Given the results of the Presidential election and one of my previous posts, a follow-up is necessary.
Donald Trump has been elected as our next President of the United States.
If there is one thing we must learn from 2016 from the efforts of Mr. Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton, it is that millions of Americans are frustrated. To prevent the most deleterious elements of Trumpism from seeping into public law, we must acknowledge that those concerns are valid in many respects.
Mr. Trump aptly recognized concealed discontent among millions of white working-class Americans who have felt economically and culturally marginalized over the past eight years as it is widely known that many white working-class Americans have been significantly impacted by factory closures and jobs lost to productivity resulting in what is known as the Rust Belt.
Economic and social insecurity have caused this American faction to seek scapegoats for this predicament. Within this class, the perceived perpetrators are the “media,” “elites,” “the establishment,” and “big-money corporations.” (c1 & c2) Combined with continued resentment toward Congress and Washington D.C., and the overall inherent weaknesses presented in Hillary Clinton’s messaging amounts to a perfect storm. (c3-5)
Mr. Trump, by targeting this group with his tactics, among many things, intentional or not, incited the fears and bigotry in millions of people by lying and furthering racial resentment with the intent of a snake oil salesmen against all of the criticism, even from his own party, that was designed to stop his ascension to power. (c6-8)
And for a lot of Americans his tactics worked, regardless of all of the information shows how disastrous his policies are. (c9 & c10) This racial resentment that Trump exacerbated is nothing short of dangerous and divisive, just as it was in the 1860’s and 1960’s. (c11-13) With his victory, it seems this racial resentment will continue and unfortunately it has worsened, especially since the election of President Obama. (c14-16)
The American people will now have to depend on Republicans in Congress to check Mr. Trump’s newfound political power. I hope that even they recognize, regardless of the political consequences they may face, that there are fundamental limits to what Republicans should do. Our founders feared the day a demagogue would rule, that is why we have checks and balances throughout our government; now our institutions will be put to their ultimate the test under this swath of authoritarian conservative rule.
James Madison put it best in Federalist #48
An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others. (c17)
There are many reasons why we got here: misreading polls, the media giving Mr. Trump more air time than he paid for or deserved, underestimating the powers of social media, but we must accept the defeat. Even Elizabeth Warren agrees with this acceptance. (c18-21)
We tell our children not to lie; love one another for who they are; that they are individuals deserving of respect and dignity. Yet Mr. Trump, purely with his rhetoric, threw all of that out the window.
Overtime, there is no question that Mr. Trump and the rest of the Republican Party will continue to consolidate their power, such as attempting to change state libel laws and no doubt use the upcoming census to gerrymander their way to another decade of rule across all levels of government. (c22 & c23)
Mr. Trump has a lot in store for his first 100 days in office. The entire plan can be viewed here with NPR correspondent commentary.
With all the reins of power with a sweep of Congress and the Presidency, Mr. Trump will try to drive this country into an isolated faction in the world, a trend that only seems to be rising. (c24) Mr. Trump and his party packing the Supreme Court leading to another 25+ years of conservative law which will reverberate throughout our legal system like an earthquake. (c25) Obamacare will be dismantled. (c26) The rights of transgendered individuals are in jeopardy. (c27) Global Warming will not be tackled. (c28) The right to privacy of women is in jeopardy. (c29 and c30) The wealthy will obtain more tax cuts. (c31) Social Security will try to be privatized. (c32 and c33) In Mr. Trump’s words “everything is negotiable.” (c34)
What is frustrating is that so many more policies will happen under a Mr. Trump’s Presidency that are utterly catastrophic.
- The Paris climate agreement will be abandoned. (c35)
- The Environmental Protection Agency will be filled with climate deniers despite the overwhelming evidence, and climate and environmental protection programs will be slashed. (c36-38)
- The Department of Education will be a fragment of what it is today, destroying the hopes of millions of students by demolishing high academic standards for their schools, limiting access to college loans. (c39)
- Other US social and Low-income programs will be gutted when Paul Ryan proposes a budget similar to his previous one. (c40 and C44)
- Torture will try to be reinstituted. (c41)
- With Rudy Giuliani as the possible Attorney General, the pervasiveness of police demanding “law and order” will be approved and continue to shred communities apart.
