Hopefully it has become apparent to those who have been reading my blog for a while that the last four posts have focused on the election of Donald Trump. This will likely remain my focus for sometime because it is my humble but honest opinion that this self-centered man’s election is a prelude to democracy’s decline.
Thus each post from here out will be part of what I’ll refer to as The Trump Chronicles. Monday’s post will be number 5 and all following post will be numerically and chronologically labeled. Each post will follow the actions of the president-elect and his coterie to establish a pattern on how he intends to lead and change things that his campaign claimed would “Make America Great Again”.
At Woodgate’s View I have always tried to offer a diverse menu of topics. But the dangerous precedent the voters have set by putting this demagogue in office needs all of our full attention. The only way we can block many of the changes Trump’s administration will attempt is to constantly spotlight those that will hurt low and middle-income families. Changes that could pose a threat to our economic welfare and diminish our once credible standing in the world community.
Now that the alt-right and the corporate interest have lodged their man in the most powerful seat in the world, it will take enormous public energy to pry him out of it.
The concern here is that since the Powell Manifesto came into being back in 1971, influencing the US Chamber of Commerce and others, a concerted effort began by “building a powerful array of institutions designed to shift public attitudes and beliefs over the course of years and decades”. The strong middle class that had evolved from FDR’s efforts following WWII began to be chipped away at by these efforts, first by the neoconservatives of that era and ultimately by the neoliberal philosophy of Bill Clinton and the status quo Democrats of the late 1980’s and the 1990’s.
From this breakdown of the social democratic policies that had elevated a large population out of poverty and established an economy with a living wage for most workers, companies started sending manufacturing jobs overseas to cheaper labor markets and with Reagan’s trickle down economic policies followed later by deregulations benefitting powerful special interest, especially in finance, income disparity began to grow to levels not seen since the Gilded Age – a period of history that many in the alt-right movement today would like to take us back to. An era with less government oversight of powerful moneyed interests that formed corrupt monopolies and where white male dominance prevailed
Trump’s success however is worthy of note because even though the man himself is offensive to decency and common interests, his election was as much a rejection of the status quo candidacy of Hillary Clinton as it was a testament to the power of fake news and the timely leaks of Clinton’s emails
Clearly the loyal opposition will need to confront this reality and find an attractive candidate that will bring back those voters they lost to the Trump camp this year. A genuine down-to-earth candidate that has a track record supporting bread and butter issues for working class Americans
Thus The Trump Chronicles will not only post opinions that are fact-based on where I think Trump is taking us, but it will also cast a critical eye at the Democratic Party to see if they had their ass kicked bad enough this year to do a reversal on what brought them to their demoralizing defeat and start finding candidates that support middle-income, working class values.
I encourage all thoughts about these Chronicles and hope that the opposition will offer civil, thoughtful dialogue. This should not be an echo chamber for the Left but a venue where critical points of view, devoid of ideology, can be expressed as we try to avoid losing our democracy to an oligarchy.
And with that thought let me close now with a quote from historian David Kaiser that I think is spot on about how we found ourselves at this point in time.
“Trump … only became a successful businessman, a tv celebrity, and a presidential candidate because of the bankruptcy of our institutions and values. A sound financial system would have put him out of business decades ago, a healthy culture would have had no place for him, and he would never have been nominated in an age of strong political parties. We have left ourselves vulnerable to a demagogue like him. He will decide what the consequences will be.” – historian David Kaiser