Getting rejected is never easy. It hurts. It makes us question our own self-worth. The American left just got rejected in favor of a womanizing, lying, racist, homophobic piece of you know what.
The shock and grief seem unbearable. Some folks have vowed to not spend one more minute in Trump’s America than they have to. #Blaxit (black exit) trended on Twitter for a good little while. Internet searches for Canadian immigration rules skyrocketed in the hours after Trump’s shocking victory. Even the stock market took a nosedive.
But before you make a run for the border, consider: This is our country too. So much was sacrificed so we could have a better life, right here. Some of those that came before us endured slavery, Jim Crow, lynching, black codes, genocide, sexism, operation wetback, COINTELPRO and countless other hardships. If we can thrive through all of that, surely President Trump won’t be the end of us, as long as we’re willing to stand and fight.
In a very short span of time our side might say “I told you so”, when the new president can’t deliver on his many vague and contradictory promises. And yes they are many. Here’s a short list of them.
- He promised to “build a wall.”
- Promised to create millions of new jobs.
- Pledged to deport more than 11 million undocumented people.
- Promised to bring back American manufacturing.
- He promised to repeal and replace Obamacare with “something terrific.”
- Said he would “bomb the hell out of ISIS.”
- Supported a ban on Muslim immigration.
- Said he would throw Hillary Clinton in jail.
- Promised to bring back the coal industry.
These are just a few. I tried to stick with to some of the more outrageous ones. Listing all of Trump’s promises would make this post waaaay too long.
How many of Trump’s promises are realistic? Very few. And he’s already backed down on jailing Hillary. The media will frame this as a softening the harsh tone of the campaign, but it wasn’t going to happen anyway.
We’re already bombing the hell out of ISIS. The Muslim ban is unconstitutional. The “border wall” is likely to morph into hiring a few more border agents and strengthening the fence.
However I do believe Obamacare is toast. So is Medicare and Medicaid. The replacements for these valuable programs will be anything but “terrific.” More like horrific.
President of Doom
Above and beyond his promises…when the smoke clears. President Trump is going to act like a typical tax cutting, deficit ballooning Republican. Either that or he’ll find himself impeached and thrown out of office.
There’s no way Trump will work with with Democrats to pass a massive spending bill on infrastructure. At least not a “clean one”. Trump’s spending proposals will feature poison pills like instant Obamacare repeal, or reinstating abortion restrictions. Even if he tried to do the right thing Republican leadership has the power to block him at every turn.
Any Democrat who cooperates with this mad man most likely will pay a price for it. The president will get all of the credit for any economic progress achieved over the next four years, not Democrats in Congress.(Not that I’m hoping for a bad economy). He will use the Democrats then toss them aside.
So what happens when the entire country is once again subjected to “trickle down economics?” Deep recession. But hopefully not a depression.
If you don’t buy what I’m saying just look at that trickle down paradise called the state of Kansas. They’ve experienced much slower economic growth than surrounding states. Unemployment is stubbornly high. School systems suffer due to the lack of funding. This is what happens when you cut both taxes and spending to the bone.
The new president’s plans to bring back manufacturing jobs is simple yet foolish. Trump wants to impose as much as a 35% tariff or tax on goods from China and Mexico. Surely this would hurt those two economies. But of course they will retaliate.
Why Trump Won
I’m not a talking head political analyst. But I think it’s easy to see why Donald Trump became president. Racial animosity runs much deeper in the American electorate than we knew. The so-called “forgotten man”was highly motivated to vote for a multi – billionaire. Trump was the only candidate from either party who spoke directly to their fears. Yes, fear is a great motivator. In 2016 rural white Americans voted like their life depended on it.
The other big reason for Trump’s triumph was the failure of the Clinton campaign. It never captured the hearts and minds of those it claimed to represent. I know Hillary Clinton is far from Barack Obama, but he and Michelle worked hard for her. They pushed for high black voter turnout. The same thing that swept Obama into office in 2008 and 2012. His words were powerful, forceful and inspired. But no matter what he said, people just could not see Hillary Clinton as an agent of change. Her track record and list of enemies were far too long.
