It would be both gratifying and justified to point our collective fingers at all those who voted for Trump in hopes that he would actually make good on his grandiose promises to make their lives great again and rejoice in the fact that they have been double-crossed. However it would also be futile and self-destructive and therefore we must refrain from such action and continue to persist and resist in hopes that the disillusioned will draw their own conclusions in due time. The politics of diversion, deflection, and division have only served to solidify the deep polarization that affords Trump the ability to avoid his responsibilities and we must not play into his trap.
We are in the midst of a developing crisis that will require a firm and resolute plan of action to mitigate the disastrous impacts that Trumpism will inflict upon both the nation and the world. It is often said that you can tell a man’s priorities by looking at his check book. Well, the budget released by the Administration this past week clearly shows that our priorities will be in the arenas of brute force and expanding inequality. We must forge a coalition of left and moderate elements to illuminate the destructive forces being unleashed in the name of change.
Defense spending, tax cuts for the wealthy, worshipping at the altar of an unregulated free-market, and a precipitous turn inwards will likely be the hallmarks of the direction and vision laid forth by the President. Even after Congress tinkers with the draconian cuts envisioned in this incomplete, incompetent, and incomprehensible blueprint that reveals in simplistic fashion the lack of seriousness exhibited by our pinheaded president, the damage will be significant.
The divisiveness that is inherent in the budgetary outline presented to the nation last week is intentional and devious. We must resist not only its direction but the overwhelming desire to further alienate the growing segment of the electorate that is beginning to appreciate the extent of buyer’s remorse that most polling data indicates is setting in.
To the rigid base of Trump support we must simply avert our eyes, but to the growing proportion of individuals who are feeling some degree of guilt and embarrassment that they were duped by the Great Pretender we must cultivate them into the resistance movement. The town hall movement that was so assiduously used by the Tea Partiers in the summer of 2010 to stoke a groundswell of obstruction needs to be replicated by the left, center left, center and moderate Republican constituencies in a cohesive policy platform designed to hold true to the promises offered by Trump during the last election. Many of those promises struck a responsive chord with traditional Democrats, just because he offered them does not mean they were not positive goals to reach for.
With respect to health care reform we must join forces to pursue a health care platform that will ensure greater access, lesser costs, and fuller coverage. On these principles we should all be able to agree. On the jobs front we should all be able to agree that a massive infrastructure program designed to create good paying wages/jobs and structural improvements in our cities and states is a desired product. On the equality front we should all be able to agree that the resurrection of a distributive set of tax policies that will invigorate and expand the middle class is a desired goal. These are all positive things, the trick is offering a way to actually accomplish them.
Trump went to middle America and promised these things in general terms and the people bought the pitch. It is now up to the Democrats to offer a blueprint of programs and polices to help deliver them. The Republicans are overreaching on health care and are growing weary of a President lacking vision, intelligence, and stamina with respect to governance. If we pull together a program that reaches out to a significant portion of both Republican and disaffected Democratic voters who mistakenly gave Trump the benefit of the doubt during the election we should be able to exert enough pressure on Congress to thwart the half-baked proposals emanating from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
I am aware of the intense predilection to cast stones at those who thought they were getting a stalwart change agent when they cast their votes for Trump, but I simply do not believe they are willing to embrace the chaos that is currently upon us. Our goals as patriots, our goals as compassionate citizens, our goals as a world-class leading force must be to push for positive changes that will ultimately strengthen us more than any combination of increased military spending or corporate welfare. And while we may need to be patient in our ability to effectuate such change in the short- term, setting the stage for dramatic shifts in the mid-term elections is not only possible but probable.
In this quest I believe the wildly intemperate proclivities of an unhinged President and the incompetence of government leaders unparalleled in the history of the Republic will greatly assist in the rapid and inevitable demise of this wayward populist experiment. A strategic and tactical game plan must rely upon expanding our reach not narrowing it.