To the editor:

David Phillips (Dec. 14) makes many good points about the folks who insist that “reality is subjective.”

We’re now hearing from the president-elect’s surrogates that we’ve entered into a new era of “post-truth.”  Sounds like an old episode of “Twilight Zone” until you realize Rod Serling would have found it too preposterous for a candidate to lose the popular vote by 2.8 million and then claim a mandate, stating, “I actually won the popular vote.” Or how about “Climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese.”  If his choices for the departments of Energy and EPA have their way our children and grandchildren will inherit a  polluted planet, with environmental scientists replaced by political hacks.

President Eisenhower warned about the danger to democracy of a military-industrial complex but the new presidential cabinet of moguls and generals might as well be described as “Trump USA — a subsidiary of Goldman-Sachs/Exxon-Mobil.” Half of them cite author Ayn Rand, advocate of an “every man for himself” philosophy in books such as “The Virtue of Selfishness,” as their favorite author.   Social Security and Medicare will be among the first targets.

Even more troubling is the disturbing refusal of the president-elect to show any respect for the intelligence community when they offer proof that Vladimir Putin was personally involved in interfering with our election.  Instead, Trump praises human rights violators, including Philippines President Duterte, a despot who has unleashed death squads that have killed thousands of suspected drug addicts, and has only kind words for Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan, both of whom have shut down most of the newspapers and media outlets daring to criticize them.  When Trump surrogate Corey Lewandowski stated that the editor of the New York Times “belongs behind bars”  it reveals a lot about how autocratic leaders cannot tolerate criticism (and explains those angry 3 a.m. tweets).

If the incoming administration has its way, Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” will have turned into a gold-plated Kleptocracy.

Robert Ellis

Duluth