Policy Mea Culpa, Pt. 2

Democrats And Trump

[Check out Policy Mea Culpa, Pt. 1]

Democrats complain about injustice and deplorable behavior. We do it a lot. It usually starts in the family. Our frustrations and angers are developed in liberal arts education, and they live on in our social groups. What the most appropriately loud anger often overlooks is the backlash it can create. Trump’s victory was fueled by a backlash to the liberal voice that began rightfully wailing from the rooftops during the Bush wars, and then rode that high frequency wave to the social justice issues of the Obama years.

As the Trump presidency approaches, we need to learn from this American backlash and how it forms effective justice efforts moving forward. We must be self-reflective, clear-eyed, and perhaps on some issues even redirect our focus. Nothing has blurred the Democratic vision quite like the immoralities of the Trump campaign. The hypocrisies of the Hamilton Tweets are bush-league in the broad scope of things. It’s been a ruse for the ages, seemingly needing non-stop attention, which is a problem. As Keepin’ It 1600’s Jon Lovett said Tuesday, Trump has used his

incoherence as a weapon.

Dems: We’ve been blinded — and subsequently beaten — by the incoherence of our opponent. This doesn’t make us look so smart ourselves, but skip past the self-loathing. As crazy as it sounds, we may have real opportunity in loss.

Before we get to how, because she only needed to win Nevada or New Hampshire — she won both — if Hillary Clinton had won the traditionally blue states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, she would be President-elect. A three state, 46 electoral vote swing is a huge “if” — until you look at how close they are.

  • Michigan: 47.6–47.3
  • Wisconsin: 48–47
  • Pennsylvania: 49–48

As of today, Clinton is winning the popular vote by over 1.5 million — a 1.3% lead. This is not a Republican referendum. This was the closest fight of all-time, and it ended with a right hook by white America onto liberals looking ahead.


In the aforementioned states, there are counties that Obama won twice who flipped Trump, some with double-digit % swings from (D) to (R). Amazing, right? There is talk of Dems not having a resonant economic message, but the Dem Platform is as good as it’s been in my lifetime. Clinton didn’t stump enough, and maybe part of this is due to the fact that she didn’t stump particularly well. Obama traveled. He stumped well. Clinton didn’t, and her distance didn’t make hearts grow fonder. Michiganders, Wisconsinites, Pennsylvanians, and Ohioans didn’t vote for Hillary because they didn’t love her. Americans loved Bernie. Americans loved Trump. Few loved Clinton.

But Bernie and Trump voters have more in common than their apathy toward Hillary. Bernie said as much on Monday’s Colbert Show.

Here’s where Dems and Trump stand together, today:

  • Health Care

We all want it for all. Trump will keep preexisting conditions and the parent-healthcare-until-25 policy. He will repeal and replace simultaneously, so no one is dropped in limbo.

  • Child Care

We all support new, working mothers. Guaranteed paid leave and subsidized rates for care are on the changing table.

  • Space

Trump wants to strengthen governmental relationships with the private sector, which will reduce spending. He wants to direct governmental focus on deep space. Mike Pence, of all people, may oversee this. If he does, it could be viewed as a significant cultural symbol — Christianity pushing the ball forward on space exploration.

Unlike Pence, Trump is not a Christian Conservative. He has different values, both personally and publicly. On the back of this reality must ride a real separation of Church and State into the Republican Party. An unabashed ushering of science into new Republicanism would be great for America and the world.

  • Wall Street

A couple of years ago in front of the Vatican, Steve Bannon — Ivy Leaguer, former Goldman Sachs employee, current Trump chief strategist — said that the ’08 financial crisis was

driven by the greed of the investment banks.

He wants to

get away from this trading — you know, the hedge fund securitization, which they’ve all become basically trading operations and securitizations and not put capital back and really grow businesses and to grow the economy.

Um, yeah. I really agree with that. Alright, Steve Bannon!

(Ignore your inner-monologue. Focus!)

  • Money in Politics

He wants to combat lobbying…

…and get rid of earmarks.

  • Iran Nuclear Deal
It becomes more difficult to undo something that’s working than undo something that isn’t working…These international agreements, the tradition has been, you carry them forward across administrations, particularly if you find they’re good for us.
  • CIA

Don’t get me wrong — Trump appointees, known and unknown, have us pacing the psych ward. Mitt Romney looks like Barack Obama right now. The soon-to-be director of the CIA is an Army Veteran who’s well-educated. Under the circumstances, I happily accept these qualifications without reading anything else into the man. I am a little worried about a potential aptronym. OK I’m moderately worried.

  • LGBT Rights

Yes, Jeff Sessions is going to be Attorney General (focus!), however Trump expresses no interest in touching gay marriage…

…and thinks transgender people should use whichever bathroom they please.

  • Hate Speech
I’ll say it right to the camera: Stop it.

I’m probably the odd man out here, but for me…it resonated. I‘m not saying it wasn’t KKK code for ALL SYSTEMS GO, but at face value? I liked it.

  • Barack Obama’s Confidence


In my conversation with the president-elect he expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships, and so one of the messages I will be able to deliver is his commitment to NATO and the Trans-Atlantic Alliance.

On what dreams may come:

He is coming to this office with fewer set, hard-and-fast policy prescriptions than a lot of other presidents might be arriving with…I don’t think he is ideological. I think, ultimately, he is pragmatic.

Some Trump policies are vastly different paths from the traditional direction of the GOP. Democrats: We have real reasons to be optimistic. Let’s relax on the hyperbole, and social justice, and vilification, and focus on our surprising agreements with the Republican Trump voter. We are and have been ignoring the populist policy alterations by the Alternative Right.

Our best case scenario under a Republican majority is sacrifice + compromise. Detail your sacrifice. March for justice. Shine light on danger and hypocrisy. Be satirical. These acts are vital to your unwavering foundation, but our ascent is forever stunted by self-righteous disdain.