Home 2016 elections A Time to Lead: Here’s a Quick Blueprint Forward

A Time to Lead: Here’s a Quick Blueprint Forward

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by Josh Chernila

The election of Donald Trump is the end of what we know as America and everything that made the 20th century America’s century. Uninformed voters wanted to take a wrecking ball to neoliberalism, Reaganomics, austerity economics, and the status quo in Washington. They wanted to stop the corporate takeover of American politics. They wanted someone to stand up for the American middle class, for fair market capitalism, for opportunity, for democracy.

Donald Trump conned them and “Third Way,” DLC Democrats have finally reaped the whirlwind of the choices they made back in the 90s to choose money over the interests of working families.

What voters actually earned as they bought the orange clown car candidacy of this Trump candidacy was apparent in the party platform, everything from LGBT hate to theocracy to abandoning our leadership role in the world, but they also chose the greatest poison pill in American history: The Ryan Budget.

The Ryan Budget is the end of America’s soul. The Ryan Budget simply fulfills the real conservative and Republican agenda the absolute privatization of every government function besides the military and police. That’s the privatization of prisons, schools, roads, and every environmental protection. They are going to stuff every court with their judges to expand the corporate takeover of American democracy, and they are going to strip mine and theocratize every function of the common good.

In essence, we are no longer in this together. As of 11/8/16 you are on your own. Corporate interests will no longer have any constraint to what they can do. I know you loved those quaint national parks, but those will be logged and strip mined out of existence — we have a $19 trillion debt, and this nation has $50 trillion in natural resources to exploit. I know you liked the fact that our children were being taught facts and critical thinking in public schools. That quaint idea is past, folks. Fundamentalist Jesus is now the heart of American school administration.

What will all this and the insanity of Trump’s isolationism and Russian kowtowing going to mean to America? It will mean global recession and global depression. Domestically, it will mean sickness and death and the end of the power of the people.

In essence, it will mean that conservatism will get its chance to prove itself unworthy of civilization.

In two, four, or eight years, America will have had enough. What then? Where will our leadership come from? Who will set the policy and the direction for America’s future?

It must be progressives. Building from the critique of the Bernie Sanders campaign and on the policy proposals he suggested, America will have a chance to reclaim social democracy and join the civilized world in fair markets, civil liberties, education equality, social safety nets, and universal health care.

Never let a good crisis go to waste, as the saying goes, and understand that Third Way calumny has given us a doozy. By abandoning the American working class in favor of corporate money, Democrats let Republicans charge them with the singular crime of which they themselves are universally guilty: the slow growth policies and inequality of global neoliberalism.

It’s time to organize everywhere. It’s time to rise up around the powerful proof that New Deal progressivism is the only political structure that protects democracy, capitalism and middle class prosperity. Conservative individualism and theocracy is the end of the American social compact and the end of capitalism, democracy and opportunity for the people of this nation as well as the end of our leadership position in the world.

What do we do? Here’s a quick blueprint forward:

1. Accept that Republicans Killed Bipartisanship and Fight – Hard: Oppose everything Trump does that erodes freedom and American leadership in the world, aka everything he is planning to do, and make sure to smear every single Republican with the obvious failures of their horrendous policies. Be merciless in this. Never let them get away with the failure(s) of their policies, and make sure that their failures are obvious to people paying attention. Political thinkers need to hit them hard so that the tangentially political understand in a crystal clear way who is to blame for the coming apocalypse in America.

2. It’s New Deal Capitalism – Organize Around It: What Bernie called Democratic Socialism is really New Deal Capitalism. It’s the acceptance of the reality that we have to be in this together to do what’s best for our country, the world and the future. Understand that the enemy we perceive is the enemy Main Street perceives — the 1%. Trump just got them to give him the keys. We have to organize against them and turn our failure now into success for the future.

