If you think Trump has been a nightmare this past year with his daily barrage of vain, destructive tweets and divisive public comments despite dead-in-the-water legislative progress, get ready for 2018, a year in which the accidental president and his minions are likely to feel the winds of several recent self-perceived wins in their sails (massive tax cuts for their wealthy donors, pending repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate, temporary Supreme Court approval of the travel ban).
To paraphrase Uncle Billy in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” we’re in a pickle, a real pickle. For the next thousand days or so we libs are going to have to get used to fending off the Trumpies like it’s déjà vu all over again.
All Trump all the time. Trump the noun, Trump the verb, Trump the adjective, that’s what we’re looking at. It’s not a pretty picture for the nation. And if the left loses a Supreme Court justice, it’ll be Katie-bar-the-door as righties ram through a 365-day long Christmas wish through the court faster than you-know-what through a goose: voting restrictions, environmental regulations, campaign finance, a woman’s right to choose, freedom of the press… and that’s just the little stuff in their stockings.
And there’s not enough booze in the world, even on St. PatrickTrump’s Day, to dull the pain of what’s to come. As the year progresses, the Republican party will continue to sink into an ever-deepening abyss of self-rationalization and corruption while unleashing a streak of increasingly malevolent legislative acts on a largely unsuspecting nation.
There will be no sugarcoating a pill this bitter, even on St. ValenTrump’s Day. And it gets worse: with the tax cut for the rich, righties are lighting a 10-year fuse aimed at irreparably sabotaging future budgets. It’s a perverse variation on Colin Powell’s oft-cited “Pottery Barn Rule” but, in this case, THEY broke it; WE bought it.
Take the tax bill. Paying off donors with trillions in tax cuts is only the beginning. Their secret plan is to INTENTIONALLY blow a hole in the deficit, then turn right around and use the self-generated emergency it will create to validate the crippling and eventual dismantling of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Don’t believe me? Google senators Marco Rubio and Lindsay Graham. They’re already talking about it.
And, let’s be honest, righties: pinning our hopes on what Special Counsel Robert Mueller might or might not uncover is a soothing palliative at best. Sure, let’s find out what happened in the presidential election, but impeachment in and of itself is a little like that piece of black tape I stuck over that irritating red light on my dashboard that refused to stop flashing on its own. Problem solved! Mueller will not end this country’s woes with a Christmastime magi bullet, because he cannot address the Fox-fueled paranoiac fog that allowed someone like Trump to rise in the first place.
In coming months, we’re going to have to get out there and win this battle with better IDEAS. We need sincere, likeable candidates running for office at every level of government in every state and local election.
Believe it or not, things ARE looking up (although, admittedly, from a pretty deep hole). The statewide and municipal elections held Nov. 7 in Virginia and other nationwide elections that day were a stunning sweep for Dems, largely fueled by courageous, savvy women who have finally had enough.
To be sure, it will be easy for the coming deluge to make a person feel debilitated, want to give up. The solution: GET BUSY both with your regular day-to-day life and the political wars to come. And there’s so much to do: organize, resist, protest, spread the word. We need to get on our game faces — not our sad faces, not our angry faces — to be most effective in the Nov. 2018 midterms. And we need to get to work right after the first of the year.
Right around Martin Luther Trump Day.
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Multiple award-winning author Charles Carr has written thousands of columns and articles for many publications. He is also a noted playwright whose current show, “It’s a Wonderful Christmas Carol,” is in its final week of performances at the California Center for the Arts. Tickets and info at northcountyplayers.org.