Trump and the triumphant “free market” Republicans

freemarketmyassAs I watch the disastrous choices DT is making for important positions in the federal government, I am more and more convinced the tea party, Free Market Republicans in Congress have made a deal that will help both them and Trump accomplish their goals, most of which they have worked on for decades.

Trump has no interest in actually governing. He’s not even bothering to attend national security briefings or meetings with the State Department that are offered to every incoming president to bring them up to speed on what’s happening in the world. That should be the first clue that he is not going to be directly involved in running the executive department. If he isn’t all that interested in learning about our basic safety and security, that means he probably doesn’t give a damn about any domestic plans or programs either.

But the Free Market Republicans who don’t believe it’s government’s job to help people directly really DO care about those domestic programs, especially those we call the social safety net. It has taken half a century to build up programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, voting rights, veterans’ benefits, disability programs, environmental standards, etc.

The “no new taxes” pledge has been used effectively to replace reasonable (i.e., moderate/liberal) Republican members of Congress with right wing zealots as far back as the first Bush administration. The goal has been to shrink government at all levels down to a size where they can “drown it in a bathtub.”

Look at Trump’s appointments. A climate change denier to head the EPA. Ben Carson, a doctor with no experience managing a large department, as HUD chair. Betsy DeVos, of Amway fame, and who has worked for decades to siphon funds from public education to private (usually Christian) schools, in charge of the Ed Dept. Some woman who made millions from Worldwide Wrestling or whatever it’s called will be in the cabinet in some position. Egad. And don’t even get me started on the possibility of the chairman of ExxonMobil becoming Sec. of State. He and Putin have great plans for drilling in the sea north of Siberia (And probably everywhere else they want.)

If the right wing Republicans were given the job of choosing cabinet members, they couldn’t have done better to accomplish their goals than Trump has done.

And what does the man with narcissistic personality disorder get from this deal with Congress?  The prestige of an office that will help him expand his empire worldwide.

Many years ago, Trump was asked why he wanted a certain piece of land in Manhattan when others were trying to protect it as open space along a river. He replied that it was just a challenge to him. He said he knew he didn’t need the money, but he just wanted to do it to show that he could. And he did.

This man has no limits. He can make any deal he wants with foreign governments or corporations knowing the Republican Congress won’t blink an eye. No hearings, no “recommendations” for restraint, NADA !

Anyone who has watched Free Market Republicans (e.g., ALEC, Heritage Foundation, Free Enterprise Institute, etc.) over the last 30 years could see this coming. Why Democrats haven’t explained this in terms voters can understand is beyond me.

Working and middle class voters have been getting the short end of the stick for over 20 years. Wealth has been rising to the top of the income scale for at least that long too. But, when Trump told them all those lies, they lapped it up.

Whose fault is that?

“The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the stars…..”

This quote from Shakespeare is popping up in many of the articles trying to explain why Hillary Clinton did not win enough electoral votes to win the White House. (For the record, the tally of her popular votes is now over 2 million more than Trump got, yet he’s claiming a landslide.)  Yikes.

But in all the articles grasping for an explanation why Dems lost big time both nationally and on the state level, no one (as far as I’ve seen) has mentioned the well-executed strategy the Free Market Republicans initiated 30 years ago.

Think about how Reagan fired the air traffic controllers and called women who needed federal assistance to survive “Welfare Queens.”  That was the beginning of the shift from a “Stronger Together,” “a rising tide lifts all boats” mentality to one of “I’ve got mine and to hell with you.” It didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a long, slow process.

Thomas Wolfe wrote in the 1930’s that selfishness and greed would bring an end to the American experiment in democracy. Neil Postman wrote in the 1980’s “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Policy in the Age of Show Business.”  We’ve had plenty of warning, but Democrats have been loathe to lift the rock and show voters how dangerous that snake on the tea party flag really is.

We Democrats get points for politeness and for taking the high road. But that and a buck and a half with buy a cup of coffee at BreadCo, and that’s about all.

It’s not just the white working class males who are to blame for being duped by Trump. Yes, they have their reasons for being angry. But there is plenty of fault to go around and the first place Democrats should look is in the mirror.

 

Susan Cunningham Susan Cunningham (52 Posts)

Susan Cunningham is a retired teacher of American history. She lives near St. Louis, Missouri.