Monday, December 12, 2016
Democracy exists by the consent of the governed but balances itself like a fiddler on the roof. It is, I think, especially so, in this nation marked by the size of its land mass and huge numbers of its population. The fact that it has held together this long with many diverse interests vying for power I attribute to the miraculous genius of our Founders.
The Civil War era chaos that threatened to pull the nation apart presented no guarantee the union would survive. The secessionists of the south, at least in the beginning, took the military advantage and the pivotal social construct of slavery, the rationale for which the war was in large part fought, would not to go down with ease. In fact, with the fight to end slavery many whites in the north refused to take up the union cause and there were draft riots in NYC.
Race and racism in these United States has been, was and still is woven into the dark soul of this nation. Clearly, we are NOT a "post racialist society" as the Supreme Court almost laughably, if it were not so serious, used as the rationale to gut the Voting Rights Act which ensured voting rights to millions of persons of color. Literacy tests once a requirement in the south to vote and used against persons of color are now replaced by other Republican voter suppression techniques which serve to do the same and suppress the minority vote. Most assuredly, the election of Donald Trump is evidence that the issue of race has not gone away and Trump was at least smart enough to understand how to use it. One cannot separate racism from the tapestry of this country. It is sadly in the marrow of the nation's bones. The question before us is will we now ever be able to become a post racial society as over time one protection after the next to create a more level playing field is being legally undone by Republicans in both state legislatures and at the federal level.
Trump capitalized on the animus that sat seething in the rust belt and other areas of the nation since the Great Recession of 2007 as jobs are sent by big companies to other nations whose labor costs are significantly lower. He knew a resentment existed, too, among whites that immigrants undocumented and otherwise, persons of color and Muslims fleeing nations on which this nation made war were at the heart of white rage. Trump used that resentment and played unapologetically and charismatically to it.
Trump has no intention, as one can observe now, by his choice of potential cabinet nominees of ever bringing jobs back by levying taxes on companies that send jobs overseas or by taxing the rich. To the contrary the former Democrat Trump turned Republican allies with those Republicans who want to gut social safety nets constructed during FDR's New Deal to ameliorate the devastation of the Great Depression and crafted over the decades to include Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor. If safety nets are removed millions of middle class, the poor, the elderly, the sick and the disabled will die as healthcare becomes even more unaffordable and the oligarchs like Trump and his 1% will care nothing if they do. Our healthcare and, indeed, our retirement will be held hostage to the whims of Wall Street. What the market giveth it can taketh away but Trump's minions are not savvy enough to understand that the capitalist system has great booms and bust flaws intrinsic within it and it cares nothing for the welfare of those who through no fault of their own need help to survive. It is the rationale for government to help but with Trump it will be government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich exactly what induced the Great Recession under Bush.
We are and will continue to be an oligarchy ruled, bought and sold by the 1%. Trump lied to millions of his supporters that the end of government corruption through lobbyists was near and that the he will drain the swamp. By not revealing his taxes he proved he has something to hide as audits are no excuse against tax revelation. Thus, I aver, he IS the swamp and most probably paid no taxes over decades. In fact, Nirvana for the 1% is just beginning as he floods his cabinet with oil magnates, generals and Goldman Sachs retreads. Watch while the anemic but important regulation of Wall Street goes into the ash bin of Trump history. What could possibly go wrong? Elections have consequences and those that voted for Trump will be hurt the most by him.
Trump has lied and still does lie his way into power and used the cruel, dark and hateful forces that have always subliminally and sometimes not so subliminally existed in this nation to his advantage. Shockingly he took the White House. So much had been achieved over so long a period of time for the middle class, the poor, the sick, the elderly and the disabled of this nation but now stands to be erased in a heartbeat unless we the champions of the middle class and the poor of this nation fight for their cause and ours.
Yes, we take democracy for granted but one surely can now see how it can be undone and will, through the insanity of the 2016 Trump election when the most unqualified candidate in our nation's history occupies arguably the most powerful office in the world. All the social good crafted over decades, indeed a century, for the middle class, the elderly, the disabled and the poor will be undone by the greatest con ever sold.