Sunday, November 20, 2016

Will a Trump Presidency really be that bad?

Trump has Republican majorities in the House and Senate.
There are numerous long-term consequences, none of them good.

Let’s go topic by topic:


I think the wall is bullshit.  Even most Repubs won’t be able to stomach financing it.  It won’t get built.  They’ll come up with some term like “virtual wall” to explain it away.  Or maybe keeping your campaign promises doesn’t even matter anymore.  Trump has certainly proved that facts and the truth are not important.

In any event, Trump will undo Obama’s executive actions.  Goodbye Dreamers.

“Stop and Show Me Your Papers” laws are passed.  Some police and immigration officers resign in protest.  They’re replaced by racists who can’t wait to kick the shit out of some “Mexicans.”

Hate crimes increase dramatically. 


Paul Ryan is salivating at the mouth.

Goodbye Obamacare (and you 20 million who are covered).

Huge tax cuts for the rich (already at historic lows).

Even more gutting of the little social safety net that exists.  Blame will be placed on poor people for a) being lazy and b) not being born rich.

Rolling back of Medicaid, probably replaced by market-based vouchers, turning a successful health care policy for the poor into a profit center for health insurance companies.

Ryan will try, but perhaps fail, to transform Medicare into Personal Health Savings Accounts (a long way of saying, “Privatizing and making for-profit”).  Health insurance industry celebrates in the streets.  Good times are here again.

Goodbye financial regulation.

Hello to the next financial bubble.

For a few years things will actually be okay.  We’ll run up another bubble, unchecked by any regulations, and there will be some paper millionaires.  Trump will be hailed, in some quarters, as a genius, as this decade’s Ronald Reagan.

Then the bubble will burst.  Huge losses.  Tax-payer bailout.  Millions of people fall into poverty with no safety net or access to healthcare.

Wall Street execs give themselves another round of bonuses funded by the tax payers.

Poor people and minorities are blamed for fucking up the bubble.

As Bruce Springsteen wrote, “Banker man gets fat, working man gets thin/It’s all happened before.  It’ll happen again.”

Corporate America is like a rabid dog in a room full of raw meat.  They are going to tear this country to shreds.

Gun Control

What little regulations we have will be gutted.

Trump and the Repubs will promote a gun culture to protect us from terrorists (read: Muslims) and criminals (read: black people).

Guns will be made even easier to get.  More people will buy them.  Shootings of all kinds will increase.

Trump will promote a more heavily armed society to protect ourselves like he did after the Pulse nightclub shooting.  The bullshit idea that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

Even more mass shootings to follow…

Law and Order

Going along with guns, Trump will promote a “Law and Order” society.

Police will be encouraged to “get tough” with criminals.  There will be more shootings by police officers, especially of minorities.

Instead of a president who at least acknowledges that there are issues on both sides and that  Black Lives Matter, Trump will promote and advocate the police to crackdown on black people.

Areas with a high concentration of black and brown people will be even more heavily policed, more arrests, more convictions (which have the added benefit of taking away their voting rights), more shootings.

It’s not a coincidence that stocks in the private prison industries rose almost 50% in the days after the election.

If there is an event like Hurricane Katrina (likely because global warming will be even more rapid now), Trump will encourage police/National Guard/army/private contractors and even civilians (read: white people) to shoot the “looters” on sight.


Welcome back torture and Guantanamo.

Trump will appoint loyalist cronies to all positions.

Homeland Security will be asleep at the wheel.

There could well be another terrorist attack.

If that happens, we intern Muslims, and likely attack some country full of brown people.

The chances that we do this anyway depend on how long it takes for the financial bubble that the Repubs create to burst.  If they make it past 2020 before the next Great Recession, then we won’t invade anyone for awhile.  If the bubble bursts before then ,Trump will invade a country to gin up patriotism and get everyone’s mind off of the economy.

Health Care

Obamacare is repealed but not replaced.

Lip service is given to pre-existing conditions.

But, in the dark rooms of power occupied by House and Senate Republicans and Health Insurance Lobbyists, everything is rolled back.

Health Care is a for-profit industry.  There is no profit in covering pre-existing conditions.

The rich will get great health care.  Everyone else needs to stay healthy.


So listen… About last night…

Right to Choose

Kicked back to the States by a far-right Supreme Court.  If you’re poor and pregnant in the south you have no options.

