Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Two Pronged Attack

Trumpism is a two pronged attack on governance.

One is the inclusion of people like Steve Bannon in the White House and Sarah Palin in the Cabinet and so forth.  They will bring a combination of racism, belligerence and incompetency to our government that will be divisive and damaging.  Additionally, it will require people like Reince Priebus to normalize people like Bannon.  "Hey, he went to good schools!  He hasn't ACTUALLY started any pogroms!"

Trump is going to mainline the Crazy into the Executive Branch, and his temperament is such that he won't tolerate dissent from outside quarters.  All that dissent will do is cause the institutional Republican party to rally around these miscreants.

The second attack is just as damaging, but less visible at the moment.  As I mentioned last night, Paul Ryan has his eyes on destroying Medicare.  This is based on outright falsehoods that Obamacare has been bad for Medicare, when it has actually been incredibly beneficial.  Ryan's precedes from this lie to assert that turning over Medicare to private insurers will somehow reduce health care inflation, when the only thing that has proven to slow health care inflation is Obamacare.

That's just one policy.  You can add climate change, tax policies, aid to the poor to the list of things that are going to go in a HORRIBLY regressive direction, especially if the GOP kills the filibuster.

Democrats love to wear sack cloth and ashes, but there is one area where they are to blame in what's about to happen.  Democrats have done a good job moving the country to accept various minority groups.  This is a positive good. However, it comes with an increase in identity politics on both sides.  Identity politics failed in the '80s, because the country looked much different then.  Today, there is a path to electoral victory with African and Hispanic Americans, the college educated and Millenials.  This is the demographic promise for the future.

Right now, however, it prioritizes group responses to Trump.  If you are Muslim, you have a very specific and real set of fears about Trump.  These are similar but not identical to how African Americans feel, similar but not identical to how Hispanics feel, similar but not identical to how LGBT Americans feel.

The Left is always a hair's breadth away from splintering on its best days.  It is a naturally fractious coalition that lacks the unity of white working class voters.

The trick will be to fight on ALL fronts at once.  You can't just work to help fight the retrogressive social politics of Trumpism, you have to be ready to fight the retrogressive economic policies of Paul Ryan. Since Ryan is the darling of the Washington Media and ISN'T a racist asshat like Steve Bannon, it's going to be very hard to maintain a unified and mutually supportive coalition in the face of what could be a wholesale assault on post-MLK social America AND post-FDR economic America.

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