Letter: Trump is changing the definition of word ‘disaster’

To the Editor:

The word “disaster” used to mean “a dire or catastrophic incident causing harm or tragedy to many people.” Some of the disasters that have harmed the American people in recent history include the financial crisis of 2008; the lack of health insurance for millions of people; the poisoning of some of our water supply and air; the harmful effects of certain pesticides and fertilizers on our food supply; the physical toll of bringing pharmaceuticals to market before being adequately tested; the lack of safety precautions in the workplace and certain practices that exploit the consumer, deprive women of important information, and interfere with our liberties.

Fortunately, our government has dealt with these disasters through laws and regulations that remedy the disaster, lessen the disaster, prevent the disaster from reoccurring. Such solutions include the Dodd-Frank Act, the Affordable Care Act, the Clean Air Act, and the many regulations that protect the consumer, the banks, the environment, and work to maintain the American people’s safety, health and well-being.

Now the word “disaster” is used by Donald Trump with a new meaning. He is applying the word “disaster” (new meaning) to the successful solutions our government has put in place to correct  “disasters” (old meaning). In addition, he is using the word “disaster” to describe any person, organization, country, religion, or law that disagrees with him.

Do we change the definition of “disaster” or do we maintain it and apply it to the person who uses it to the American public’s detriment?

Adele Handlers

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