Let me start by writing something I would never have written, even as early as a year ago - I, despite my liberal beliefs and left-leaning ideals, will vote for Donald J. Trump in the general election. Additionally, allow me to encourage anyone who is capable to similarly vote for Trump in their primaries.
Now, let me explain.
I was not a fan of Trump the reality star, or Trump the business personality. I laughed along with comedians as they lampooned his “political career” on late-night television and at a few separate White House Correspondence Dinners. Seth Myers had a series of jokes at Trumps expense that had me on the verge of tears in 2012.
Yet the man I had never cared for has become the presidential candidate I am resolved to support.
Who Doesn’t Hope for Change?
I was in my mid-twenties when Obama was running in 2008. I watched Obama’s speech in 2004 and thought, “That man will be the president some day.” In 2008, as he was gearing up for the election, I was confident he would win, but unsure of what sort of results he would get. On Halloween, the pre-election Obama discussion took place amongst my friends and I, and we had all come to the same conclusion.
We were old enough to know better, especially as the economy was collapsing and the Bush administration limped to its final stanza on the national stage. We were old enough to know better, but still young enough to hope.
Obama’s clarion call for change in Washington inspired an entire generation of people near my age range. So many young Americans went to the polls to vote for Obama, similarly feeling the creeping cynicism even partial observation of Washington is liable to breed, while also feeling a fleeting sense that things could be changed, could be adjusted, could be altered; that Washington could be fixed from within.
Eight years later, I’m just old enough to know better.
Even as a liberal, I cannot say I am pleased with the results of the Obama administration. Obama promised transparency but jails whistle-blowers; he swore to raise money ethically yet ended up in hoc to Wall Street donations; he promised reforms but capitulated to the most established of the establishment types; he promised to change Washington but became the very embodiment of the corrupted system.
Obama’s signature legislation is the Affordable Care Act, colloquially referred to as ObamaCare. The bill was supposed to fix the health care system, or at least make it better, but it did not improve the health of America - instead, it ended up improving the balance sheet for many of the largest health insurance companies. Obama promised to create marketplace exchanges for cross-state competition, but ditched that effort at the behest of lobbyists; United HealthCare (UNH) recently announced the effects of Obamacare are so disastrous they plan to pull out of the Michigan market entirely.
Could there be a more perfect embodiment of the toothless, useless and corporately controlled capital than that? Insurance companies got everything they needed in the adjusted landscape, then decided they would simply pull up stakes from any market that did not promise huge returns on their investments. The corporate interests got everything they wanted, and the American public got screwed - again.
Obama was a senator before, and he has governed like a senator in the oval office. Change, real change, clearly cannot come from Washington, it must come from the outside.
The only way anyone could expect the American government to function properly again is to chart a new course, and that cannot be done with those who are already entangled in the Washington way of doing things.
There were only two candidates with the temerity and courage to buck the trends and do things differently - Trump and Independent senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders, running in the utterly corrupt Democratic nomination process, never had a chance; that he has survived this long speaks volumes to just how fed up with status quo politics the American public is.
Trump remains, and Trump is succeeding. America will have at least one genuine ‘change’ candidate come November.
The Irony of ‘The Ownership Society.’
In Washington, the concept of an “Ownership Society” has been a major intellectual driver in government policy since the 1990’s. Though a series of disparate yet similar concepts existed prior, George H. W. Bush enunciated his idea of what America should look like in a manner that tied things together neatly. Bush (I) so well described his vision for a society based around personal responsibility and a set of core values that existed around it, the Ownership Society became something of a mantra for both parties.
Bush(1), Clinton and Bush(2) all promoted these ideas, many of which were less eloquently put forth by Reagan in the 1980’s.
Ironically, Obama famously referred to this mindset as the, “You’re on your own society.” It is a very clever turn of phrase, and an admirable attitude to take, yet Obama has become as much a proponent of the status quo governmental policies established and promoted by the Ownership Society as any of his predecessors.
It is a cruel twist of fate, perhaps. The real ownership society is the people who write our candidates large campaign donations. In Washington, the most owned of all societies is the split-congress of both the House and Senate.
Washington is tricky. Very wealthy individuals or businesses are always happy to help a fledgling campaign, but its quid-pro-quo; sure, they’ll write you a check, but like the Godfather, some day, they may call on you for a favor…
Lobbyists and special interests work tirelessly to find leverage to use either for or against politicians, either to extort or influence. Again - we’re all old enough to know better.
Can any one politician hope to survive that environment? Probably not, I suppose, but a billionaire business man with enough “Screw You” money to toss around? Yes, that might work.
