Swapping out Food Stamps: It’s about more

Photo by Julie Utterback

It’s about choices.

By now you’ve likely heard that part of Trump’s very bad, awful, not even realistic budget plan is to gut the food assistance program. Trump and Ryan are lock-step in their efforts to punish the poor for being poor and to reward the rich for being rich with more riches.

It’s all about choices.

Everything this administration does.

Trump wants to gut a woman’s right to her own body:  “You can grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” Isn’t that outright permission to assault a woman?

Trump wants to take away the rights of voters. He’s given Putin free reign to manipulate our voting process. FBI Director Christopher Wray testified that Trump hasn’t directed him to stop Russian meddling in any elections.

And now, Trump wants to swap out food stamps for the poor and instead ship them surplus (read lower quality) peanut better, pastas, powdered milk. (Have you ever used powdered milk? Nasty stuff, that.)

It’s about choices. Because the thing is robbing people of their choices is a way to dehumanize them. It’s one of the first thing someone looking to control another does – robs them of their choices.

It’s a mind-game.


A way to create dependency, not independence.

Take away a person’s ability to make choices and you begin to chip away at their identity, their self-worth, their will. 

Trump knows this.

The one thing money does provide a person is freedom of choices. The more money you have, the more choices available to you. The more choices available to you, the more special you begin to regard yourself. The more special you think you are, the more powerful you feel the less you regard others.

Entitlement takes hold.

You feel that you earned everything.

Photo by Julie Utterback

And that others are less than you. Less wise. Less frugal. Less human.


You have better health care because you deserve it because you can afford it.

Others? Well, too bad for them. Survival of the richest and all.

It’s a game Trump plays.

A game that has dire consequences for the poor, for the less than.

It’s about a lot more than swapping out food stamps for government surplus.

This is just one more way in which Trump, the abuser, is chipping away at the lowly masses.

One more way in which he is eroding democracy. Erasing free will.

It’s a form of domestic terrorism.

One more smack upside the head from the man who tells himself that we deserve it, that we asked for it.

Karen Spears Zacharias is author of CHRISTIAN BEND: A novel (Mercer University Press).





Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.

1 Comment


about 4 years ago

My little family has been screwed over, royally, several times by rich and privileged people. We have survived but not without scars. And we have learned that people are and really can be different, very different, in how we see ourselves, humankind, creation and the purpose and meaning of all that we call life. It's a grave mistake to assume that our reality is another person's. We have to take off our blinders. My conclusion is that those who wronged us did not exactly do so out of malice. Honestly, I'm not certain they had any idea they were even doing it. They could not conceive that their way was not the only way, that their way was anything but the very best way. A conservative friend calls his view of life "social Darwinism". [Interesting that Darwinism vis-à-vis creation is anathema but accepted truth when it comes to wealth, power and privilege...] In Donald Trump, we have the most frightening example of a soulless human being. Every shred of his energy and attention is devoted to an agenda ultimately centered in self and its insatiable need to be served. Every last morsel of truth, wisdom, justice, religion, faith, hope, trust, honesty, decency and humanity will in some way be shaped, robbed, distorted, gutted, reinvented, lied about and sold to the highest bidding Russian money launderer [see the $95 million Florida mansion sale in '08] or Fox News adulant in the service of this self-god. There is nothing, nothing, that will not be sacrificed to this god. Thing is, he doesn't know he's doing it--at least, not as you and I would know. It's simply the ONLY way HE knows. If I am wrong, let the record of his actions show it. If not, why do we continue to allow it; and what will we do to change it?


Leave a Comment

Please be polite. We appreciate that.
Your email address will not be published and required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.