Well I feel like someone has simply come up and kicked me in the stomach. Like so many right now my feelings are a mix of depression, fear and flat out confusion.
For the life of me I can not understand why working class people would vote for a billionaire to save them from the problems they have, but that seems to be what happened. Much like the chickens going to Colonel Sanders for help.
This devastating election was not something that happened overnight. The pieces have been put together little bit by little bit over decades. Not that there was a master building plan, but there was a master goal. That goal has been as clear as a sunny day – destroy ant bit of legislation or regulation that gives power to people who are not the wealthy ruling class.
Through whatever the media of the day is the rulers are able to manipulate the working class into fighting against their own self interest by pitting them against some perceived enemy. It may be a real enemy, but most often it is a scapegoat created by the rulers to lead the working class into believing that the scapegoat is responsible for their plight and the rulers are their allies in defeating the hated scapegoat. This round they were many scapegoats including Mexicans, blacks, women, terrorists and others.
Creating fear and animosity among these groups creates alliances with the rulers to vanquish the evil. The rulers can then reshape society to their liking while telling the working class that only they (the rulers) can be trusted and their opposition are fighting to keep them down.
This has been a technique used by rulers with varying degrees of success over the millennia. Our country guaranteed the right of a free press as the first guarantee in the bill of rights so that those in the ruling class would have open opposition. While they guaranteed that the government would not interfere in the workings of the press, there was no way to guarantee that the press itself wouldn’t somehow become a form of a monopolistic grouping.
Thus we have had a press that has become a few major voices singing one song. That song has been in praise of business and in condemnation of the government that you and I have some voice in. Our education system has been dumbed down in such a way that few of us have real critical thinking skills anymore. So as we accept our meager pay we accept as gospel what we hear from a media that appears competitive but in reality is owned by a few companies with very similar goals.
So once again workers have been fooled into giving the ruling class permission to take away programs and protections that have taken decades to set up.
We can expect assaults on any form of government backed health care, including the ACA, Medicare and Medicaid. Expect attacks on any and all social safety net programs such as Social Security, supplemental food programs and worker’s compensation programs. Also expect an all out assault on business regulations, especially those that help consumers such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The list of programs that a Trump Administration will undo stretches back 80 years. Will our currently compliant media which acts more as a stenographer to the Republican Party even bother to report it? Most likely their reports will be such that they will simply report administration statements without comment.
Republicans turned full force on attacking the Obama administration blaming them for every ill in the country while they themselves caused most of the problem through their obstruction. Republicans exacerbated every divide in this country while blaming democrats for it. When Democrats created programs that were good for the working people Republicans trashed them all over the media. The media played a major role in all this by giving the airwaves over to Republicans with little time for rebuttal from Democrats.
The conquering of the media did not happen overnight. There was a long steady takeover beginning from the days of the infamous Lewis Powell Memo through Ronald Reagan ending the Fairness Doctrine through the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
In a similar vein, Republicans established so-called think tanks where policies were formulated. Conservatives paid people to develop policy statements and refine them for best acceptance. They employed people to study the effects of words and messages. One of their greatest successes in this area is the major cutbacks in inheritance taxes that they dubbed “death taxes.”
What happened Tuesday has its roots back in the attempted coup against Franklin Roosevelt some 83 years ago. One could almost call Donald Trump the anti-Roosevelt, the culmination of some four score and three years of effort.
Today is a dark time for America. It is also a very dark time for Iowa. The overwhelming numbers in the legislature coupled with a governor who acts as a king means that Iowa will be in for some rough times ahead. I believe we can expect education to be one of the major victims as the Republican philosophy of starve the beast comes full cycle to Iowa. Expect major cuts to public schools as Republicans push for publicly funded charter schools.
There have been dark times before. Giving up now would be letting them win.