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A Brief Treatise on President Trump and “Billary’s” Defeat
February 24, 2017
by Loren Mayshark

I didn’t believe Donald Trump had a chance to win the presidential election until 10 PM on November 8th. When I got up the next day, it was like a bad nightmare. The headlines from one news source to the next read some variation of TRUMP ELECTED PRESIDENT. I wanted to go back to sleep, forever.


I had reluctantly voted for Hillary Clinton, subscribing to the conventional wisdom of “every vote counts” and “the lesser of two evils” arguments. And she won the popular vote! But our arcane system, using the Electoral College, functions in a way that makes popular sovereignty not an absolute but merely a suggestion of how representatives should vote. The popular vote should be one of the most democratic parts of our democratic republic. Trump and George W. Bush are the recent products of our electoral system, which relies on gerrymandered districts to cast the actual votes.


The inability of the Electoral College to reflect the will of the people as expressed in the popular vote cannot help but remind us of the debacle that was the 2000 election. The U.S. political system is far from reflecting the will of the majority of the people that live within it. Can it still be considered the greatest system on earth?


The Election Cycle Breaks New Ground


Most of this year’s election was a character attack from each side against the other without a sound discussion of the issues. The truth is that the candidates were once allies, “friends” enough for the Clintons to attend Trump’s 2005 wedding to Melania. Trump and Clinton are but a couple of phalanxes of a powerful elite fist that continues to squeeze the vast majority of people in the United States and billions more abroad.


The vote was not a smooth operation: long election lines, voter ID laws, Super PACs, and a candidate who tried to sue the state of Nevada for voter fraud before he won the general election.  Trump never relinquished his desire (some may say prerogative) to protest if he did not win the election. Is this system broken? From my perspective this is not democracy in action. Here was my experience trying to have my voice represented in the general election:


I favored Bernie Sanders, who was the only candidate who seemed to speak to my deepest concern, which is the theft of our political system by a wealthy elite. To do my civic duty I attempted to change my party affiliation so that I could vote in my first primary. I attempted to register as a Democrat in December for the primary that would take place in mid-April but was denied because the cut off was in early October.

Then I cast a vote for the person who won the popular vote but this was inconsequential because of the Electoral College.  As a result, it is hard for me to believe that I am living in a democracy. So many people say that if you don’t like it, vote. But I did my best to follow the rules of our electoral system and my voice was not represented because of tweaks to the sovereignty that took it out of my hands.


The Price We All Pay


Whether it was the DNC blocking Bernie Sanders, too much reality TV, or a lack of desire to vote on behalf of the American people, we all have some stake in whatever happens under the reign of President Trump. All of those who did not want this to pass have not done enough. Nor have we done enough to atone for our often severe foreign policy.


Barack Obama is implicated in this mess as well. He set a dangerous precedent late in his second term by pushing through reforms that would not pass through our system of checks and balances by reverting to executive orders. Now Trump is using the same strategy to undo progressive steps taken by Obama and to continue to erode hallmarks of U.S. democracy. We will all continue to pay for these sins and many others at the hands of the Trump regime. President Trump is just the beginning of the penance that must be served as the blowback from our policies not only at home but abroad. Violent protests against Trump’s victory have flared up around the country. Who knows what would have happened if he had lost?


The country is deeply divided and pundits have called the election of Trump a punch in the nose to the elite. But elitism is a “YUGE” part of Trump’s brand and it is crazy to think that he would ever try to tear down a system that enriched him in the first place. If his cabinet selection is an indication of how he will govern, it is certainly going in the same direction: more money for the rich and less for everyone else.


In fact, the combined wealth in Trump’s cabinet is somewhere in the neighborhood of $6-$14 billion depending on who you ask and how they calculate wealth. It was rightfully pointed out that this group of 17 people has more money than at least the bottom 1/3 of Americans.  The president is not trying to help the majority of U.S. citizens and will not depart from the elitism that has all but destroyed the “American Dream.” As evidence, he has tapped former Goldman Sachs banker turned muckraker, Steve Bannon, as his senior White House strategist and Goldman veteran Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary. Let’s not forget that Goldman Sachs had their fingerprints all over the 2008 financial debacle and have pushed U.S. policy in favor of the enrichment of the wealthy elite for decades. This is not a populist takeover as many who voted for Trump hoped; it is business as usual in Washington.


I knew we had fallen hard and fast. But it was not until Trump won that I started to grasp how hard and how fast the drop had been. People are rightfully worried about losing American jobs, but electing a wealthy elitist who has made a career of outsourcing jobs only perpetuates the problem. The only reason I can find that many of his voters support him is that, deep down, they want to be him.


What the elite want for us is to squabble over trivialities so they can divide and conquer. We’ve elected to be at the whims of the Trump regime. Now we will see how it plays out. I predict aggressive deregulation that will create a short-term surge in the economy ultimately causing great financial hardship in the future. This will be a backdrop to the curtailing of individual rights and freedoms, often under the guise of “protecting” American lives.


Our political system has produced another president who is deeply tied to the wealthy elite that runs the world. Let’s not forget that 62 people have the same amount of money as half the world’s population (3.7 billion people). Is there anything we can do short of a peaceful revolution to cast off the chains of tyranny in our present political situation?


 

 

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