Gay Marriage

Want some good news?  I think this is one of the few points of progress and humanism that will stand.  Chief Justice Roberts, that champion of Corporate America, will be mindful of all the positive coverage he received and will want to uphold his legacy.

Gay marriage stands.


Laws will be passed, upheld by the Supreme Court, allowing government officials (namely County Clerks) to exercise a Religious Exemption from issuing marriage certificates.

So, like a tree falling in the woods, if a marriage license isn’t issued did it actually happen? 

Supreme Court

Ginsburg is 83.  If Trump gets one more Justice, the Court is set to the hard right for the next 30 years.

They will protect corporate America at all costs.

They will uphold every law passed by the Republican House and Senate.

Kagan and Sotomayor will write the most grief-stricken and angry dissents ever read.


We may well start a “registry.”  Hate crimes will go through the roof.  If they are already happening in Middlebury, VT and Western Mass (bastions of liberalism) what’s going to happen in St. Cloud, Minnesota or Dearborn, Michigan?

If there is a terrorist attack it is certainly within the realm of possibility that we start internment camps.


Here’s where it gets really scary.  For days after the election, and even now, I’ve been depressed.

I wake with a feeling dread almost immediately washing over me.

This is why.

Everything else that Trump and the Repubs are able to jam through (huge tax cuts, enormous deficit, rolling back of minority rights, repealing Obamacare) can be fixed.

It may take decades (likely will take decades because the Supreme Court will be shifted even more to the Right for the next 30 years) but it is fixable.

There is one issue that, once a tipping point is reached, is no longer fixable.  The environment.

By not addressing global climate change now (and we may already be past the tipping point) we are potentially setting up an extinction level event one hundred years from now.

At the very least, there will be huge water shortages which will lead to increased starvation and resource conflict.

More severe weather systems.  Drought.  Flooding.  Islands sinking.

Increased poising of our water, food and air systems from de-regulated industry.

Hundreds of millions of people will die.

I guess I won’t be here for the worst of it.

But my niece.  My god kids.  All of whom are under the age of ten.  What kind of world will they inherit?

I think that the Gore/Bush election was really our chance to address this issue.  But Trump and the Repubs, by gutting all environmental regulations, will kill this issue once and for all.

We will hit the two degree Celsius threshold even quicker.  And then, it’s just math.  Like the Titanic after that fourth wall was breached.  Even if the ship is still afloat it is just a matter of time.

Everything we do, as a civilization, is just rearranging the deck chairs.


Investigative reporting has already been gutted.  As David Simon is fond of saying, “There are no citizen journalists down at City Hall.”

The New York Times is, perhaps, the only institution that can muster some resources to uncovering corruption, opaque business dealings, criminal activity and everything else that is going to go on in the Trump White House.

And even then it’s probably ten years too late.

The time of a newspaper tasking two reporters to one story for more than a year, as the Washington Post did with Watergate, is long since past.

Absent whistleblowers, on which there will be a legal crackdown, nothing of substance is likely to come out.

On the other hand, in the creepy netherworld of the alt-right, Breitbart will be the lead mouthpiece.

News stories of (insert vulnerable group here) being harassed, assaulted or perhaps even killed will be dismissed as made up.  Like Newtown.  If people don’t accept that it happened they don’t have to feel bad about it.

Fox News won’t got that far.  But they will be cheerleaders.  The White Citizens Council to the lower-rent KKK’ers of Breitbart.

Media conglomerates are profit centers.  Les Moonves, chair of CBS, said of Trump and the Presidential race, “It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS.”

Watch the money come rolling in…

Best Case Scenario

Everything I’ve just outlined, including destroying our planet courtesy of climate change and global warming, is best case scenario.

I think there is a high probability that all of the things I’ve just outlined come to pass.

But what if some state-sponsored terrorist group detonates a dirty bomb somewhere in the US.  Does Trump nuke Iran?  Or North Korea?  Is there a retaliatory strike?

What if Putin invades eastern Europe and a feckless Trump looks the other way?

What if a reporter uncovers some criminal act and Trump orders a drone strike to execute him or her?

The scenarios are numerous and terrifying.

Trump is obsessed with being perceived as strong.

This is the guy who, when being filmed welcoming children to Trump Tower, talked to a ten-year-old girl and the turned to the camera and said, “I’ll be dating her in ten years.”

He’s insane.

So to answer my question: Yes, a Trump Presidency is going to be that bad.