization because, well, because what most people think of as “good guys” and what the Trump people think of as “good guys” are very different things.

Here’s a taste of Mr. Higbie, as reported by the Washington Post.

Not exactly one of the “best and brightest”

In 2013, he spoke about giving away free firewood while working in Virginia Beach on “Sound of Freedom,” an Internet talk radio show that he hosted, according to CNN. Higbie said that black women think “breeding is a form of government employment,” that blacks were “lax of morality,” and that culture “is breeding this welfare and the high percentage of people on welfare in the black race.”

On another talk show in 2013, he expressed dislike for the term “African Americans.”

 “The whole African American thing gets me whipped up because it’s like 99 percent — and I’m paraphrasing here — of people who write down African American have never been to Africa,” he said.

He also spoke disparagingly of Islam, saying that he didn’t like Muslims “because their ideology sucks,” and that he was fine if his views caused him to be labeled a racist.

 “I just don’t like Muslim people. People always rip me a new one for that. ‘Carl, you’re racist, you can’t, you’re sexist.’ I’m like Jesus Christ,” Higbie said on “Sound of Freedom” in 2013.

 On another podcast, Warrior Talk Radio, in 2014, according to CNN, he struck a similar chord.

 “I was called an Islamophobe, and I was like, ‘no, no, no, no, no, I’m not afraid of them. I don’t like them. Big difference,’ ” he said on the show. “And they were like, ‘Well, you’re racist.’ I was like, fine if that’s the definition of it, then I guess I am.’”

This is not the first round of controversy for Higbie, who worked as the spokesman for pro-Trump super PAC Great America before the 2016 election. During an appearance on Fox News shortly after the election, he cited Japanese internment camps during World War II as a “precedent” for some of the president’s potential immigration plans, and the remarks drew wide condemnation.

Higbie resigned when this information became known outside the circle of people who put him in this job, but how a guy like this wound up in an organization like AmeriCorps, which exists to help people in need, The Curmudgeon will never understand.

Well, that’s not quite true: unfortunately, The Curmudgeon DOES understand – and so do you.


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