Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Thanks, Donald.

This wave of intense anti-Trump sentiment seems familiar... The pledges to obstruct everything he wants to do, calling him a tyrant, a fascist, evil incarnate, will destroy the country if elected!

We've heard this for the last 8 years. People said the exact same things about President Obama. Republicans called him a dictator, pledged to obstruct him no matter what, and refused to compromise even a little bit.

Of late, I have to wonder if this reaction to Trump is justified. The Right demonized Obama to the point of making him into a cartoon villain, but he certainly wasn't one. Now the Left is doing the same thing to Trump. Does that mean he isn't as bad as we think?

Does the Left want to be as obstructionist as the Right has been? All the things I hated about Republicans over the last 8 years... Democrats are hellbent on going down the same path of deadlocked no-compromise absolutism we've been on for most of Obama's term, and I don't like this direction.

Both sides can't be obstructionist forever. Something has to break at some point.

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He will probably not turn out to be as bad as we feared. Politicians hardly ever keep their promises once in office, so I don't think we have much to fear, but he is still a Republican, and Republicans stand for the same things they have for decades: supply-side economics, tax breaks for the rich, profit at any cost.

We fear what he will do once in office, but what if he said only what he needed to say to get elected? What if we fell into the trap of listening to the soundbites, letting the pundits demonize him just as they demonized Obama, and not actually listening to him? Let's ignore that for a moment and take a look at what actually happened. The racism, the sexism, the "fascist" appeal of his campaign, all of that could easily have been taken out of context and blown out of proportion, but that isn't even important.

Republicans are in control of both houses, and most state governments. Trump is filling his cabinet with cronies and conservative rich people who will perpetuate the business agenda. Setting aside the fear and hype, that's all that happened. We can and must stand against that.

I agree with Robert Reich about many things. Chief among them is that the Democratic party needs to embrace a progressive agenda if it wants to be seen as any kind of alternative to the Republicans. Maybe I'll live to see the day when neoliberalism can no longer hide from the general public.

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