Calm the hell down my good liberal friends.
America is not overnight going to be transformed into “The Apprentice,” let alone Nazi Germany. No matter how much President-elect Donald Trump wants to change things (if indeed he does), it won’t be easy.
No matter how much your not-so-liberal neighbor would like to see Trump fire a bunch of pissant bureaucrats like Walter Peck, the environmental enforcement agent from the third district who let loose the demons in the movie Ghostbusters, or send the Muslim neighbors down the street back to the Iraq, it ain’t gonna happen.
What many, maybe most of us, hate about government in this country – the entrenched, pencil-pushing, sometimes insensitive, sometimes seemingly brain-dead bureaucracy – is going to stall and frustrate him.
Nearly everyone in that bureaucracy is guaranteed to fight a fifth-column, rear-guard action to stop any change Trump wants to make simply because the ‘crats are human and humans, by and large, hate change.
No matter how much we might talk about wanting change, what most of us want is to wake up tomorrow knowing that the new day is going to be a lot like the old day. It’s not wrong or right. It’s human nature.
Given this reality, Trump’s most rabid supporters are the ones sure to end up disappointed with how little the new President accomplishes just as the most rabid supporters of President Barack Obama ended up so disappointed.
Consider the good, liberal view of Alternet.com leading into Obama’s fifth State of the Union address:
“Obama’s sweet talk has begun to turn sour—he has a long pattern of soaring rhetoric and empty promises followed by some fundamental failures to deliver. It is the lack of action, the hypocrisy, the talking the talk without walking the walk, that have made many progressives and liberals frustrated and angry.”
Not just frustrated, mind you, but “angry.”
The website actually put together a top 10 list of Obama actions that made liberals and progressives, whatever the latter term means, the angriest. It was headed by his “caver-in-chief leadership.”
Rest assured, we will hear something similar from conservative supporters of Trump before long. It’s inevitable. Not even a U.S. president can fight everyone all of the time. Battles must be chosen; compromises sometimes accepted.
It’s the Art of the Deal.
Trump has already hinted at this with his comments on the not-so-affordable national health insurance requirement strangely named the “Affordable Care Act,” or Obamacare as the critics of the still-sitting presidents like to call it.
Trump has several times now said he wants to save parts of the act, including guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. While that provision is commendable, throwing those with known health problems and predictably higher medical costs into the actuarial pool drives up the cost of insurance for everyone else.
It’s a sad reality that had today’s FoxBusiness.com headlining “Did Trump Just Endorse Obamacare’s ‘Most Harmful’ Provision?” The answer in the story below the headline was a simple yes, because that answer is unavoidable. Accepting all of the relatively few people with pre-existing conditions, means the majority of people will have to pay higher premiums.
But Trump is for maintaining a national health insurance requirement that protects them. He has now back pedaled enough on Obamacare that the Washington Times was today headlining “Donald Trump’s Obamacare stance in-line with GOP consensus, not a ‘flip-flop.'” Trump isn’t even in office yet and his mainstream defenders, few though they are, feel the need to protect him from the inevitable charge of hypocrisy.
That’s the way it goes for presidents.
Never good enough
Obama had a lot of liberal supporters in the American mainstream media. (As an aside here to media friends who want to argue that the media isn’t liberal, just shut up. The conservative or two to be found at your local newspaper, if one can be found, is a token of your “diversity,” not a representative of your group think. And if you can find me a conservative reporter (not a token commentator) working for your local public radio and TV station, I’ll happily buy you beers for a week.)
Obama’s mainstream media support probably helped create that idea among many that he was a hard-left, card-carrying liberal. The real view from the folks on that side?
“…Obama Was a Bad President for the Left…”
This comes from PasteMagazine.com, a left-leaning online arts and lifestyle publication.
Writer Jason Rhode took the Democratic National Committee to task for a video lauding Obama’s achievements as presidents. Rhode’s view?
“To be fair, he (Obama) was not without accomplishment: under the Pope of Hope, corporate profits scored a neat $1.7 trillion in the first quarter of 2016 alone and 2.6 million people, including women and children, had been deported by the Department of Homeland Security.
“If (the DNC) really wanted an accurate video record of his administration, they should have filmed two minutes of him sitting on his spineless ass doing nothing, then given the rest of the documentary time over to the Republicans to direct. The movie would be occasionally interrupted by Obama making a plaintive speech about bipartisanship, as unjailed bankers, Guantanamo guards, NSA workers, and drone pilots applauded and wept silently in the background.”
Oh yeah. Get down.
In all the post-election Trump-anoia has everyone forgotten who came before Trump?
Bernie Sanders, who ran way left of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary and almost beat her. The DNC apparently had to engage in some shenanigans to keep him off the ticket.
Sanders was Trump the First. He went so far around the political globe to the left that he almost met up with Trump speeding around the globe to the right. Admittedly, Sanders never specifically expressed a plan to “Make American Great Again,” the Trump pitch.
