What does a Trump presidency mean for the future of American democracy?
In light of the global populist movement some are left wondering if Trump is the poster child of right-wing aggression against the global establishment, in reality, he is the establishment. Regardless, there’s both a social awareness benefit and constant resistance struggle to be noted by his administration. Even though Trump seems like an attack on the civil rights of Americans and a curse to the global community, his presidency has opened people’s eyes to the issues that have been plaguing them.
It was globalization that lost manufacturing jobs in the rust-belt states, the states whose support helped win Trump the electoral college. His ‘make America great again’ campaign was directed at the loss of what were once lifelong jobs in the automobile, coal and textiles and other labour intensive industries. Jobs that were predominately unionized and good paying jobs. Jobs that fuelled the working class of the middle American. The outsourcing of these jobs was either due to globalized labour markets or they were phased out of existence by automation. As I’ve talked about before desperate economic situations often lead to a push against the “establishment”, the racism that has accompanied Trump’s movement is the pay out of victimization to a group (low income/ former industry white voters) that have been made worse off by the social conditions in an already racially divided country and a tense geopolitical situation. In developing a non-white social enemy, it has made it easy for economically challenged Americans to hate minorities even harder as they attempt to protect their ‘own’, their culture and their country. If there was any skill in the Trump campaign it was stoking racism without directly and actively doing so; Trump’s choice of Steve Bannon and a failure to combat racism openly during the campaign leaves a defensible gray area in which to deny consciously promoting the race issue in the American public.
Fast forward to his first moves in office and the action against civic rights and social safety nets like the affordable care act or ‘Obamacare’ has spurred protests and public outcry for change and a clear policy direction outlining replacement, something that wouldn’t have happened in a Clinton Presidency. Which as sad it is to say is the only prospect of death from preconditions and loss of civil rights spurred the resistance needed against the corporate machine. If Clinton had become president, she would have continued the democratic- establishment routine with mild republican push back. I say mild because they have the same donors and to combat Trump in the general election she tried to appeal to moderate republicans, instead of the progressive democrats that Bernie Sanders inspired through his campaign. Sure, she wouldn’t have gone after the Affordable Care Act like Trump has but defence contractors, private prisons, pharmaceutical companies and net neutrality would have had policy drafted around their respective issues that sold-out Americans for corporate donations. Trump gives corporate corruption and establishment politics an ugly face to go along with the ugly policies that target and harm innocent people. From public out lash, it seems like that seeing orange has woken the American public up to the level they should have been when Bernie was in the race, it’s unfortunate to see that the worst possible out come has brought about the biggest response to establishment puppet politicians.
If the democratic party wants to win the next election they must do two things:
1) fight every civic injustice and establishment policy put out, so they are on record of opposing the downturn of the country. This is a mild tactic that may not work if the platform doesn’t support the correlation that would have to be outlined on the campaign trail.
2) Make a list of changes and policy shifts under the Trump and check it more than twice. make the civic injustices and limitations their ever-developing platform from now, not when mid-terms come around. Clinton’s “we’ll make things slightly better” non-sense didn’t resonate with those who were economically oppressed and they didn’t show up for her. Trump may create jobs in America, but it will be at the expense of environmental regulation and government oversight in industry practices. Coupled with cuts to the social safety networks, people will have lost family members, struggled with a lack of social services and opportunity all of which will leave them wanting change by the next electoral cycle.
The downside to this shifting awareness is already apparent in the direction of Trump’s Policy:
· Restricting civil freedoms like free press and right to free speech
· Institutional policies removing women’s right to control and make decisions about their bodies,
· Impending education reform that would drain the public-school system
· Repealing healthcare insurance laws, making low income people and people with previous conditions vulnerable
· Alleviating taxes on corporations and the wealthy
· Initiating new fossil fuel projects while disregarding international agreements further polluting the environment
· A general disregard for environmental sustainability and due diligence impact assessments furthering air, water and ground resources
· Increased hostility to foreign regimes
· Defunding social security
- Limiting rights of minority populations (the LGBT community)
These policies will make America a third world country again.
Even if these actions are swiftly reversed in a new administration, the impact will be solidified and create the social schism needed to breed another populist tyrant later on. The society is left to bear the exponential effect of time, policy and cost in the social realm for the disadvantages and socioeconomic barriers to be developed by this administration. These policies will impact American children, workers and elderly while systemically discriminating social minorities of race and economic position. The poor social conditions increase the tensions that polarized the country enough to elect a person like Trump in the first place.
A decreasing standard of living and xenophobic social climate will drain the intellectual talent of the country, the subsequent brain drain and only hope for a market revival on the world stage. It will cost lives and instill a ‘cohort regression’ that will see poor economic viability in the labour market, increased racial tension through further economic oppression instilling hate in developing children because of the hard-living conditions. This could also be reminiscent but not as scaring as children growing up in war zones that want to grow up to be fighters, only these children’s will be feed a social enemy that made life harder for them and their families.
A slowly incremental slip in the base American’s standard of living so that they may not notice until the administrative policies shift and the country is farther in debt and lack the resources to pull themselves out of the swamp Donald Trump is terraforming in America.
Systemic disenfranchisement is the only thing I can use to describe the trajectory of what was once a productive nation. The collective citizen’s response to right-wing policies cannot be allowed to trickle out before a progressive defense is organized. Falling into the monotony of regressive policy and gradual social decay while trying simply to survive the ever-decreasing conditions turns America into a shadow of it’s former complexity and opportunity.
Reviving democracy begins with stoking the fire of opposition, it means organizing into new political agendas that stand in contrast in the federal policy direction. Some may say that this extrapolation of conditions is extreme, I’m staying that most are looking at the policies as they come down the pipeline and not as an envelope then weighing the effect as a simultaneous variable conditions framework in which people will be incrementally exposed to. This doesn’t look like a straight-out collapse, this is pay cheques spreading thinner, this is crime looking more necessary, this turns into a system so rigged against the average voter that they don’t both showing up anymore and this is increasing national identity and pride to maintain control of the majority. This is how a country falls into authoritarianism; leaders like Trump come along promising to “bring back prosperity” when they do not know political systems, the struggle of the average citizen or care about anything other than being rich. Donald trump acts lawlessly and that is dangerous, a leader should have rules.
If you want to bring policies, business and civic rights into a human focus, checkout my startup P:HC. Join a global movement for social equity and human rights and become a Cityzen today! Project: Human City can and will expand across the world, we offer a chance at a real global community.