While I don’t disagree at all that the Democrats and the liberal establishment (not the Left per se) have to take some of the blame for Trump’s ascendancy, we also cannot make the mistake of letting the Right off the hook for encouraging and supporting clearly a person who was detrimental to not only their party but to the country as a whole.
Let’s take a look back at the history of how we got here:
1. Ronald Reagan pushed all parties to the Right with his rhetoric on small government (except the military) and the preference for privatization and “the market.” The foundation was laid for moving people away from community, sympathy and working together, toward atomization, “boot-strapping” and “every man for himself.” Gas guzzling cars, easy credit and lowered taxes paved the way for economic servitude as people forgot to live moderately and began living for instant gratification. Unions were also targeted and demonized, then destroyed–so wage earners found themselves suddenly without any voice in the mechanics of their own livelihoods. Traffic controller’s strike bust was the beginning.
2. Newt Gingrich and the Contract “on” America. Clinton might have had conservative leanings, but Gingrich’s stranglehold on the levers of power ensured that Clinton would “reform” welfare, sign NAFTA and GATT, moving thousands of jobs overseas (Flint MI among the first hit), and set the stage for further de-regulation of the banks and other financial institutions. The economic bubbles commenced with the dot.com bubble. Alan Greenspan ensured that full employment–once the primary goal of the economic elites–was replaced by preventing inflation to better the profits of big, multi-national corporations. Unemployment became viewed as an economic necessity, both to drive wages down and to ensure corporations maintain high levels of profit. Eventually, Clinton signed for the rescinding of the Glass-Stegall Act which paved the way for the large financial firms to gamble with our money and set up hedge markets that later led to the 2008 depression.
3. George W. Bush…unelected and facing clear issues of legitimacy used the 9/11 terrorist attacks to solidify his presidency. As a result, money was further siphoned away from the middle- and working-classes landing in the coffers of the military-industrial complex and the corporate elites. Billions of US dollars made their way to Iraq and Afghanistan to support private contractors who stirred up civil unrest (as we see now in Iraq), leading to the development if ISIS (yes, let’s put that where it belongs). Bush’s (Cheney’s) policies of tax cuts for the rich and further deregulation of the large financial institutions continued unabated. The housing bubble and selling off of sub-prime mortgages contributed to the economic meltdown of 2008, just as a newly elected Barack Obama was to take office. Civil liberties were reduced in the passing of the USA Patriot Act and people who voiced dissent regarding the administration’s handling of the lead up to the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars were suppressed or intimidated. Torture became normalized as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales provided legal rationale for the use of waterboarding. Later, Donald Rumsfeld stated in an interview that torture worked for Jack Bauer (a fictional character on a television show), it will work for us. Human rights violations at Abu Ghraib are exposed, yet no one in the top echelons of the military are removed from their positions. Extraordinary rendition to bothGitmo and other black sites becomes the means for dealing with so-called threats to national security. Hundreds are locked up without due process without any hope, even now, of release although evidence of even a case against many still held is scant. Voter suppression and concern about voting rights violations also quite evident in both the 2000 and 2004 election cycles.
