The only answer to save our declining and diminished democracy under President Donald Trump’s racist and authoritarian regime is a true political revolution from the left that includes principles of socialism, such as universal health care and guaranteed incomes.
Predictions by media pundits and conventional and centrist democrats of a “blue wave” in the 2018 elections that would supposedly be a correction to Trump are not supported by solid, mounting evidence or historical precedent. Trump’s poll numbers remain steady, for example, and the corporate media has fully normalized him and his lies in their breathless coverage of his chaotic governance.
The problem with the “blue wave” trope is that it creates apathy. It tells the fictional story of how a country suddenly came back to its senses after electing a charlatan and liar as its president, and then everything went back to normal and we lived happily ever after. Understandably that’s what many of us want in these chaotic political times, but it isn’t even a remote possibility.
Trump has simply made it more apparent just how corrupt our political system has become, a system controlled by an immoral oligarchy and their surrogates. Our national government and our economic system essentially now exist to reward the richest among us at the expense of the masses of people. That was true under former President Barack Obama and previous presidents as well. Trump is just the embodiment of greed and entitlement in his demeanor and his lies. He is the reality television president we deserve for our political apathy and for reveling in the inanity of our dumbed-down culture.
Hope rests not with conventional strategies but with adopting a clear agenda that includes but is not limited to Medicare for all, a guaranteed basic income for all people, affordable housing, strengthening Social Security, student loan debt forgiveness, free college tuition and an aggressive response by our government to global warming. All these initiatives are genuinely possible despite the claims of some establishment Democrats, such as U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
If Democrats can’t eventually unite under such an agenda, Trumpism and its future renditions will prevail for years to come.
One of the main problems facing Democrats is the inability of many to even utter the word “socialism” in positive terms. Yet socialized medicine, socialized college education and increased socialized retirement benefits are what the masses of people need and deserve in the richest nation on the planet. Our current economic system—call it capitalism, neoliberalism or oligarchic—gives less and less to ordinary workers while giving more and more to the obscenely rich. The system is in a state of collapse.
We can create a new economic system, perhaps a unique American hybrid of socialism and free market opportunities, but we have to articulate it repeatedly and, of course, vote for it by supporting candidates who believe in it. Running against Trump isn’t enough. The Democratic Party needs to stand for something, not against something.
There is no blue wave in the making as far as I can see. Robert Mueller III isn’t going save us because he can’t even if he could actually force the corrupt Trump to resign. Our democracy is imperiled with or without Trump, who has only made the obvious even more obvious. Democrats should support big initiatives embraced by the masses of people in this country. Why isn’t that just a given? Why does the Democratic Party continue to marginalize their members who simply support human decency and basic progressive initiatives and policies that other advanced countries have long ago adopted with great social success?