What Donald Trump Is Doing to America May Surprise You!
A Sea Change
When Donald Trump beat a large group of Republican nominees to win the nomination for President, no one could have predicted the ultimate outcome for America. Since the election of 2016 Trump has rolled back a good number of regulations set forth by previous Administrations from both political parties, but in the process has trounced over decades of norms and conventions. But while taking this course, Trump has set in motion a surprising future for America that he, nor his advisors, may not foresee.
Most observers of politics will remember that Donald Trump exhibited no respect whatsoever for his opponents during the Republican leadup to the nomination; he firmly established a reputation as a fighter. Even the most highly-respected and well-known politicians, including Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio to name a few, were never able to counter the political newcomer’s jabs and name-calling over a total of twelve debates and several forums. And the polls seemed to indicate that Trump’s support was solid in many ways, as his so-called business acumen and his perceived honesty made him an outsider that was sorely needed in Washington, D.C.
Now, more than a year into the Trump presidency, some political professionals believe America is beginning to coalesce around common-ground politics and issues that could signal significant positive change for years to come. The mid-term elections are expected to reveal what those changes might look like.
Then and Now
Some Americans may recall the extraordinary events of the sixties. The confluence of the Kennedy assassinations---President Kennedy in 1963 and later his brother Bobby in 1968, along with the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.----the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and Watergate, all combined to help bond the country into a cohesive voting public not seen until now.
Now, it is Donald J. Trump vs. Everybody!
Looking ahead, future historians may ultimately cite this era as one in which great steps were taken to unify Americans of all stripes, faiths, and beliefs. For now, however, that ideal is out of reach. Trumps style of governing, or the lack thereof, has denigrated and insulted people from all over the globe, not just Americans. According to him, Hispanics are rapists, folks from the Middle East are terrorists, and blacks are from s---hole countries. And by the way, those rapist Mexicans will pay for his border wall.
In addition to these indignations, everyone knew he was an admitted sexual predator when he was elected. White women, in fact, helped to elect him giving him 53% of their support. But the times, they are ‘a changing, as popular singer Bob Dylan once said. The cementing of the #metoo and the #timesup Movements, both of which are well-funded, is significant as most adult women, black, white and others can identify with the issues associated with a predatory male-dominated society. That society model has confirmed and allowed sexual misconduct since the country was founded. But as the hashtags reveal, those days are headed toward eventual extinction. The old relationship norms are becoming invalid, partly due to the overall acceptance of gay marriage, the evolution of LGBTQ communities, and to varying degrees the normalizing of racial integration. None of these cohorts appear to be aligned with, or special friends to, Donald J. Trump.
Karen Fleshman, founder of 'Racy Conversations', recently wrote an article in the Huffington Post entitled "Dear White Women, Let's make 2018 the year we finally unlearn our racism....
...foremost because ending our racism is the right thing to do, and we owe people of color tremendously. It is also in our self-interest. Because when all women unite- and build coalitions that include men of color, we are by definition the majority. This is a numbers game, folks. Imagine our ability to create the society we want for ourselves and our children when the League of Women Voters locks arms with Black Lives Matter. When we unite across differences of age, race, sex and class. Unified, we all ascend."
Now, add to the mix the kids. Mentioned earlier, the events of the sixties bought about landmark changes in American politics and society generally. Those changes were largely pushed by young baby boomers. Today, as a result of the gun control issues in this country, a new movement----#never again---is being triumphed by determined high schoolers, many of whom will be eligible voters very soon. Their unspoken mission is to eventually take down the 150 year old National Rifle Association, a hardy task by anyone’s reckoning. Indeed, major corporations around the nation have already cancelled contracts with the NRA.
Meanwhile, and conversely, Trump is on the other side of this issue, too. Right wing supporters have shamelessly thought up conspiracy theories over whether or not the kids really witnessed the massacre, or was it possibly staged. Trump hasn’t publicly denounced this outrage and the parents of the murdered kids are fully supporting the surviving students. Wealthy celebrities like Oprah and others have donated to the kid’s cause, as well. And, while 97% of the entire nation wants some form of gun regulation, Trump is calling for teachers to take up weapons as a suitable solution. Of course the teacher’s unions are screaming foul in support of the nation’s more than three million teachers, many of whom simply believe Trump’s idea is ridiculous.
How Likely Are You To Support The #neveragain Movement?
A National Reconciliation
As mentioned earlier, national movements in the sixties seemed to shake the nation’s consciousness, both during and after the Nixon years.There was a prevailing notion that the country could, and should, do better. New legislation from Washington spurred action on everything from civil rights laws, disability acts, banning public smoking and liquor advertising on television, the acceptance of new immigration statues, fair housing acts, new gun law regulations, special prosecutor statutes, etc.. The point here is that the country had overwhelmingly voted for Nixon by a landslide in 1968, but quickly turned more progressive once he was out of office. President Gerald Ford came into the Oval Office as a stabilizing force in 1974.
A Return To Real Greatness
Many political observers believe America will be better off AFTER TRUMP than it has been with him in office; the backlash concerning his presidency is expected to be demoralizing for his supporters. He has never seen job performance ratings above 40%, although many think he has achieved some respectable goals, the same as Nixon did. But with Trump having used continuous name-calling, abusive and boorish bullying tactics, fighting back with anyone and everyone, including people in his own Administration, America is already prepping for a new day. And put aside the fact that none of the preparation has anything to do with the Muellar investigation, which is proceeding onward smack dab in the middle of an election year. Stay tuned.
So, while America finds itself in the throes of an incessant and daily parade of chaotic and circus-like conduct from the Oval Office, the good news is---based on the historic aftermath of the sixties---that President Donald J. Trump really is Making America Great Again. Except that he is not doing it in the manner that those little red M-A-G-A hats symbolize. Indeed, he seems challenged by his history and probably doesn't even realize the default.
The true greatness of American exceptionalism includes legislating progressive, forward-thinking ideas like national climate change initiatives, encouraging and rewarding innovation, welcoming immigrant populations, eliminating racism and bigotry, returning to the rule of law, reinvigorating just and honest policies that reflect the country’s core values of equality, compassion, and decency. This country was once considered the "shining city on the hill", but that description won't apply to America again until Trump is long gone from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Significantly though, the admirable example and purveyors of that vision will be today’s millennials.
America’s voting kids of #neveragain--- whether Republican or Democratic---will be leading the charge towards that greatness. Former President Obama recently tweeted “….(you are the change)…we’ve been waiting for you.”
San Francisco State, “Black Studies, 1968”, Black Past.org, 2017
“Dear White Women: Let’s Make 2018 the Year We Finally Unlearn Our Racism”. Huffington Post, Karen Fleshman, Jan. 2018
U.S.News, Image by Lorie Shaull, Flickr, Jan. 2018
United States Census, 2017
© 2018 Dan Dildy