It’s the truth — politics is everywhere and we cannot escape it. If you feel caught between two worlds as the present administration takes over, I like to think the world represented by the Obama-Clinton coalition is still the country we are becoming and a Trump victory can only delay it. Obama remains not only a popular president, but a symbol of, and a spokesman for, diversity, civility and tolerance threatened by the forthcoming administration.
As we enter the early months of 2017, I keep trying to be optimistic. Our nation will survive, but it’s going to be fundamentally changed. The Republicans have control of all three branches of the government and will promote their own agenda. I worry about the Supreme Court. I would like to see the justices settle, once and for all time, several policy issues: abortion, Paris clean air act (climate change), planned parenthood, police brutality, gay marriage, affordable health care, Social Security, Black Lives Matter, cruelty, mass incarceration, the role of women, civil rights, corporate campaign funding, and others. How many ways can the Constitution be interpreted?
We once had a chance to contain these and we failed. Our nation is healthy but it’s going to take a lot of work to keep it that way. Our complacency must end and we must seize opportunities without prejudice. In a nation as complex as ours, there are inevitable problems. The crisis of the Republican Party spoke for itself and new forces are emerging on the populist right: i.e., immigration.
Whether the new politics of national identity and belonging control its less appealing aspects is a difficult question, but if it doesn’t, the radical activists will prevail.
We must do something about this endless war. We are not really surviving George W. Bush’s anti-intellectual, cavalier right-wing policies, which brought this nation and the world to a new kind of disaster, terrorism: it continues.
President-elect Trump’s proposed threats to our rights and to the health of the planet must be met with peaceful means to oppose and expose his betrayal, not only to the working man but to our nation and worldwide.
The election of Donald Trump speaks volumes about modern inequality and insecurity of the working class, whose economic complaints show their loss of identity and belonging, particularly their opposition to immigration, for many immigrants are more highly skilled and are a threat to the labor market. This became apparent when the corporation Carrier planned to outsource abroad, leaving thousands of workers with a completely different reality.
As automation takes hold, change is inevitable, and an element of our population is losing its traditional political core. Progressive polities needs more working class people who understand that meaningful politics is not the point of modern capitalism. Ironically, the American Dream is no longer possible for most. Traditional work as we once knew it is fading. In this new age of automation we need to increase the centrality of work and the worker.
If we the people hope to overturn the Trump reign in 2020, we are going to have to work together with the potential power of the diversity that distinguishes our nation.
The skirmish has just begun.