December 21, 2017

∴ Hope

I see hope in the future of American politics. This article will no doubt draw derision from progressives and sneers from the Trumpists among us. Derision is expected; American politics have looked bleak since November 9, 2016. A sneer, though, is a welcome sign that the populist Right has reached a level of comfort that will lead to its undoing.

Barack Obama Hope posterRecall that hope was the undercurrent of Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency. It summed into a word the aspirations not only of the black and left-leaning electorate, but allies worldwide who expected better from America.

In Obama we got the best from among us, a man of grace and intellect, as well as one comfortable in his own skin.

Today we live in the immediate aftermath of the Republican tax bill, and with a Republican party that’s lost its collective mind. The new tax law causes the greatest transfer of wealth into the pockets of already-wealthy Americans and corporations the republic has ever seen.

The benefits of the bill for the middle and working classes evaporate in a few short years. The tax treatment of pass-through corporations and the corporate tax rate are permanent.

Our national debt and deficit will needlessly balloon from decreased revenue and increased spending in a period of rising interest rates. At the same time, millions will lose health insurance coverage as certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act are repealed and CHiP is allowed to lapse.

Uncheckable by the political minority, the GOP-led Congress and president have repealed or replaced scores of regulations aimed at protecting Americans and improving the condition of our lives.

Yet, I have renewed hope.

There’s been an observable turn over the last few months. Election results in Virginia, Alabama, and elsewhere created a ripple on the horizon that, hopefully, will build into a wave election in 2018. Once in a generation America sees such an election, one that washes away the old order and alters the course of our culture and politics.

Ronald Reagan lead such a wave. Many had hoped Barack Obama would lead such a wave, and were crushed to witness the backlash to his presidency. A con artist and admitted sexual predator succeeded him.

I believe the Obama wave is still moving.

Mr. Trump’s approval rating has remained in the basement, descending from an early abysmal read to historic lows. The majority of the American polity have figured him out.

Bob Mueller’s investigation has produced two admissions of felony guilt and two indictments from among Trump’s circle. There is no indication that his work is nearing conclusion.

Citizens are taking a renewed interest in electoral politics. Women in particular are working to get themselves on the ballot in elections across America next November.

People of color are a rapidly growing minority. Census data trends tell us America will become majority non-white some time in the 2040s. These are the the people who defeated Roy Moore in Alabama. Their combined electoral effect is already being felt.

Trump and Moore have shown America its worst face. I’m taking to calling people of all ethnicities who vote progressive people of conscience, because voting your conscience is required to deny leadership roles to people like Trump and Moore. The Obama presidency and what followed contrasts the best of us with the worst. People of conscience chose the former.

This all gives me hope. I’m looking forward to our 2018 elections. If you’re a person of conscience, you should, too.

#politics #usElections #Trump #Moore #Republican

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