Liberals in 2017
First my bona-fides: I am a genuine, almost cartoon cliché liberal living here in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. As an immigrant and contributor to various center-left publications, last year I wrote many articles to inform my secular progressive readers how to vote when often they thought they couldn’t: ex-felons, overseas Americans, postal, or last minute ID-less suffragettes. I also worked for the Hillary campaign in Brooklyn.
Since coming to America as a young student, one of the things I’ve absorbed during my 25 years here is America’s optimism: it is infectious and I love it. Pursuant to that, for liberals there is cause to be pleased with this insane Trump administration. So let’s look at a handy list of eight of the best reasons to be happy. There are dozens more: “Believe me!”
Despite Candidate Trump’s hilariously phony “Two Corinthians” professions of faith, he is not a religious man. We’re better off with an infidel president who regards religion as a compromise for power rather than…well… a religion. This is not to be sniffed at. Trump is wonderfully unholy, and while his incuriosity and at times scary ideas about science are a challenge, at least there’s no Jesus in the mix. Would we really prefer Ayatollah Cruz or Christ-cake baker Pence?
Tolerance to Some
Part of secularism, or “New York Values” as lyin’ Ted Cruz called it, is the fact that Trump is not outraged by LGBT rights – his apathy is mercifully at odds with his party’s platform which recently doubled down on old timey homophobia. There’s reason to smile whether you’re gay or straight!
Not everybody can be friends and some people really, really hate America. Trump’s madman style foreign policy is less dangerous than Nixon’s – more like disorganized buffoonery. Dis Merkel? She’ll recover. Where’s your armada sailing to today? That kind of chaos is a lot safer than Tricky Dicky’s fingers actually hovering over the button as an ideologue in the 1970s.
Trump’s agenda is expedient, not ideological: witness his flip-flops. Policy bores him as he’s primarily concerned with planning parades, rallies, and macho signing ceremonies: the pizazz! The Obamacare repeal kerfuffle was purely for the applause – it’s doubtful he ever gave a thought to the human dynamics of it other than: “Big applause for Trump! They love Trump!”
Let him. Trump distracted by his own theatrics will devolve power downward to the likes of Jarred “Kushy” and Princess Ivanka, wildly divisive guttersnipe Bannon, and other ineffectual goons. None of them have the power, jurisdictionally or personally, to push through the Republicans’ short-sighed and breathtakingly cruel agenda. Less movement, less “action” results in less damage inflicted on our country and planet. Hopefully this will combine with obstructionism from the Democrats to form a beautifully frozen government.
He’s funny, hilarious actually, as I wrote in an article “Comedian in Chief”. There’s a pure childishness, a self-lacerating, publicized neurosis mixed with low impulse control that ends up being laughable. It lessens his overall power and appeal: once a snake is defanged by humor, it’s just a worm. As Tom Lehrer said about President Bush: “Parody is now redundant.” Our leadership unintentionally mocks itself and writes its own jokes. Witness that Harrisburg stand-up show a few weeks ago: hilarious! It even had his favorite snake story.
Monsters not invited to the ball
Look who Trump didn’t give power to: Gingrich for one! Surely keeping that corrosive influence out of government is a public service in itself. Ditto Rudi 9/11 Giuliani’s shouting grey-toothed mouth hasn’t been empowered to chew on our faces. Thanks, Donald! Fundamentalist kook Dr. Ben Carson is hidden in an agency (HUDD) where he could do the least damage – unless you’re in public housing of course. Under any Republican administration HUDD is a write-off anyway, so while Carson is there, he’s not anywhere more dangerous. And left-behind-child Rick Perry can’t wreck Energy – he doesn’t know what the Department does and wouldn’t understand it if he did. Even short pants Bannon might be on the outs soon!
He divides, we’ll rule
The political division and ideological splintering Trump has inflicted on the Republican Party can only inure to Democrats. Republicans are a party at odds with themselves; toe-the-liners vs never Trumpers, anti vs pro-Russian Putin fans, traditional conservatives vs alt.right bigots, pro-business vs anti-immigrant (you can’t be both). A Senator McCain put it “If Donald Trump becomes the voice of conservatives, conservatism will implode along with him.” Democrats couldn’t have riven and damaged the Republican Party and its media lackeys more effectively if we’d tried.
The best reason Democrats can smile
The Democratic Party and its lit-with-anger supporters, the Resistance, will deliver a mid-term electoral drubbing of all the disappointment and open frauds Trump personifies.
The unpleasant and largely hidden horrors of the past have now come to the fore in a policy sense – like a Pepe frog whose rock has tilted exposing him to sunshine. The hard right’s flank has opened. This is not empowering for them, it spells disaster as the bulk of decent Americans and all liberals turn on the Republican Party with full force. It may take millions of Trump voters kicked off Obamacare, the despoiling of our environment, and maybe a small war, but we’ve unintentionally given them just enough rope to hang their party for years to come. So promise to vote in the midterms, and SMILE!
David Anderson is an Australian-American attorney in New York City. He worked on Wall St. and contributes periodically to Forbes and democracychronicals.org.