4. Republicans held control of Congress during all but two years of Obama’s presidency. Even when they were in the minority, they vowed to disregard working for those who voted them in office in favor of becoming the party of obstruction. “Not our president” was coined during this time–as the Tea Party rose and waved around Nazi embellished posters of Obama and claimed that they would be carted off to camps by liberals. For the first time in history, perhaps the second if one considers the pre-Civil War years, one party actively sought to refuse to do ANYTHING for the greater good of the nation all for an IDEOLOGY. Whereas in the past both parties could agree to disagree when truly non-partisan issues were at hand, the Republicans failed to rise above their pettiness. Racist backlash already in full swing and tacitly encouraged by the Right. Also, FOX News allowed volatile talking heads such as Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin to use language like “lock and load” when dealing with their opposition–so much so that Sen. Gabrielle Giffords was shot and nearly killed when a gunman shot up a rally in New Mexico. While it was argued that the former “speech” could not possibly have led to the crime, Fox suddenly removed both Palin and Beck from their line-up. SCOTUS reinforced corporate “personhood” and legitimated a corporation’s “right” to free speech in the form of campaign contributions (Citizens United). Obama fails to remove or prosecute the war crimes committed by the Bush administration, nor investigate and hold accountable the big banks that were subsequently bailed out with more US tax dollars. They have YET to pay for the damage they did to the economy and to this day they continue with the same practices that brought the US economy to its knees in 2008. Obama also continues policies of rendition, expands executive fiat powers in the form of bombing other nations, state-sanctioned assassinations against national “enemies” whether foreign or American. The constitutional right to face a jury of one’s peers is denied to Osama bin Laden who is outright executed by the military as Obama becomes the judge and jury. NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) allows for US citizens to be declared “enemy combatants” and held without evidence or trial simply at the governments say–effectively destroying the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 which prevents the US Military from acting as police force to suppress the people.
5. During the past few years, the Republican party has continue to obstruct legislation on healthcare, climate change, Supreme Court Justice replacements, wages, jobs, you name it, if Obama was for it, they simply refused. Then Trump comes along, and while it is true that the DNC promoted Trump as a “pied piper” candidate, believing his outrageous rhetoric would give them the “win” and while they also manipulated the “system” to ensure Bernie would be ousted (which I fully place on their shoulders), the Republicans COULD HAVE AND SHOULD HAVE quit with their cult-like loyalty to the PARTY for just a moment and easily removed Trump as their candidate. Those that did speak out, did not do so very forcefully. Although I hope it is not true, I believe that we were PLAYED by even those Republicans who claimed to not support Trump, but who did LITTLE to DEMONSTRATE that “not support” they claimed. Even Paul Ryan bucked it up and went back into the fold–and he never did pull his endorsement. No, the RIGHT both the secular and religious versions, allowed this unChristian, bigoted, manipulative, buffoon (Hitler was also considered a buffoon at one point, keep in mind) to not only take over the party of Lincoln (ironic, huh?) but tacitly supported him; tacit b/c this would allow them to claim they “didn’t really support him” if Hillary actually won, all the better to save their scrawny white asses.
I am SURE there is more that could be laid on the table here. But, the fact remains: The REPUBLICANS PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE IN PAVING THE WAY FOR A TRUMP PRESIDENCY. In fact, I believe they actually WANTED IT. What better way to reinsert Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Rudy Giuliani (who really cannot get an office anywhere), and other has-beens of previous conservative movements into our already broken down government. And this “plan” has been in place for DECADES. Rewinding the political clock has ALWAYS been their vision. “Making America Great” is not just a Trump motto, it is a code phrase for the policies that will be enacted to reverse decades of social programs that helped the working and middle classes by reducing the wealth gap and attempted to bring about equity and equality among all peoples, that created a social safety net for all, and to further establish social, political AND economic justice. It is their GOAL to push us back into a feudal state where instead of a KING, there are the Corporations who rule us with a Presidential mouth-piece who does their bidding. How appropriate a failed corporate CEO like Trump is selected to do their bidding.
So, is the LEFT to blame for this debacle. Sure, why not? There is plenty of evidence to demonstrate the failures of the LEFT to reach the people and speak to their needs. I am equally critical of the failures of the Pelosi years when the Dems had control of both House and Senate as well as the President yet allowed themselves to be brow-beat and cajoled by the Republicans to forego using their rightfully gained power to push through legislation that would have ended the wars, punished the big banks, and set the stage for renewing our infrastructure and move away from fossil fuels. But they didn’t. And that I’ll not forgive.
Yet, the RIGHT played its part equally so. And THAT, my friends, should NOT be forgotten either, lest we allow the newly “elected” Trump administration to use this “admission of guilt” to his advantage (which he will), and play the left against itself.
Please post this as much as possible. People need to have this discussion and REMEMBER their HISTORY. Historical amnesia has helped us get to this place, only remembering can get us out.