Donald J. Trump is the least owned candidate I have seen in my adult life. In years prior, H. Ross Perot ran for president. He told hard truths that people ignored or mocked; he warned about disastrous fiscal policies and was proven correct; he warned about the ‘sucking sound’ of jobs leaving America as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and was proven correct; he warned that things would not change until a political outsider was elected and, to date, he has been proven correct.
Twenty-four years later, Perot’s predictions appear chillingly accurate. Trump is the closest political figure we’ve had to Perot in the interim, and he appears on track to successfully capitalize where Perot could not: winning the election.
Have You Seen the Emperor’s Outfit…?
Everyone knows The Emperors New Clothes. I suppose I could claim that Trump is the person who stood up and pointed at the naked emperor, but that would not be metaphorically satisfying.
I have watched the media label and smear Trump in every way imaginable. There is not an -ism or -ist that man has not been called at least a dozen times by now. Comedian Louis CK compared Trump to Hitler. David Gergen of CNN compared Trump unfavorably to infamous segregationist Democrat George Wallace.
I am not a complete shill; I realize Trump has said some things that are harsh and perhaps difficult to justify for some. Personally, I have heard liberals say some fairly harsh things about illegal immigrants, people of color, gays, lesbians, etc. We all know there is a very large gulf between the politically correct speech many of us use in public and the candid opinions we express in privacy.
(I will not claim to hear a number of die-hard leftists supporting Trump; such a claim would stretch my credibility past the breaking point and torn into shreds!)
The grand exposure of the political punditry class, especially in the media and 24-hour news television in particular, stems from that. Trump actually speaks the way normal people speak. Yes, he absolutely puts his foot in his mouth sometimes, but so does everybody else. Obama once claimed to have visited all 58 states. Hillary Clinton once claimed she was attacked by snipers, and then repeated the claim after video emerged showed her claim was untrue!
The political press that is supposed to represent the American publics interest and inform them have been exposed for being utterly out of touch with mainstream America. The punditry class and political insiders are unable to hide what they are or what their actual intentions are.
The Trump Insurgency
There is no political rule Trump has not broken, at this point. The man is a force of nature, in both good and bad ways. He has managed to piss off everyone, from Democrats to Republicans and all points in between. Perhaps this is a tad reductive of me, but I tend to think that if everyone is pissed, Trump must be doing something right.
How our country has reached the status of being trillions in debt without ordinary citizens rioting on a nearly daily basis is the real surprise. Since 2000, the United States has suffered a number of disasters and embarrassments, yet the political establishment continues to put on a brave face and inform us that everything is fine, everything is exactly as it should be, and, perhaps most infuriatingly, how many political pundits have insinuated that the average American has no right to their opinions, since they just “don’t get it.”
The more I think about all of this, the more I wonder how the existing system hasn’t been forcibly toppled already.
At the very least, I think Trump has already changed the system. It cannot go back to the comfortable status quo it once enjoyed. An awful lot of Americans who haven’t been politically active in the past are finally starting to participate, and they are not just speaking up, they are screaming bloody murder. I don’t think their engagement is going to end with Trump, I think it is just beginning. We are likely to see record numbers of people voting in this November’s election, and considering how disastrously things have been going in America, that likely does not bode well for those who represent the ‘establishment.’
The whole system has been exposed, in my opinion. When more voters started participating by voting for the candidate the political intelligentsia did not like, those voters were mocked, shamed and bullied on live television. The New York Times referred to Trump voters as stupid, uneducated or simple; CNN and MSNBC have similarly judged Trump voters to be ‘less than.’ The same pundits who once bemoaned a lack of political activity from wide swathes of America suddenly had nothing but disdain for the new participants to the process.
I bet if those voters were coming out in droves for Jeb Bush, they would be active participants in American democracy, or some similar tripe spoken to prop up the crumbling intellectual structure of our failing political system.
The smart political ‘experts’ keep getting exposed as the know-nothing frauds they are. They do not know the American pubic, and they never have. From coverage to conventions, the whole system in place exists to keep the people in power to stay in power. Seeing the naked panic at someone from outside of their small circles succeeding in a campaign exposes those clowns and lays bare their true goals.
This isn’t a case where the emperor has no clothes and Trump alone stood up to point it out.
For years, the imperial court have been practicing nudists in their gilded palace, but Trump has thrown the gates open and exposed the lot of them completely.
Trump has my support, perhaps on that final point, alone. If you agree with me and are able to do so, I urge you to vote for Trump in the primaries, so that the whole country can repudiate the status quo in the general election.