TRUMP IS THE GIFT
especially to the Bernie Revolution
I swore off political posts this past year, might have been a couple hiccups, can't remember.. but I just didn't see Bernie winning the primary from the start as long as Clinton pledged to carry the Obama torch, which she did and carried the south in the primary for making that pledge. So I stayed out of it and observed, read a lot of news stories, saw Clinton get pulled to the left, and voted.
Being from Massachusetts I was hopeful the glass ceiling that women face could be broken on the Presidential level, Angela Merkel on the cover of Time magazine sticks out in my head as a signal of times to come, but was doubtful, as even in Liberal Massachusetts I watched Martha Coakley lose twice. She lost Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat to Scott Brown who was certainly not a gifted politician, and Governor to Charlie Baker. She was a not so likable policy driven candidate, perceived as cold and calculating. Time was not on Hillary’s or woman’s side again it seemed, regardless of the fact that Hillary admittedly wasn’t the most inspiring of Politicians. Even so she led in the polls all year through a barrage of obstacles and attacks.
When friends asked me who I was going to vote for when Bernie came along, I said the Democrat, whoever wins the primary, for it is my belief that the President is really only the face of the Party policy platform, with a few of their own ideas that can only materialize with the support of the House, Senate, and SCOTUS, representing a whole lot of down ballot reps, workers, and people. Usually for me, it's not the candidate but the message that counts, the ideas, and I voted for Clinton, Gore, Kerry and Obama and I would have been happy if either of them won, Hilary or Bernie, but deep down I had the feeling it was a change year, thought Bernie might be a bit too old and even though I agreed with him on many issues, I was doubtful about his ability to get anything through congress. I also believed that 1. we live in a conservative country and Obama was a bit of miracle 2. that Bernie was a Democrat only for the election and lived on the fringes of the Party for many years, which might make it hard for him to really get anything done. The closest Bernie example in my head was Carter, who was an outsider as well, and that hadn’t worked out. So I was doubtful on both leading Democratic candidates. The message was a bit unclear to me, bogged down by the candidates negatives.
Where I was wrong? We do not live in a conservative country.
It’s only that our representation works that way. I'm aware this may be obvious to some but I'll spell it out anyway. We give rural and suburban voters a handicap, most evident in the senate where Montana gets the same amount of senators as California. It’s set up that way so people who live in the population centers, where knowledge centers and cultural diversity thrive, don’t get to make decisions about small town life, which is much more homogenous, with the knowledge center being the local Church or coffee shop. The electoral college works on the same handicap. Whenever you see a Blue patch in the middle of nowhere that's a University town.
For the second time in my lifetime, the electoral college and popular vote differ. The Republican Speaker of the House has already declared a mandate of change. Trump protesters fill the streets. Let the spin wars begin.
As for number 2? Bernie’s revolution is alive and well as long as his proponents want to keep it alive and can get over the 2016 primary. His political revolution was right to surmise that this recession has been devastating and the recovery has yet to materialize for so many. You can blame that on the contentious obstruction that Obama faced for 6 of his 8 years, but Republicans won that argument in the off years. They bet wisely their power was contingent on Obama being perceived as unsuccessful, even with steady job growth and lower unemployment numbers as well as his job approval numbers on the plus side. Between the recovery and the obstruction Obama could only do so much.
Bernie was right. The numbers didn’t tell the whole story. We needed more than a continuation of Obama and it was a Wall Street recovery. Bernie lost the primary and Trump stole his rigged theme and won with it, changing the message from economic to political rigging. I'll dare to hope the Bernie Revolution is not just a Presidential election one but a national one, 365 day a year one.
The bottom line.
Trump is a gift. In a change year, what if Bernie ran against Jeb Bush or Kasich? Would he have won then? Not so sure. Gridlock fatigue had set in and Congress is entrenched. And though very possible, I’m not convinced Bernie would have beaten Trump this year. Simply for running as a Democrat.
Trump is the gift because in the republicans blood thirst for a win they gave up every bit of moral high ground they ever had. They didn’t care what their candidate said, who he offended, who endorsed him.. didn’t matter. I loved every minute of it, watching that mask of moral superiority they’ve been wearing since the early days of rock and roll, civil rights, technology, and everything else that’s moved this country forward as a place of tolerance, commerce, and creativity fall tattered into the pig sty. In my lifetime, though I disagreed with them politically, Reagan was the affable actor, Bush 1 was the cranky grandfather, and Bush 2 was the doltish frat boy, all with good christian values like the Church lady. Trump has none of those qualities and Pence won’t be enough to save him.
And the hate for Hillary brought out the worst in all of them, in real time, on film, deep seeded 25 year plus hate of the Clintons. Does anyone really believe that no one was aware of the anger that was out there that’s been brewing for eight years as an African American man became President and then we hit them with the Clintons!! Hillary took it, took all that hate and anger, only the way a woman can. I applaud her for that. She is one tough lady. And they came out in droves, the Klan, the white nationalists, the Jew S A shouts at the media, we got em, and we know where they live. The enemy we’ve known that has always existed in the shadows came out of the caves.. and I’m not painting a picture that all republicans are KKK supporters, but their friends are, as we now have a mountain of evidence.
And low and behold the Bernie revolution is alive and well, buffered from a defeat in the general election and ready to flank with their troops intact. Getting ready for the next big push and against a defined opposite much greater than Hillary in the primary ever could be. That was just the warm-up, the pre-season game. I fondly remember watching Obama's speech in the Boston 2004 Democratic convention, how exciting that was at the time. Set your eyes on the prize.
Trump is the gift. He’s the oldest ever elected, with the lowest favorable ratings ever. The first President with no Military or Government experience. The republican mask of moral superiority has been ripped off. The enemy is clear, the cause is clear, and they are all just sitting there, all of them in one place, unready to govern, unready to do anything. The Bernie revolution has the claim of the moral high ground and lives to fight another day intact. This is the moment to work, to be heard, to send the signal that this is far from over, it’s really just begun, this is when Bernie’s political revolution really starts, when all great revolutions start, in the aftermath of defeat. Take all that negative energy and like a good bluesman (had to get some music in there) turn that blues into something beautiful because it’s a gift. Like Bush 2, Trumps only hope is a War to unite us. Before he gets us into the next war, as weapons makers stock sky rockets, and renewable energy stocks plummet, be vocal.
Show your strength now before Trump even picks his cabinet, before he fills a seat on the court, that your revolution is alive and well and watching his every move. Ready to strike. This is my first move.
I don't claim to represent the views of any of my many co-workers and bandmates, this is only me exercising my right to have an opinion. Dan King November 10th, 2016