Congratulations, Trump supporters, you wake today in victory. You feel vindicated in backing the winner, in prevailing over your adversaries, in being on the side of right. You feel that the winds of change are finally upon us, sweeping across those fruited plains and bringing with it the fresh air of a new day.
You believe that the best candidate won to steer this sinking ship back to buoyancy and restore honor and dignity to its long suffering people. You know that at last this flawed democracy has finally gotten it right, and that as a result the country you know and love will finally fulfill its promise.
I completely understand all of those feelings, all of those hopes and dreams and righteousness. I felt them in 2008 when Barack Obama became this country’s 44th president. And so, to all those whose chosen candidate just became the 45th president of these (barely) United States, I remind you of the words to an old song by The Who called “Won’t Get Fooled Again” that says “Meet the new boss/ Same as the old boss …”
So circle back in four or eight years -- or less than that should Trump continue some of his more outrageous conduct and gets himself impeached or imprisoned – and compare your life then to what it is now.
Trump can repeal Obamacare – and do you really believe your healthcare costs will go down? They won’t. Trump can deport every undocumented worker from this country – and do you really believe you’ll get a job because of that? You won’t. Trump can veto every trade bill that crosses his desk – and do you think U.S. corporations will shutter their foreign plants and bring those jobs back to America? They won’t.
Trump can “understand your pain” all he wants – but do you think that the economic divide between the top 1% and everyone else is going to narrow under his presidency? It won’t. Trump can yell and scream and utter every known racial epithet known to man – and people of color will still outnumber whites before the year 2050. We will.
You see, while Trump is now certainly one of the most powerful politicians on the planet, make no mistake --- he ain’t calling the shots. And the corporations and institutions and people who control those corporations aren’t going to let Trump upset the good thing they’ve got going.
Nope, they’ve done a masterful job of dumbing down the people by eviscerating public education and putting private education out of the reach of all but the elite. They’ve made an industry out of locking up people of color and figured out how to run whole cities on the backs of those who can least afford it. They’ve outsourced American jobs to foreign shores, all the while pimping the hell out of the American consumer – who is ironically supposed to support this consumer driven economy with the wages they no longer earn.
They have ginned up divisive politics, pitting one group against another, all the while picking the pockets of the crowd drawn to the fight. They have perpetuated a cycle of endless war, sending your sons and daughters to one Middle Eastern country after another, decreasing the surplus population while ensuring we create yet another enemy to keep the war machine chugging along. They have appealed to our baser instincts, and we have not disappointed.
We are racing to the bottom and picking up speed. We have gone from a Harvard educated man who preaches cooperation and mutual respect (and who they still can’t dig up any dirt on) with a First Lady who is the epitome of intelligence and class – to a bully with a bad comb-over who is the poster child for the rich entitled frat boy he still acts like, and a Slovenian pin-up girl First Lady. Seriously? How low can we go? And who is laughing up their collective sleeves as we go there?
I’ll tell you who -- the same corporations and institutions and people behind those corporations that own everything. The same people who have been pushing us back toward feudalism for the last 40 years. And when we hit bottom, they will be there to pick up the pieces. Congratulations, America, we were fooled again.