Nov. 17, 2016 By Jack Jodell.
Many of us are still licking our wounds in utter disbelief at the disastrous outcome of the Nov. 8 election. Though we narrowly met defeat in the Electoral College, we will soon see the aftereffects of this to be very long lasting and extremely pervasive. It will seem as though we were defeated in a landslide. The newly reinvigorated reactionary Republican Party will pounce on these results starting next January 20. It will mean the end of a very long and prosperous era of relative fairness and justice for most average working Americans that began with Franklin Roosevelt’s beautiful New Deal programs and has now ended, thanks to a lot of neoliberalism gobbledygook started in the 1980s under Ronald Reagan and stirred up further by corporatist Democrats and Republicans alike in the mid 1990s through the present day. The reliance on deregulation and the signing of far too many “free trade” deals like NAFTA, CAFTA, the looming TPP, plus far too many others has decimated our manufacturing capability, lowered our wages, and forced American workers to compete economically with the vastly underpaid minions of wage-slave workers in foreign countries. It led directly to the formation of millions of pissed-off, primarily white Trump voters. Many of them unfortunately voted against their best interests on election day, and that’s how we ended up here. As a direct result of this neoliberal collusion between corporatists in both major parties over the past 30 years, WE will unfortunately, and needlessly, be paying for these mistakes for the rest of our lives.
There is a very real possibility that labor unions will disappear in the next few years, Since the so-called Reagan Revolution of the 1980s, the free trade bent of both the Bush 1 and Bill Clinton presidencies following it, and the horrid co-presidency of George W. Bush and DICK Cheney in the 2000s, there has been an unrelenting attack on unions which has nearly cleared them out of private industry and relegated them mainly to government agencies. Dirty-handed politicians like Republicans Rick Snyder of Michigan, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and Rick Scott of Florida have made terrible inroads on dislodging them from government, too. Once they have disappeared, the very last remaining leverage for negotiating higher wages and better working conditions for American workers will be gone forever. Wages will undoubtedly plummet for all but the billionaire class, and working people will slip to living standards and buying power unseen in this country since the 1890s! Medicare and Medicaid will most likely end as we have known them. Large parts of the Affirdable Care Act will be voided. The few remaining environmental safeguards we have will also be discarded in what will be a mad rush to further deregulate industry. The ability of the government to protect its citizens from the excesses of greedy capitalists and the corporations they own and run will become nearly nonexistent. Libertarians will revel in this newfound freedom from government intervention of any kind, but a great many of the rest of us will suffer immensely.
IT WILL BE ALMOST AS IF THE 20TH CENTURY HAD NEVER EXISTED IN THIS NATION.
I no longer even recognize the country that has now become Trump’s America. With Clinton having clobbered Trump in the popular vote, this election can hardly be claimed as a mandate for Trump, although the Republicans will certainly try to do so. A dark new authoritarian blanket has been dropped over us and is akready beginning to smother us. Gone is concern for others and for the future well-being of all our citizens. Instead, we now find rampant efforts to make money at all costs, regardless of the negative effects of what doing so will have on our society and culture. Gone is respect for the dignity of those around us. Discrimination in all walks of life is now becoming fully sanctioned. A rash, impulsive, and hateful “telling it like it is” has now replaced wisdom and discretion in our dialogue. Those of lesser means, and especially foreigners, are now looked down upon and reviled by some. Even in elementary schools, racist slogans like “Build the wall” are popping up. In middle schools, black teens have been taunted with derisive terms like “cotton pickers” and “go back where you came from!” We have turned our backs on intellect and reason. Our patience has declined and our tempers have grown quick, hot, and nasty. The Golden Rule has been replaced with an attitude of “I’m going to get mine no matter what, and to hell with you about you getting yours!” Cynicism and intolerance are growing by leaps and bounds. We are effectively telling the Statue of Liberty to turn away desperate refugees rather than welcoming them in. We demand that the rest of the world be just like us, or at the very least, share our values. We say we are a nation built upon “Judeo-Christian values”, yet our behavior indicates otherwise. We have become the arms merchant for the world, profiting from human misery and murder, with indiscriminate violence and drone strikes. We have truly become a nightmare of neoliberalism gone wild.
Let’s examine these so-called “Christian values” that so many of us laud for a moment. This example will hold relevance to not only pro-Trump evangelicals, but even to atheists and agnostics. For, regardless of your beliefs, this is a very telling and meaningful form of philosophy, at the very least. This example comes from the New Testament – specifically, from the book of Matthew, one of the Jewish Apostles of Christ – who quotes Jesus Himself here. This is taken from Matthew 25: 31-46:
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Think about it, friends: is denying sick people health care following “Christian values” according to Matthew? Hardly. Neither is denying needy people food, drink, clothing, shelter, or justice, regardless of whether they are supplied by government programs or private sources! That is precisely why I cannot now, nor ever will, accept these new Republican mores of selfishness and individuality that will very likely make up Trump’s new America.
I cannot accept this transformation, nor can the many thousands who are protesting in the streets even now all across America. I cannot accept Trump’s – as well as his party’s – very misguided vision for America!
Trump claims to be a climate change denier, and I therefore consider myself to be a Trump-denier! For I now consider myself to be a man without a country. Refer to me, if you want, as an American Dissident. I will fight for truth, equality, justice, wisdom, fairness, compassion, and sensibility all of my remaining days. If, by some miracle, this new America will sponsor and pass legislation that provides good-paying new jobs and rebuilds our crumbling infrastructure, I will enthusiastically support it. But if it instead proposes more ridiculous and unneeded tax breaks for billionaires or legislation that is anti-woman, anti-worker, racist, anti-poor, anti-middle class, or anti-environment in any way, I will resist it by all non-violent means possible, with every fiber of my being!
A very long-time friend of mine said it is now a time for more prayer and protest. I fully agree. Therefore, I invite each of you to join me as fellow American Dissidents; especially you angry, misguided Trump supporters who will soon come to realize the horrible mistake you made in voting for him.
Do NOT sulk or wallow in misery – get ACTIVE! Be HEARD and stand up for your beliefs! Resist this horrid nastiness that is springing up!
Those of you who pray, remember to intone “…but deliver us from evil, amen!”
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