Sorry, we can’t Play Nice anymore

This election has been an unmitigated disaster for progressives, and there is no way to sugarcoat it. We got the Captain of the Clown Car, and we didn’t even take back the Senate. So, the Republicans now have every branch of government, and they will be able to appoint the Supreme Court Justices that they want. Their intransigence has been rewarded: they refused to consider Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland on the very low probability that Trump might win the election, and now that low probability event has come true.

Over the next four years, Trump will be able to do a lot of damages to this country. As set forth very nicely in an article by Michael Cohen:

Obamacare and the 20 million Americans who have received access to health care because of it — gone. Roe v. Wade — likely to be overturned by a Supreme Court shaped by justices that Trump gets to nominate to the highest court in the land. The social safety net — almost certainly will be further cut to shreds by a Republican Congress that has no interest in the plight of the same working class that elected Trump Tuesday night. Climate change — unaddressed as our planet becomes increasingly uninhabitable for millions of people. What about criminal justice reform, gun control legislation or voting rights reform? One can expect to see an expansion of gun rights, more efforts to suppress voting rights (seeing as it worked so effectively for Republicans in 2016) and no federal effort to eliminate the scourge of police shootings or the structural racism that is endemic to our justice system.

For Muslims — a ban from entering the United States; for undocumented immigrants — deportation and untold suffering for millions; for Jews, Asians and nonwhites, in general, a now-palpable fear of being targeted by Trump’s menacing supporters and even the president himself. For journalists, we’ve lost the security that the First Amendment can truly protect us from a vengeful, embittered, and authoritarian-minded leader.

Internationally, the consequences could be catastrophic. For starters, a resurgent Russia unchecked by the United States and a now suddenly neutered NATO, incapable of fully protecting the Baltic States on Russia’s northeastern border. Next, a global trade war that could spark a global economic recession, the scrapping of the Iran nuclear deal, and perhaps even a rollback of improved diplomatic relations with Cuba. The liberal international order that has sustained American power — and global peace and security — for decades is more at risk than any point since the end of the Cold War.

Over the next several weeks and months, commentators and media types will tell you that we need to come together and heal the nation. Don’t you believe it. The reason we’re here is that for the last 25 years Fox News and right wing talk radio have been feeding middle America an unrelenting dose of propaganda – a little subtler and more voluntary, but not unlike what happens in North Korea – and our white working class has become incoherently enraged because of it. They know that they’re enraged but they don’t know why. Oh sure, many of them have seen manufacturing jobs depart their communities, but whose fault is that? It’s the fault of large corporations who found it more economical to have products manufactured in Third World countries and then shipped back into the United States. Trade agreements did not make that happen, they just made things a little smoother. And it was their Republican politicians, friends of big business and the Chambers of Commerce, that allowed those things to happen.[1]

No matter what Donald Trump tells them, lost manufacturing jobs are not coming back to the United States.

Meanwhile, over the last eight years, the Republicans have pursued a program of unrelenting opposition to anything that Obama tried to achieve. From the moment that Mitch McConnell publicly announced their intention to make Obama a one-term President, they have obstructed him at every turn.

More recently Donald Trump has run the most mean-spirited insult driven Presidential campaign in modern memory. He’s been the “fuck you” candidate and the people have loved it. My one fear all along is that the pollsters were undercounting the Trump constituency, because many of those cowards were embarrassed to come out and admit that they really wanted to vote for the Captain of the Clown Car.

Hillary Clinton was crucified for her casual use of her husband’s email server – which she long ago admitted was a mistake – while everyone breezily ignored the 22 million emails that were “lost” by the Bush Administration during the United States Attorneys’ crisis. Trump’s supporters all wanted her to be locked up.

Well, they got their man. And now suddenly, they want us to play nice.

It’s not going to happen.

The country is broken and Trump’s supporters helped to break it. Pottery Barn rules. You break it, you own it. Whatever happens now, it’s all on them. The economy tanks? It’s on them. More income bifurcation? It’s on them. More slippery wars in the Middle East? It’s on them. Russian takeover of the Baltic states? It’s on them. Exacerbation of the climate crisis? It’s on them.

Our focus now, needs to be on holding them accountable. All of them. Trump, his administration, the Republican Congress, the voters who supported Trump. We need to hold them accountable for what they’ve wrought, because when this country goes to hell in a handbasket, they may not be allowed to evade their responsibility for bringing it there.

We know by now that this nation is brutally divided, and that the sides are more and more in opposition to this other. Their decision to elevate Trump to the highest office in the Land, the most powerful position in the known universe, has deepened my enmity for them. I hate (yes, hate) just about everything Trump stands for.

I was so looking forward to not having to listen to this blowhard declaim anymore, and now I’m going to have to listen to him for four more years.

I can’t tell you how dispiriting that is.

Now, the Republicans have been deploying a “scorched earth” policy for most of the Clinton and Obama administrations. It’s time for them to taste some of their own medicine.

Oh, I know, that’s not going to make Congress a healthier or more functional place. But we’re way beyond that now. It’s pure power politics now, which is exactly what the voters of the United States have rewarded the Republicans for engaging in. So, you want to play the game that way, both sides can play the game that way.

Donald Trump may become the President of the United States, but he will never by MY President. I have done all I can to assure his defeat. I did not succeed. But he can’t grab us all in the proverbial pussy and then just say, oh, let’s make nice together.

Sorry Mr. Trump, it doesn’t work that way. Implacable opposition is all you can expect from me for the next four years. (Enjoy your impeachment proceedings, which surely can’t be very far down the road.)

[1] Yes, Bill Clinton helped to negotiate and sign NAFTA, but in doing so he was essentially promoting a quasi-Republican agenda. Just like financial deregulation and welfare reform.

About a1skeptic

A disturbed citizen and skeptic. I should stop reading the newspaper. Or watching TV. I should turn off NPR and disconnect from the Internet. We’d all be better off.
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2 Responses to Sorry, we can’t Play Nice anymore

  1. Mary Lou says:

    “The reason we’re here is that for the last 25 years Fox News and right wing talk radio have been feeding middle America an unrelenting dose of propaganda ” Yes, I agree. 🙁

    Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace
    The soul that knows it not, knows no release
    From little things:
    Knows not the livid loneliness of fear,
    Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear
    The sound of wings.
    (Amelia Earhart, 1898 – 1937

  2. jakester48 says:

    I realise that in the immediate aftermath of the election an overheated atmosphere still prevails, but I find the tone of this article alarming. Unless cooler heads prevail, there is a real risk that people will resort to actual violence, and with all the guns floating around you know what that could mean. Responsible observers and commentators need to emphasise that this is a political problem to which a political solution needs to be found. This will not happen until the temperature of political discourse drops by several degrees – on all sides.

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