This will be my last column until Donald Trump assumes the presidency of the United States and becomes the most powerful person in the world. Well, actually in my opinion Mike Pence, poster child for Reaganomics and Christian supremacy, will be the actual mover behind Trump, but regardless Trump is the official head of state and this means so much.
As a leftist and not a liberal, I go with many of my fellow Americans into uncharted territory. Trump and his cabinet offer an array of threats we haven’t seen in a perfectly unique way like this. As the billionaires and millionaires put together our newest Congress, White House and Supreme Court, it will be up to progressives and Americans who believe in equality, diversity and justice to mount a counteroffensive never seen before in this country.
In Jane Mayer’s fascinating political book, “Dark Money,” she describes the government takeover the billionaires and millionaires have been orchestrating since the Reagan administration. They started brewing their libertarianism in the 1970s, mostly through Charles and David Koch and their affiliates. I am not some crazed paranoid sitting in my basement with pictures on my walls trying to pin point some type of hostile conspiracy. Unlike Alex Jones and the delusional right, there is actual evidence that the government has become overridden by the most powerful forces in our country. Namely: the defense industry, Big Pharma, the fossil fuel industry and the endless other ways that the rich have looked to privatize every facet of our life.
Libertarians and right wingers may call all of this crony capitalism and that the solution is to privatize and let the free market decide. Well, aside from the free market having never existed in human history, what evidence do they have that privatizing schools, bridges, roads and the telecommunications industry is going to magically solve all of our problems? It won’t. We’ve been deregulating and working with Reagonomics since the 1980s and since then we’ve had over shoring of jobs, extreme income inequality, further racial resentment, higher concentration of poverty, the crash of 2008 and the list goes on. This leads us to today when Trump, subservient to his own self-interest and to whoever speaks kindest to him, will unleash a plutocracy which has been corrupting and defiling our government for too long.
The idea that Trump is a populist gained momentum only because the media and the conservative establishment pushed that narrative. The media liked it because it set up a competition between Trump, the outsider, and Clinton, the insider. A true comparison but upon further inspection wholly taken out of the truer context. Trump is going to work for the GOP and its interests. The conservatives at first feared Trump because of his criticisms of establishment corruption and bad trade deals. Yet again, much of what he said about Iraq and TPP was correct. Unfortunately, Trump has no intention of actually remedying our horrific foreign policy disasters or strengthening our poor, working and middle classes.
The reality is encroaching an Orwellian scope. Countless politicians and columns just like mine have falsely used that word to describe “horrible” programs like extending Medicare for all citizens or making sure lead doesn’t poison children, but indeed this term is approaching a reality. One particular facet of an Orwellian fascist regime is the denial of the existence of truth. When Trump can as president- elect state hilarious claims like he won the popular vote by millions of votes but due to voter fraud Clinton is ahead by almost 2.5 million votes, we should be frightened by our future. Not because this has drastic consequences, other than undermining our very democracy, it sets a precedent for what is to come. Trump’s personality has been key to his success and now he will be tying it to a government incorporated.
Right now Republicans control 33 of the 34 legislatures needed to call a Constitutional Convention and destroy our democracy. Will they do worse than Citizens United? Will they destroy the Voting Rights Act once and for all? What are the billionaires planning to do with this new government which will be controlled across the board? Obama and the Democrats, aside from a select few, are looking on as spectators and not as involved and courageous fighters against injustice. Pelosi and Schumer as Democratic leaders is a disaster for the leftist movement. Obama exiting office as a meek and legacy destroyed president is unbearably disappointing and a sign for what’s to come. The Democratic Party has its vital signs showing and they aren’t looking good.
I would be more confident in our chances at winning this battle if it were not for the existing crises of environmental degradation and nuclear war. If Trump and the GOP are serious about shredding the weak but existing Paris Agreement and the Iran Deal, we are about to face possible ruination of the human species. Ignoring and worsening both climate change and nuclear war are sure to do us in. That is why we must resist, protest, learn and educate each in our own way.
We must see past the illusion of Trump and the billionaire class. This is about the survival of not only our country and its democracy, but planet Earth and our species. Will justice bend in favor of the world’s indigenous groups, environmental and social justice groups and the 99 percent, or will injustice rule with the mighty fist of the one percent? That is the ultimate battle as we forge the path forward.