The plan of Sanders was “Save America.”
Save America from what?
Do you really need to ask that question? You know the answer:
The people running the country now.
Enough Americans believed enough in saving the U.S. from the existing leadership that they voted Trump into office. Now, it will be up to him to try to steer the supertanker of America onto a new course.
Good luck with that president-elect Donald Trump.
As for my good liberal friends, if you really want to do something here among your claims that Trump is a “bigot and a racist,” the best thing you can do is prepare to stand by anyone the Trump government decides to unfairly attack.
Kristallnacht, horrible as it was, didn’t succeed because of the Nazis. It succeeded because average Germans refused to stand up for their country men. If anything even close to that atrocity happens in this , I will join you in the streets.
I love a good fight.
Until then, calm the hell down. You’ve got a new president. He’ll likely end up being more like the old president than you ever imagined for one simple reason:
This the way things have worked in American politics for a long time now.
Categories: Commentary, Politics
We have so many checks and balances and choke points in our government that the idea that Trump could become another Hitler is quite a stretch. That kind of leadership requires the same thing the Soviets had (and North Korea still suffers from): top down government. You have to have state, county and city governments all taking their orders from the glorious leader, plus the legislative branch and the courts. Good luck making that happen in America. He’s about to get a rude awakening regarding just how limited his reach will be.
It’s the unleashing of white nationalist rage that concerns me far more. That free agent hate can manifest itself in violence pretty easily. I was in India when the Hindu nationalists got stirred up by the BJP and went wild with the killing of Muslims. I don’t see mob violence here, the social conditions don’t favor it. But when the lone nut or the small group of crazies start feeling that they’ve got a president on their side they will be less inhibited than they might have been under, say, a President Kasich. Trump is in too deep with the alt-right to lead the country away from that stuff, so that job is on the rest of us.
As for his impending presidency, I think the best analogy would be Silvio Berlusconi. He’s as corrupt and buffoonish as can be. I suspect the main feature of the next four years will be chaos. I just hope we don’t have a major crisis. He won’t have the skill set to handle it.
My ten cents.
The Nazis succeeded because of a perfect storm: xenophobic propaganda, economic promises, political apathy, intimidation, poverty, and more. Sounds familiar?
“Wait and see” until there are “minor” atrocities is a very dangerous proposal. By then, it may be too late.
the Nazis succeeded because the German economy was in chaos and because they had a plan and a well-organized political team. the U.S. economy is not in chaos. Trump really seems to have no plan, and his team certainly isn’t very well organized. obviously that could change, but there is no sign of it yet. still, i am stocking up on ammunition, bearly, in case there’s a government organized attempt to smash or burn the homes of my neighbors or kill any of them because they happen to be Jewish, gay, Muslim, Catholic or Democrats, there will be bullets flying if that happens. the revolutionaries who founded the country penned the Second Amendment for a reason. and they penned the First Amendment so happily we’ll never have to resort to the Second. so go rant about Trump some more; it’s you’re right and duty as an American. but at this point, it’s still my view it’s not worth much energy.
Politics today is like the wolf controversy: I know what I know, don’t bother me with facts (or independent thinking.) WeR a label, get votes, wear abother label, get different votes.
How many record highs did the Dow Jones Industrial average set during the week after each election that Obama won? None. Since Trump won the election the DJI is setting new highs most every day. Apparently Wall Street doesn’t think Trump will be the end of the world.
False equivalency. If you recall, the economy was in the shitter when Obama took over.
And the DJI has been going up (reaching new highs) ever since early 2009 after he was elected the first time.
the problem, Doug, is that the recovery has been less than great and horribly unequal. some places are booming, Portland being one. others are still struggling, seriously struggling. i think you could probably look at one of those network maps of states Trump won and states Clinton won and get a good idea of the economics of this.
Yes, I realize, Craig, why people in certain areas are more susceptible to Trump’s “Only I can fix it” BS. Just addressing Tim’s assumption that the market performed so much better for his candidate. I think it would have probably gone up no matter who won because the market hates uncertainty (hence the volatility before the election), and then the election was finally over.
This grand mal hissy fit we’re watching may get worse before it gets better as foreign “Democracy Alliance” money pours in. The good fight has just begun.
The scary thing about Peter Porco’s post is not what he said but who he is: a professor of English at the University of Alaska Anchorage with unrestricted access to the raw material of our future: young minds.
Well, I confess to being among those who needed to calm down. I hope I have by now. Although I’m not sanguine. The election of DJ Trump is not just a shock, a body blow to the psyches of liberals and many centrists. It’s also incredibly disturbing and, even before he announced that Stephen K. Bannon would play a key role in his Administration, it’s disgusting, in a literal sense. Nausea — the impulse to vomit — is a healthy response to his triumph. More about this in a moment.