- Women’s access to birth control can, and most likely will, be swiftly be subverted. (c42)
- Medicare might become privatized. (c43)
- With JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon possibly appointed as Secretary of the Treasury the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act will most likely be dismantled and repealed. (c45 & c46)
- Mr. Trump’s rhetoric against Muslims will only further the message of ISIS. (c47 & c48)
- Steve Bannon as Chief of Staff will continue to funnel Alt-Right information directly to Mr. Trump, only furthering his campaign of hateful and misleading messaging. (c49) Even Glenn Beck is terrified of him. (c78)
Given the Republican Party platform even more is in store. I am fearful of what will happen to this country and President Obama’s legacy. (c50)
We will soon discover whether Mr. Trump’s agenda could translate into a Trumpian New Deal that is assumed to rectify the economic woes of the Americans whom have anointed him as their champion, despite the fact that they will be detrimentally affected under his Presidency. (c51-54) To eliminate the appeal and support for Mr. Trump, we must recognize the valid social and economic concerns of those voters who have been inveigled by him and his beliefs. (c55) To discount their fears as mere racism does nothing more than to drive them deeper into the clutches of Trumpism. (c56)
For us Democrats, we have to generate understanding about our issues and each other. To do that, we must get African Americans, Latinos, and the white-working classes across our nation to focus on the how their economic, and thus political, concerns are intertwined. Mr. Trump’s likely pervasive deregulation and regressive tax policies will help solidify that point. Thus, we must use each opportunity to attack the root of that ignorance and racism by providing a clear and sound analysis of how Mr. Trump’s economic policies are in direct contrast to his campaign promises.
To accomplish this it will be essential to create a unified trans-national platform all of us can get behind. When Americans hear Democrats, they should think “united.” I find this task simply inexcusable for us not to do. When we unite, we can fight back against this onslaught of conservatism, which we know is in trouble as well. (c57 & c58)
Some policies include:
- Eliminate the Electoral College and allow citizens to directly elect the President of the United States.
- Make Election Day a national holiday.
- Provide healthcare for all through a government insurance agency equivalent to Medicare.
- Promote competition through the rigorous expansion of antitrust policies. (c59)
- Create a more equitable tax policy that taxes corporations and the wealthy.
- Endorse, promote, and expand safe sex education programs.
- Promote and expand science and art education programs that not only continue to inspire children to pursue their passions but also provide foundational mental faculties to think critically.
- Simplify voting by eliminating off-year elections voting (elections in-between midterms and the presidential) and making it easier to register by setting national standards. (c60 & c61)
- Create a comprehensive climate change plan everyone can support, which included investments in all forms of energy.
- Support healthy nutrition programs.
- Enact and support all policies that limit the disastrous effects of dark money into our elections. (c62)
- Abolish private prisons.
- Develop a comprehensive plan to increase voter turnout and support policies that increase more voters to the polls.
- Enact Paid Family Medical Leave.
- Work to develop a plan to heal racial and minority resentment in communities across our nation
- Create an action plan on how to communicate our issues to the common person, which the Republicans have this across every medium. (63)
Even if none of these positions can be advanced under our conservative government, then we will use this time to ingrain these ideas into the heads of millions of Americans who need to understand our platform’s issues, why they are important, and how they help in the easiest most direct way possible.
Mr. Trump tells us not to worry, but the unleashed authoritarian conservative rule combined with his rhetoric and beliefs have done nothing but terrify me about the future of this country, and I know I am not the only one. (c64 & c65)
I don’t mean to be hyperbolic, but many societies have faced this before, and it always seems to birth from a single individual who claims that they alone are the solution. (c66)
But what can be said and must be said is that when tyranny beckons, unity and vigilance will allow us to prevail against injustice.
I often try to find solace in America’s history due to our polarized time. (c67 & c68)
Walking out of Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin, the oldest and arguably the wisest member, was stopped by a woman and asked, “Mr. Franklin, what have you wrought?” He replied, “A Republic, madam, if you can keep it.” (c69)
Our institutions will be tested, our endurance will be needed, and nothing short of an unwavering belief that we are united is demanded. The spirit and enthusiasm from many groups across our country is a signal to all that we need to work harder than ever, while at the same time hoping that Mr. Trump will do his best to serve all Americans. (c70-72)
I agree with Mr. Trump that he and his party must govern well. (c73) Thus, the least we can do is hold Republican’s and Mr. Trump accountable and help them pursue our mutual goals.
- Allowing Puerto Rico to be admitted into the Union as the 51st state. (c50)
- Investing in our infrastructure. (c50)
- Investing in all forms of energy. (c50)
- Advancing and continuing investments in health care. (c50)
- Increased aid for the disabled and veterans. (c50)
- Renewing our commitment to our alliance with the European continent. (c50)
- Continued and increased investments in cyber security. (c50)
Our duty is not to encourage riots against Mr. Trump’s victory, this will not only play into his hand for “law and order” but also continue to plunge the country deeper into division, and we will only be sinking to his level (c74 and c75).
We Democrats have a truly arduous task a head of us. Our ideas take explaining. Our voters are diverse (c76). Our beliefs are vast. (c77) We must remember to fight for a progressive more inclusive America while addressing the concerns and needs of our people. We need to continue to recognize the persisting injustices of minorities and curate the type of electorate needed to forge a diverse and engaged coalition that can defeat Trumpism at the ballot box now and for the decades to come. Our work will take unity and vigilance, the only weapons we have against injustice.
- Published 11/16/2016