It’s probably evident I am left leaning in my politics and the results of Tuesday’s Presidential Election were hard to stomach. At points in the evening, as the results came in, I fluctuated between feeling hopeless and feeling hopeful. My wife at times cheered and at others cried.
It was a rough night.
The next day I woke up confused, conflicted, angry (I still am) and depressed.
My anger comes from a fear that years of social programs that benefit millions of Americans will now be dismantled. The possibility is now a probability that much of the social safety net is going to disappear — such as the Affordable Care Act (stop calling it Obamacare), social programs for those in need, mental health services (effecting me and most of my readers), disability benefits, Medicare, unemployment, etc, etc — to be replaced with either nothing or for profit services that will make big Pharma, insurance companies, and other corporations more and more rich while providing less and less to the consumer.
I also felt betrayed by the party I had identified with for so long and now I am questioning why I followed even this party (or any party) in the first place. This election opened my eyes to a number of issues.
It is very evident the Democratic party is just as bought and paid for as the Republican party–made glaringly obvious during the Bernie fiasco. It is clear that established democrats were scared of Bernie and his anti-corporate rhetoric. The entrenched, long time political elite on the left were scared that Citizens United might disappear and their cash flow and power would dry up — no different from those on the right.
So in their desire to continue the oligarchic practices of legal political bribery, they boosted the one person that most represented the establishment corporate elite above the first viable candidate on left opposed to corporate influence. What’s worse , is they ran her against the least likely person to win on the right, or so they thought.
In hindsight, it’s obvious Trump was going win — the writing was on the wall that people were fed up with corporate control of government as far back as the WTO protests in Seattle in 1999.
Meanwhile, democrats thought it was a shoo in for the corporate left — the believed they had it in the bag. They didn’t realize that people were so angry they were willing vote against the establishment and even against their own best interests — forgiving the brash, seemingly racist, misogynistic, and vulgar candidate his transgressions.
That’s how sick the voters are of the corporatist party affiliations on the right and the left. The left decided to not vote or to vote for third-party candidates — and rightfully so — while the right was fired up for their beacon of change. They were riled up for the one candidate left, after Bernie, that was going to make corporations bring jobs back to America (how to achieve this was never questioned), or at least hold corporate feet to the fire.
Conservative voters, maybe because they so disliked the symbol of the corporatist left voted hard against Hillary instead of voting hard for Trump all the while ignoring that Trump, as a brand, IS the corporate infection on the right.
The party of the left and the progressives, the party of the people, the party that cares about the middle class, the party that cares about the environment, the party that believes in equality regardless of sex, color, creed and class, has betrayed them for so many years they turned their back on it.
The party had lost itself in a mire of money, dirty politics, and favors for those they were financially beholden to and it lost it’s base.
For those on the right, their candidate was different from any other they had seen. He doesn’t hide his thoughts in platitudes or politically correct statements. He appeared genuine by talking their talk. He was out to shock some energy into the good ol’ boy vote, the disaffected vote, the vote of those who felt they were falling behind in an increasingly diverse country — and it worked because the left didn’t.
Now some on the left are protesting and rioting in Portland, which is not a good way to oppose the election results. It’s just not. The vast majority of those disappointed in the results are average, office working, stay at homin’, college goin’ people that don’t want violence and more division.
They want solutions, action, improvement and cooperation between the left and right. They want something else entirely from what we have today. They want a government that serves the people not special interests and corporate needs. They want bridges fixed, roads improved, real solutions to the country’s financial future, checks and balances on industries that pollute without shutting them down. They want stronger monitoring on the financial sector so 2008 doesn’t happen again. They want security against terrorism from without or within without being spied by the NSA. They want a solution to the problem of weekly school shootings.
Ultimately, they want to make America stable, clean, safe, welcoming, helpful with opportunities for everyone. They want an America where neighbors help each other out and get over their differences because we aren’t different — we are all Americans.