Trump & Company claim to have a sweeping mandate from voters to remake America. But wait, it is just a magic trick. Almost half of the electorate chose not to vote in last November's presidential election.
Here's another fact: Those of us fighting for populist justice are stronger than we've been in decades. But how can that be, since Trump is in the White House? The vast majority of people agree with the ideals, issues and ideas of progressive populism, not with Trumpism. Even most of his supporters did not vote for what they're getting — a plutocratic, autocratic agenda that will steamroll the working class and poor.
Trump was not elected on issues, but on anger. Yes, many white supremacists, misogynists, nativists and xenophobes did turn out to support his raw bigotry, but a lot of Trump voters simply heard him speaking one truth repeatedly: The system is rigged by and for the elites. That group of voters was filled with a deep, seething fury created by corporate, political and authoritarian elites who have been flattening the majority of people for years, then callously stepping over them as if they didn't exist. That's true — so those who have been rigged, furious at being flattened by the corporate and political powers, saw Trump as a great big bois d'arc stick that they could grab to thump the whole smug establishment on its head.
Far from alleviating their anger and despair, however, Trump is already betraying them, as revealed by the proposals he's made and the people he's brought inside the White House. Remember his promise to "drain the swamp" in Washington? Instead, he has pulled out of his hat a new slew of creepy-crawly swamp creatures to help him run the country — like Jeff Sessions, Steve Mnuchin, Rex Tillerson, Tom Price, Scott Pruitt and Betsy DeVos, among a mess of Wall Street insiders. These are people who have spent their careers as corporate hacks, not working-class champions!
Let's look at one of the issues affecting working-class Americans. The amazing wunderkind of global luxury living — now the nation's phantasmagoric, fast-charging president — is proving to be a legislative magician on the issue of Obamacare.
During his campaign, Trump's No. 1 promise was that he would "immediately" repeal the entirety of Obamacare, then — hocus-pocus and abracadabra! — simultaneously replace it with "great health care for a fraction of the price." Wow, that's why his White House media operation calls him "President Action, President Impact."
But oops! It seems that the amazing Donald has abruptly learned that what magicians do is not magic; they just perform illusions. In other words, it's fakery. So Trump is now caught in the spotlight of reality, unable to produce a workable plan to "repeal and replace" Obamacare, as he so glibly had promised. In fact, the GOP replacement scheme he has been backing would leave millions of people with no health care coverage, while reducing the benefits and jacking up insurance payments for millions of others.
Frustrated, President Action recently whined to a meeting of state governors: "Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated." Of course, by "nobody," he meant that he didn't know, therefore no one could've known since he knows everything.
But wait: In a truly amazing magical act, the Donald has promised to dazzle us with more smoke and mirrors. His new Trumpcare plan, he brags, will guarantee that every American will have access to health coverage. Before you erupt in applause, however, notice the trick word he's using: "access." That doesn't mean you'll get coverage, you'll just get access to coverage — if you can afford it. It's the same as promising that everyone will get "access" to owning a private jet and living in a fabulous Florida golf resort, just like Trump. See, he truly is magical!
Progressives not only need to resist the plutocratic agenda but also to put forth our true people's agenda and start rallying voters around it — now!