Op-Eds Speaking Truth to the Powers-That-Be
Last night, millions of Americans came at the American political system with a sledgehammer, from the Right and Left. Through their circular firing squad of outrage emerged President Donald J. Trump.
There will be a ton of post-mortems as to how the pollsters, the media, and the nation’s top political operatives all missed the fusion of outrage from the Leave-It-to-Beaverists who want a white, right America, and the angry Berniecrats who either didn’t vote or Nadered Team Clinton with a vote for Gary Johnson, were missed in forecasts and commentary.
The day has dawned. Canada’s immigration information servers crashed. So, apparently, did the Dow Futures, enough to cause a circuit breaker to halt overnight trading, and the world’s markets will react with greater alarm than they did at the Brexit decision, because America, helmed by a racist, an inveterate liar, a vengeful and unhinged person whom his campaign barely steered out of imploding himself, will be remodeling 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in January.
America will unlikely remain the leader of the free world. Trump has put a price tag on freedom for our NATO partners, which will have political reactions as more of the free world looks, most likely, to Germany and the EU as a reasonably stable political environment.
The stock market will rebalance after time, if Brexit is any indicator. Like the UK, though, our currency, long considered the bedrock of world commerce, has its value very much in question as every other country assesses the possibility of what a President Trump could do to it.
CNN Money estimates that Trump’s policies, if enacted, could cost the economy $1 Trillion to “Make America Great Again.”
Trump campaigned on an anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim platform, to keep America ‘safe.’
If he acts on it, as his red-meat fans will expect, we can expect that ISIS will find more fertile ground in young, alienated Muslims here at home. Round people up, turn our fellow citizens into suspects, and we may understand life in Tel Aviv a lot better, with metal detectors at malls, and attacks on public transit and infrastructure more motivated by people who have become second-class citizens in their own land.
Should Trump move to deport millions of illegal immigrants, as he proposes, opposition, perhaps violent, will spring up as people being sent back to the villages and towns of Central and South America with death squads have little to lose. That, in turn, will bring out more of the militia types which Trump so assiduously refused to disavow.
The good news? It’s great business for the gun lobby, and, oh yes, the FBI, who will be tasked with surveillance of these self-inflicted radicals, and only decelerate the internal civil liberty of millions of Americans. Terror, which Trump will need to fuel his re-election campaign, and strengthen his calls for more and more extreme treatment of ‘domestic terrorists’ is an almost predictable outcome. Instead of toning down America’s already over-militarized police forces, expect them to continue to battle harden for the ‘enemy within.’
There are those who believe that Trump, who has never been answerable to a shareholder, let alone a constituent, will surround himself with good people, great people, THE BEST people. Believe me.
Yet most of those ‘best people,’ have called him a clear and present danger in both the domestic and foreign policy that he has espoused thus far. They assume that rational, sane people around him will put the brakes on his most base and irrational instincts. He has threatened to fire top generals, without a clear idea as to how the military works. Yet who would those advisors be? Stephen Bannon, Trump’s campaign CEO, the pro-fascist neo-nazi cheerleader of Breitbart News? Rudy Giuliani, the former New York Mayor and failed presidential candidate leading anti-Clinton “lock her up” chants at Trump rallies as Attorney General?
As Rachel Maddow so aptly observed on MSNBC last night, Trump’s message to the various factions of the Republican Party was that moderation doesn’t win you elections. Radicalism does. It will likely embolden even more governors, state senators, and congressmen to become even more open about their hatreds of immigrants, Jews, Muslims, African-Americans, and other people of color.
Last night was not a “throw the bums out” election, because the same people who exported jobs under George W. Bush from this country, and lead the charge into Iraq, Afghanistan, and overheated the economy until it collapsed in 2009, Republicans of all stripes, are now firmly in charge of all of the branches of government. In effect, Trump supporters, knowingly or unwittingly, threw the bums IN, in a way that has never been seen before in U.S. history.
The blame cannot all be placed at the feet of Donald J. Trump, or the Republicans, though. The Democratic Party failed epically last night. It picked an insider, technocratic candidate for an election needing outsider edge. Bernie Sanders was squashed by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who, ironically, was re-elected last night by her district. Even though so many of Bernie’s policies were equally unfeasible, as he had no plan of action to figure out how to sell a liberal agenda in one of the most radically conservative Congresses since Reconstruction, blowing him up pulled the millennial vote out from under Mrs. Clinton. Hillary was not liked by white, working class voters, who also cut her, and the Democrats off at the knees.
Likewise the mainstream media not only did not get most of the coverage right, and certainly the polling, but they have failed miserably to understand that the Right’s machine has fabricated its own alternate reality, and that millions of Americans live in it. How many newspapers, including some of the most established conservative voices in America, not only refuse to endorse Donald Trump, but call him a danger to our democracy? A narcissist? A fascist?
What was once “Drill baby, Drill” is now “Burn, baby, burn.”
Donald Trump will deliver government demolition, in spades. Grover Norquist got his decades-long wish last night: Lady Liberty was just drowned in the bathtub. Regress, not progress, is the American agenda this morning, and America’s reactionaries are going to party like it’s 1899.
Vengeful, ill-tempered, ignorant of the workings of democracy and the constitution, Trump will be given the kind of power that people like him should never have. His Congress just got the message that there is a green light to do the kinds of things that they only whisper about before they get on a campaign stage, or in front of the TV cameras.
Democrats are in little or no position to stop it. The only hope, and it is a slim one, is that Republicans, left to their devices, will prove the fatal flaws in their political reality so profoundly that, in the next two elections, they will demonstrate, as “trickle down” and other schemes-of-the-rich have done in the past, the financial, ethical, and political bankruptcy of their policies.
The sun rose over where you live. Traffic was bad. The potholes are still there. People are going about their daily routines. Yet you did not wake up to the same America this morning.
A fascist is about to take over the White House and preside, unapologetically, over an even more divided America than yesterday, with the clear intent of preferring white, conservative America, at the expense of those with whom they do not agree, most notably progressives, people of color, the LGBTQ community, and empowered women.
Trump has a Congress that is entirely at his disposal. He has shown them a new, even darker path to victory. He will have at least one Supreme Court nomination, or possibly four, that could turn the only other safety switch for democracy into a rubber stamp for the most extreme political views of this nation for decades to come.
Meanwhile we wait to see the first ICE deportation trucks roll into neighborhoods, or the first shopping mall bomber bring a handful of crazy people’s war abroad to the lunatics who are now running America.
E Pluribus, Unum. Out of many, one?
Not in Trumpland.
Originally published at The Huffington Post.