“Stronger Together” doesn’t sound anything like “Hope and Change” or even “Make America Great Again.”
Black critics of Clinton’s weren’t willing to forgive her past. And they weren’t exactly giddy about her plans for the future. But like Obama said, it helps if people actually hear those plans.
Knowledge of policy was Hillary’s big advantage. Instead her campaign concentrated on Donald Trump’s retched character. She never learned how to tell people what her policies could do for them.
Clinton succeeded in connecting with older African Americans who were scared to death of President Trump. Folks like me. But younger blacks wanted more. When it comes to Hillary Clinton, they just weren’t impressed.
Don’t Underestimate Trump
One of the things that led to Trump’s shocking rise to power is the way folks are constantly underestimating him. I know the man seems like a blithering idiot to you and me, but his followers see him as a savior. They see his lack of experience as refreshing at a time when folks are sick of politicians.
Donald has other problems too. The kinds of issues that would kill any other politician. But either his fans don’t care about his racism or don’t believe its real. His wild promises are things they figure won’t actually happen, but it sounded good enough to get their votes. This man overcame 17 other supposedly well-qualified Republicans just to get the nomination. Had no get out the vote or “ground game” to speak of. The Clinton campaign outspent the Trump campaign by millions, and Trump still won.
Don’t expect a Trump “pivot.” In the days after the election media bent over backwards to make us see a normal transfer of power to a Trump White House. They gave him credit for the slightest hint of decency, normalcy or compromise. They’ve tried to normalize the fact that Trump has a rabid white supremacist as his main adviser. Don’t buy into this. This isn’t normal.
Gridlock Is Good
For eight years the GOP blocked most of President Obama’s reforms. A Republican controlled Congress voted to repeal Obamacare more than 50 times. Republicans in the Senate sat on, stalled or delayed so many of Obama’s judge appointments that it created a real crisis. In 2013 we had the longest government shutdown in recent memory.
And what price did Republicans pay for this obstruction? Nothing. In fact they prospered. These actions showed the folks back home that the party cared about its base. Democrats should retaliate in kind. Over the next four years Dems needs to stand up to Donald and show us they care.
Cooperating with the new president may seem like a good idea to more “centrist” Democrats up for re-election in 2018. But there‘s really no reason to help a president who lost the popular vote by such a wide margin. (Over One and a half million votes).
If we can’t stop President Trump’s agenda can’t entirely, we can at least get in the way. It’s important for Democrats to show that they don’t accept Trump’s illegitimate reign of terror. In this case gridlock is good.
Progressives need to take over the Democratic Party, not abandon it. Let’s be real for a second. Third parties have no chance in America. So if you’re thinking about supporting the Green Party, Libertarians or some others you need to realize that’s not a good option. Not if you want to battle President Trump. Your choice may be idealistic, but definitely not realistic.
The Democratic is in trouble, so its ripe for a takeover. Starting a major political party from the ground up is just too hard. It takes years of effort and billions in resources. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with bending established institutions to your will. It worked the far right. Why can’t the left do the same?
The grieving is over. It’s time to get to work. The Progressive movement must re-learn how to talk to working people. That means fighting for things like full employment. Standing up for labor unions. Being the voice of the voiceless. It means getting more folks involved at a grassroots level. We must stand up for progressive values. Fight voter ID. And reassure the millions who voted against Trump that all is not lost.
In short, the party needs to rediscover its “working class” roots, or it just might die. The media tells our side to calm down and give President Trump a chance. This is foolish. Donald Trump spent 18 months telling us exactly what kind of president he intends to be.
The majority of us want no part of Trump’s vision of a white nationalist America. We can’t forget the fact that Hillary Clinton, as flawed as she was, won the popular vote by at least one million votes. That proves that there are more of us than there are them. Even if we didn’t get our president, we hold so much power, we just have use it.