“Every nation gets the government it deserves.”
—Joseph de Maistre, 1753-1821
[Another way of saying it: The government is a direct reflection of the people of a nation. Therefore, America, when you look at Donald Trump you are looking in the mirror. Shameful.]
Well, it’s done.
If you take a look at my two previous posts about the election…the first, with my various pre-debate predictions, HERE…and yesterday’s hopeful pining HERE…you’ll understand that I am absolutely speechless right now–basically because my mouth is full of a large, meaty, crow. I was wrong on all counts in that first post and mistakenly optimistic in the second.
This is a major electric chair shock.
Yes, this vote was clearly a huge, angry “Fuck You!” to the Washington, D.C. political elite (much like the Brexit vote was a big “Fuck You!” to the UK political leadership). I certainly understand and feel that same frustration.
But this was NOT the solution.
A much, much better option would have been to vote out the obstructionist Republicans in the House and the Senate, and vote in Democratic majorities along with a Democratic President. Then, we might actually join the rest of the civilized world with some real, decent, progressive policies that would no-kiddin’ help the middle and working classes. (Consider the support Bernie had for his progressive agenda!)
Unfortunately, the American people have chosen a path that will very likely make things worse–exacerbate inequality, and foment further division. So much for my faith in the judgement and the critical thinking skills of my fellow citizens:
“Hey, instead of thinking this through, I think I’ll just get all pissed off and throw a live grenade at the system!”
“If not Bernie, then I’ll vote Trump!” (That’s like saying…well, if not communism maybe I’ll try fascism instead! It is a political flip-flop that makes absolutely no sense.)
It will be very interesting to see if our country has the resiliency to recover from this. We may be set back at least a generation, especially considering the issue of upcoming Supreme Court vacancies and the likelihood of a very conservative court for the next couple of decades.
I have certainly disagreed with the policies of some of our past Presidents (and even the current President at times), but never have I actually worried about the very survival of our democratic system. Trump is a such an outlier, though, that I have no idea where we might be going. He probably doesn’t either and will need major assistance from (hopefully) smart advisers to avoid major buffoonery, scandal, and/or tragedy. Luckily, governing in the real world is quite different from campaigning, which might help limit the overall damage.
So, in summary and based directly on Trump’s campaign legacy and rhetoric, this is what we have voted for:
–a “caudillo” (strong man) who will sweep in and solve all of our problems with his charisma (shades of Hitler, Franco, Samoza, Chavez, et al)
–an emboldened white supremacy movement
–increased economic inequality–rich will likely continue to get richer
–rolling back of bank regulations
–“law and order”, but likely at the expense of individual freedom of expression
–increasing pressure within the press to self-censure, if not outright direct censorship via economic and legislative means
–increasing barriers to vote
–torture of our enemies and the targeting of their families as a legitimate wartime tool (Geneva Convention violations? Not a problem.)
–international relations via bullying, tweeting, and coercion, rather than by diplomacy, coalitions and consensus
–rolling back of NATO and other treaty commitments
–rolling back the restrictions on the weapons, magazines, and ammunition you can buy–even if you are a terrorist or criminal
–misogyny and sexism as mainstream attitudes, along with a healthy dose of xenophobia
–rolling back of reproductive rights (eventual Roe v. Wade repeal)
–rolling back of LGBT rights
–rolling back of religious freedoms (except the freedom to discriminate against others based on your religious views)
–persecution of certain religious groups–especially Muslims
–persecution and discrimination against immigrants and minorities in general
–possible increased deportation of all illegal immigrants–including children who have never known any other country
–rolling back of environmental protections
–near zero interest in the climate change issue
–elimination of serious health care options for the masses
–strengthening of the anti-science movement (creationists, climate change deniers, etc.)
–acceptance of ignorance (of world affairs, cultural sensitivities, etc.) and general illiteracy (reading is not necessary) as positive norms
–increased legitimization of unfounded conspiracy theories and “fake news”
–little chance of reforming the electoral system (Citizens United decision remains, Electoral College remains)
Yes, most of those folks who voted for Trump wanted change, to “drain the swamp”. Unfortunately, all of the above was included in the package.
Apparently, this is what America wants, and that just blows me into a galaxy far, far away.
OK, Republicans, the ball is now in your court. We are not in recession, unemployment is low, the economy is growing (albeit slowly), and we do not currently have hundreds of thousands of troops deployed in a major war (currently, we are only involved in three smaller ones). Lets see what you can do with it. No excuses now–you have the reins of power. Ante up.
I have my fingers crossed (and my passport current).
“When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” –Sometimes attributed to Sinclair Lewis, but probably a summary of the thoughts of various thinkers and writers.