Donald Trump. (photo: Getty Images)
04 December 16
t will not be pretty in the next few months and years. The right wing has control of all of the branches of government, and the corporate takeover of our lives will accelerate. Donald Trump will not deliver on most of the populist promises he made in the campaign. He was pandering to the pain being felt by millions of Americans who watched their good-paying jobs move overseas as a result of “free trade.”
He may deliver a major infrastructure package and will not resurrect the TPP. That is the good news. When Barack Obama became president, the Republican Party vowed to do everything it could to make sure he didn’t succeed. Their strategy was to say no to everything. They put politics ahead of country.
It would be easy to follow that same strategy now. The Republicans do not have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. The Democratic Party could decide to just say no to everything to make sure that Trump doesn’t succeed. That would be a huge mistake. We must put our principles ahead of political gain.
When Donald Trump sends his infrastructure spending package to Congress, we need to support it. Rebuilding our infrastructure will provide good jobs for the people who need them. Our job will be to point out that it has been the right wing that has prevented that much-needed spending in the past.
I can hear some of you saying, “But Trump will get credit and the GOP will become even stronger.” Maybe a healthy populist streak in the GOP isn’t such a bad thing. Let’s remember our principles, and if some of the things we want can be delivered by a Trump presidency, we should welcome them. There will be enough that we will disagree on to provide a better alternative in 2018 and beyond.
I also hear many of you pointing to past progressive movements and saying they are examples of why the Democratic Party is not redeemable. I believe this time is different. I believe establishment politics has been repudiated. It’s not the path I would have chosen, but the pain that Trump and the GOP will inflict on the 99% over the next few years will cause a counter-reaction. Obama’s election created the Tea Party and resulted in Donald Trump winning the White House. I believe Trump’s victory will create a massive progressive movement that will reshape the country for decades to come.
Remember, one of the reasons that young people supported Bernie Sanders was that he had a plan for dealing with student debt. Donald Trump’s solution is to ask dad for a loan. We must rise up and demand free tuition at public colleges and universities.
Donald Trump thinks climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese. As severe weather cripples the planet we must lead. We must rise up and demand drastic changes to reverse climate change.
Donald Trump will side with authoritarian police tactics likes those proposed by Joe Arpaio. In my opinion, we have already crossed the line to a police state. We must face the reality that many Americans support public safety over civil liberties and want an even more authoritarian approach. There will be a line that even those people will think shouldn’t be crossed, so we must rise up and fight for criminal justice reform.
We know that Trump and the GOP are about to throw millions of Americans off their healthcare. They will gut Medicare and the Affordable Care Act. The geniuses say they will keep some parts, like covering pre-existing conditions. How will they pay for it if they remove the mandate to purchase healthcare? Healthy people are paying for those with pre-existing conditions. If they no longer have to buy in, who is going to make up for the lost revenue? We should fight against a repeal of Obamacare and continue to rise up and demand single payer. If they repeal Obamacare they will pay at the ballot box in the future.
We all know that when Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again, he is pandering to racists and bigots who want a return to the time when white men ruled the country. They don’t want diversity. Well, it doesn’t matter what they want – our day is coming. They will only have power a few more years. Donald Trump’s coalition can’t survive much longer. The numbers are not there. Our day is coming.
So let’s help Trump rebuild the infrastructure. If Donald Trump wants to stop the government from profiting off student loans and forgive some student debt, let’s help him. If Donald Trump wants to bring jobs back from overseas with fair trade instead of free trade, let’s not stand in the way.
We have enough issues on which to rise up and resist the Republicans. If they want to do some of our work before we return to power, let it be. Our day will come, and if we seize the momentum of the Political Revolution it will be a Progressive Democratic Party that helps America achieve its true potential. What is that? It’s the America that Bernie talked about. A future to believe in.
Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election.