Ken Krobb at the Bureau of Public Secrets proposes that we can take heart in Trump’s election, which he suggests will hasten the demise of the Republican Party. “…It’s going to be like the proverbial dog chasing a car: what happens if the dog actually catches the car?” With the Republican monopoly of power, there’ll be no one else to blame when they actually have to deliver on their empty promises and can’t accomplish anything.
For instance, if they succeed in dismantling Obamacare, it is pretty clear they won’t be able to come up with some pie-in-the sky superior plan, and they will leave 22 million voters, newly insured under Obamacare, back to their previous uninsured situation.
But so what? Obamacare was admittedly never that popular anyway. How about the most popular social programs in America for decades, social security and Medicare, which Paul Ryan wants to dismantle? As Eisenhower famously noted,
“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group of course that believes you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
Well, no longer negligible, at least.
Even though Trump’s fanatic base may think they have won a victory against reproductive rights and marriage equality, they are increasingly out of step with the positions of a majority of Americans on those issues. Dismantling existing rights in those spheres and sending us back to the chaos of “leaving it to the states” would be a logistical nightmare… with a backlash, hopefully.
Racism has been a core canon of the Republican Party since Nixon’s “southern strategy” in the 60s, but now it is out in the open rather than covert and deniable. Fervent Trump supporters are already supporting their newfound mandate by viciously harassing and threatening people of color in his name. The Trump Republican Party is going to have to own that, to its shame and detriment.
“[The Republican] party was already heading toward a civil war between its mutually contradictory components (financial elite, tea party, neocons, libertarians, religious reactionaries, and the few remaining moderates). To those general divisions are now added the antagonisms between the new Leader and those who oppose him. Bush at least had sense enough to know that he was an incompetent figurehead, and gladly let Cheney and Rove run things. Trump thinks he’s a genius, and anyone who doesn’t agree will be added to his already very large enemies list.”
And the whole show is so public. With the whole world scrutinizing “President Ubu and his Clown Car administration,” all Republicans will be tarred by association with his inanities, backtracking and failures. “You’re no longer in the Republican Party, you’re in the Trump Party. You bought it, you own it.”
Everyone takes it as a given that responding to this bizarre situation will strengthen the rise of new movements of protest and resistance. With the Republican monopoly control of the government, even those who normally focus on electoral politics must realize that for some time to come the main efforts for political change will be outside the parties and outside the government; “it will be grassroots participatory action or nothing.” And everyone seems to recognize that the defense of those most threatened by the new regime — people of color, Muslims, LGBTQs, Jews, the disabled — will be a strong priority.
“But we will also need to defend ourselves. The first step in resisting this regime is to avoid getting too caught up with it — obsessively following the latest news about it and impulsively reacting to each new outrage. That kind of compulsive media consumption was part of what led to this situation in the first place. Let’s treat this clown show with the contempt it deserves and not forget the fundamental things that still apply — picking our battles, but also continuing to nourish the personal relations and creative activities that make life worthwhile in the first place. Otherwise, what will we be defending?”
So this disaster will hopefully shock people into coming together to care better for one another and themselves and addressing the looming crises of the coming decades more wholeheartedly and with far fewer illusory hopes that the existing system will save us.
[When the Southern racist George Wallace ran for President in 1968, there was an oft-stated scurrilous wish from some on the Left that he succeed, so as to bring on the Revolution. Of course, what we mean these days by Revolution is a little different, but now, nearly fifty years later, Could it finally come to pass? Krobb is not the only one pointing out that this may be the worm that eats itself, and the last gasp of the misogynist white gerontocracy in American politics, dare one hope –FmH]