It’s 12:30 am on November 9th. The final results are still rolling in, but at this moment it seems like we – as a country – may have just elected Donald Trump as President of the United States. I did not vote for, nor did I want, Donald Trump as President. Further, I did not want a Republican controlled House of Representatives or a Red Senate. With the possibility of a Trump Presidency, I admit that I feel a little nauseous.
In previous elections, I may not have agreed with the politics of the other candidate. But at least I had some faith that the other candidate was not going to ruin our great nation.
Trump’s campaign slogan has been “Make America Great Again”. I’m not sure I understand the perspective. I suppose, if you were a white man, America was great when you didn’t have minorities competing with you for intellectual property and when women were in the kitchen, not voting and certainly not telling their man (their white man) what to do. Perhaps Trump and company longed for an era where there was a clear distinction between upper and lower class. But if you were a minority in those eras – African-American, LGBT, Hispanic, Muslim, Etc – that era was awful.
As a nation, we are the only industrialized nation without single-payer healthcare. We are the only industrialized nation where people can go into debt – and go bankrupt – by higher education. Women traditionally get paid less for the same work, minorities have a similar story and education is a budget-cut to “save money”.
But I would argue that our biggest problem right now is education, or lack-thereof. We have done ourselves a disservice to have created a whole generation of people who are so culturally ignorant and so biased against those who are different that we created the situation we are in right now.
If Hillary was a man, there wouldn’t even be a challenge.
So here’s what I fear…
A Trump Future
Trump, assuming he is the future President, will be unopposed. As it stands right now, the Republicans hold the House and they will likely hold the Senate. Let’s be clear…the Republicans are not entirely a fan of Trump either. He’s not one of them, after all. But that’s not going to stop them from playing their own set of politics. Trump won’t stop them. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), love it or hate it, introduced a number of incredible policies, not least of which is the preventable care and the striking of preexisting conditions. Well, it’s been on the chopping block by the Republicans for about 7 years now simply because it costs their favorite population: The wealthy business owners. That could all be gone. Rates can, and will, climb. Those with cancer, heart conditions and other pre-existing conditions may find out they won’t have health insurance next year.
Then there are my minority friends, and I’m including the LGBT community. My peaceful Muslim friends are going to be measured against their extremist brethren who – to use a Christian term – lost their way. Conversely, those Christian extremists will be unnecessarily excused. My LGBT friends who were able to get married in recent years may find their marriages invalidated. African-Americans are going to be going through yet another struggle: Civil Rights movement 2.0? I hope not. But its a possibility. The Black Lives Matter movement has been grossly under-appreciated. There is a clear gap between white crime vs. similar black crime. And the sad fact is that the white guy walks while the black guy is probably going to be incarcerated. We’ve seen many videos of innocent black men killed by cops…this is unacceptable.
Then there is the whole reality of the gun laws. Before I proceed, I must say that I am not interested in taking your guns. I just don’t see any reason for you to have assault rifles, fully-automatic weapons or large-payload weapons. There is no sport reason to have those. But I’m perfectly happy with the idea that you have a shotgun or rifle to hunt. But I don’t want a certifiable person to be able to buy a gun, nor do I want someone with a record to be able to buy one. We already lead the world in gun-related deaths, we shouldn’t be proud of that fact. Yes, a large portion of those deaths are suicide. But metal health is also a concern: Instead of turning to a gun, people should be comfortable with turning to a therapist.
Will There Be A World War III?
I am not a conspiracy theorist and so I don’t actually believe this is the end of our Nation, nor do I feel we will recreate WW II. Trump is awful, but even the GOP doesn’t want their own private Hitler. So let’s take a more realistic look at the possible outcome of this election:
- Some Foreign Nations will lose faith: We will lose a lot of support from foreign nations. We will also find ourselves some interesting allies. In either case, I don’t feel this is the path we, as a nation, should be traveling. The world stage is going to change.
- The Environment will suffer: The GOP tends to be short-sighted. Laws restricting pollution and regulating industry as it concerns the environment is going to suffer. Some may be repealed. I also expect that renewable resources – solar, wind, etc – will be handicapped unnecessarily in favor of the so-called “clean coal”, nuclear and of course Oil. Future generations will fail. This, by the way, is going to be at the chagrin of foreign nations and many foreigners are going to be disappointed.
- Health care will change: I don’t think that there will be a full-repeal of the ACA. There are 20 million people under an ACA health insurance policy right now, many of which don’t have other options. But I do expect that the GOP will gut all of the primary features. Preventative health? Probably going to be marginalized. Birth control or women’s benefits? Gone. Medicaid/Medicare will be routed.
- Goodbye Social Security: Social Security was a brilliant system where people were basically forced to pay into their own retirement. A HUGE problem in this country is that people don’t plan for retirement. The Regan administration stole from it, so did George H.W. Bush. I don’t expect that will ever be paid back. And the GOP would love to kill it.
- Education down the toilet: The short-sighted GOP is more than happy to maintain power. The best way to do so is to make sure their constituents don’t vote them out is to keep them ignorant. The upper-class is only so large, so you need your mindless base to keep voting for you. If you convince your base that the President sets the budget (It’s the House, Article 1, Section 7) and if you convince them of voter fraud, you will keep your position. It must be nice to get paid better than 60% of Americans ($174,000 per year) to work only 139 days a year. It’s not really that simple, but those career politicians are more than happy to collect to play games.
- World Competition: As we grow more selfish and short-sighted as a nation, we are overlooking the fact that the world stage is shifting. Sure, we have the biggest military. But that just makes us a bully, or a strong-man for hire. The truth is that the next industrial revolution is going to happen soon, and it’s going to be in the green sector. It’s not because someone wants to force it, but only because it will be necessary. China is probably going to start it: They have such a huge population, they need to do something. And then the world power will be shifted to China over the US. Germany will be close behind, as will Japan. The world, as we know it, won’t care about Military power. We’ll be the guys throwing the tantrum when the rest of the world has grown up and has focused on our own survival.
The message of this election was clear. We need change. I just fear that the change we may have elected is not the change we actually wanted nor the change we deserved. The real issue is that we have too much money in politics, and that needs to change. If Trump is elected, I do not want him to fail. That’s immature and childish. I want him to surprise me and actually improve our condition. I am prepared to be proven wrong. But I truly want us to continue to grow and thrive. So it would be ignorant for me to wish him to fail.
Hopefully we will wake sometime next year and realize that things are going to be okay. Until then, I’m going to be living on the edge. I’m scared. And I am worried for our future.