3. Prepare for the Backlash: Ryan Privatization and Pence Theocracy are going to wreak havoc on this country. We need to make sure Trump voters know that they are responsible for the loss of prosperity and freedom in this country. These guys are bullies; give ’em a black eye and make sure everyone on the schoolyard knows they’re the bad guys.

4. Present New Deal Success and Translate that into a Vision of the Future: Under New Deal policies, the 20th Century became America’s Century. We put a man on the moon and a smartphone in every pocket. We expanded opportunity and education, cut poverty, built the middle class, expanded capitalism and increased democracy here and around the world. America became the leader of the free world. Conservatism has already succeeded in destroying capitalism, democracy and the middle class in America, it’s just been impossible to tell which party and which movement is to blame because of Third Way complicity. Trump/Pence/Ryan overreach is going to make it perfectly clear which policies have reduced salaries in this country by $40k/year from where they would be if we were still a New Deal Nation. It could have been a positive vision, but now it is going to have to be a vision for recovery. New Deal Progressivism, Social Capitalism is the only way to build a sustainable future for this country and widespread prosperity and power for the nation as a whole and not just the 1%.

We are in for some pretty ugly years here. Trump, Pence, and Ryan are about to sell the soul of America and end our leadership position in the world. Get ready for the backlash now. Lead now. Organize now. We must have a clear vision for what we can be as a nation and we must be able to sell it to the American people in a way that they can understand. Third Way complicity in conservative overreach is no longer acceptable. Republicans have already killed democracy, capitalism and the middle class; now, they are about to wreck freedom and world leadership. Our job is to make them pay for it — and to be ready with a robust political solution when America finally comes to its senses.

  • Elaine Owens

    Amen! Democrats, use the filibuster in the Senate with the same ruthlessness that the Republicans did. Remind people every day in every way of these facts: Democrats have won the popular vote in six of the last seven elections, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2012, 2016. (Hillary Clinton won by 225,000 votes.) The electoral college can be eliminated without passing a constitutional amendment. Ten states and the District of Columbia have already passed a law, the National Popular Vote Initiative, that would grant all their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the national popular vote. The law will take effect when enough states pass it to equal 270 electoral votes. There are already 165, or 61% of those needed. The law is constitutional because Article II, section 1 give states the power to name electors however they wish. “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….” Protest in the streets in a peaceful manner. In the words of Mother Jones, “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.”

  • Statement from Americans United for Change

    Washington DC – Americans United for Change President Brad Woodhouse released the following statement on the election.

    “In 2005, the union movement and the Democratic Leadership founded Americans United for Change to stop a newly re-elected Republican President and a Republican Congress from dismantling the most important social program in our nation’s history, Social Security. We won that battle, and after the successful fight to protect this cornerstone of FDR’s legacy, progressives united to oppose the war in Iraq, elect a Democratic Congressional majority and win two monumental presidential elections while racking up historic achievements like health care and Wall Street reform for the American people. We’re not about to back down now.

    “America has moved forward substantially under the Presidency of Barack Obama, and the idea that we are going to sit by and allow a Republican President and a Republican Congress, both of which received fewer votes than the other side, to dismantle that legacy is unthinkable. It simply will not happen without a fight.

    “Our commitment as an organization is this: we will defend with all our energy the legacy of Barack Obama and all the progressive initiatives that have come before that have already made America great including Social Security, Medicare, women’s rights, civil rights, immigrant rights, equality for the LGBTQ community and the protection of our environment and our planet from the destructive effects of climate change.

    “Donald Trump won an election; he did not win a mandate. We will fight tooth and nail to stop him from rolling back programs and policies that have improved people’s lives, put our economy back on the right track and made America a fairer place for people and communities that have been traditionally left behind. However, if Republicans succeed at ripping away the health care of more than 20 million Americans, at privatizing and dismantling Social Security and Medicare, and at letting their friends on Wall Street run wild once again, we will make sure there is a heavy political price for them to pay for taking America backward.”