The man’s entire campaign and now presidency-elect has become the poster event for Godwin’s law. Never before that I can remember have parallels between a presidential candidate and the rise of Hitler and the Nazis been so frequently cited, rightly or wrongly. Even George Wallace in ’68 (the first year I voted for president) did not come close, and he was often called a nazi and worse (“Wallace Fascismo” is one 72-point headline I remember seeing on a lefty newspaper). This election season, even Mike Godwin himself weighed in on how often Trump was being called a Hitler, and Godwin wrote about it back in December [link below]! The problem in charging Trump with bringing National Socialism to America is the danger of crying wolf too many times. (“Calm down, my liberal friends.”) It’s going to become meaningless, and the fact is, while there are similarities, if fascism comes to America through DJ Trump, it will not look like it did in the 1930s. We are vastly different than Germany at the time — far more stable and even sclerotic, as you point out. We do have our own fascistic elements (the racism and ethnic hatreds that are very evident right now being among the more prominent ones), but that doesn’t mean they will win the day, even under him (truly I doubt that will happen, because we are still a basically good people, but I admit to being a trifle nervous). So yes, it’s a good idea to back off on the Hitler comparisons (although I would urge everyone to study the origins and successes of Nazism for their cautionary value alone) and instead let’s focus on real things happening. We need to be wide-eyed, not in fear but in vigilance. I for one am expecting the most vigorous journalism possible to be practiced by the admittedly and thankfully left-of-center press.
That still leaves the awful, rotten taste in our mouths. Because even if Trump is more or less hamstrung by the organs & systems of the government, as you said (and as I agree with to some extent), it is still very much the case that a president sets the tone and exerts an emotional, psychological, moral, spiritual impact even if he doesn’t sign a single bill or appoint a single judge. This is the figure-head aspect of our chief executive. A president is not a king but in this sense he is like royalty. He represents us, not just to the world but to each other and to ourselves. The problem is that DJ Trump has stomped around in the sewers all during the campaign. He brought up the drek and is now stomping on our national pride, our self-worth as Americans. The man stands for the worst aspects of human beings (which is why it’s no surprise that racists and sexists have come roaring out of the woodwork since Tuesday). They were always there but now they feel a certain legitimacy and cover from one who will be the most powerful person around. Trump’s appointment of arch disinformation peddler Bannon to an important post signals that certain characteristics of the ugly campaign will be with us for at least four years. As I said, nausea is the proper response.
[I don’t know how to use hot links in WordPress, so here is the link to Mike Godwin’s account published in Wash Post in December — https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/12/14/sure-call-trump-a-nazi-just-make-sure-you-know-what-youre-talking-about/?postshare=6511461526913715&tid=ss_mail ]
[Also, since you also posted on Facebook, I’ll put up my response there too.]
Yeah, we don’t want young minds to be learning to think or anything like that…that is scary!
Hrrm, that’s supposed to be a reply to Frank…
As long as I’m here though, yes, the appointment of Bannon is a bad sign of possible things to come. And that so many think Breitbart is real news, is sad and scary.
but Peter, did you ever think that the “sense he (or someone) is royalty” is exactly what American’s voted against? is it possible they just wanted a shit-talking, verbal-bomb-throwing Tweeter-in-chief?
the worst aspects of human beings? i don’t know. he sounds like just another trash-talking NFL player and there are a small legion of those out there. does the NFL thus represent the worst aspects of human beings?
i’ll pass on Bannon. the more i read about the guy the less i know what to think. if i believed he was serious about the things he has said about the economics of this country, i might like him.
do you really think this
“I’m a very practical, pragmatic capitalist. I was trained at Goldman Sachs, I went to Harvard Business School, I was as hard-nosed a capitalist as you get. I specialized in media, in investing in media companies, and it’s a very, very tough environment. And you’ve had a fairly good track record. So I don’t want this to kinda sound namby-pamby, “Let’s all hold hands and sing ‘Kumbaya’ around capitalism.”
“But there’s a strand of capitalism today — two strands of it, that are very disturbing.
“One is state-sponsored capitalism. And that’s the capitalism you see in China and Russia. I believe it’s what Holy Father [Pope Francis] has seen for most of his life in places like Argentina, where you have this kind of crony capitalism of people that are involved with these military powers-that-be in the government, and it forms a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people. And it doesn’t spread the tremendous value creation throughout broader distribution patterns that were seen really in the 20th century.
“The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism. And, look, I’m a big believer in a lot of libertarianism. I have many many friends that’s a very big part of the conservative movement — whether it’s the UKIP movement in England, it’s many of the underpinnings of the populist movement in Europe, and particularly in the United States.
“However, that form of capitalism is quite different when you really look at it to what I call the “enlightened capitalism” of the Judeo-Christian West. It is a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost — as many of the precepts of Marx — and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they’re really finding quite attractive. And if they don’t see another alternative, it’s going to be an alternative that they gravitate to under this kind of rubric of “personal freedom.””
there’s more here if you haven’t already read this Bannon transcript. it is interesting. some of it is off-putting; other parts aren’t.