People are waking up…But it may be too late

Gazette file photo


New York is a very blue state. Many people have been feeling extraordinarily depressed since the election of Donald Trump. They wonder how a madman got to the White House. Now that the Trump budget is out, the level of shock and concern is escalating. Many of those who voted for Trump are beginning to experience voter’s remorse.

Let’s face it – before this election, a lot of people had had it with what they called the welfare state. Some of them thought that those at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum have had it too easy. They spread myths about the federal government giving the poor cell phones and televisions. As in every society, people are looking over their shoulders and for those who are having a tough time making middle class ends meet, the poor are easy targets.

That is in large part why Trump won. But now that Trump’s budget has hit the streets people, including those who believe that they have been left out, are finding that Trump and his allies are screwing them to the wall. Their children and grandchildren are being told that there will no longer be hot school lunches or afterschool programs. They are being told that these programs “don’t work.” They are being told that the smog that used to engulf a lot of places in New York is not a factor of climate change and they are being told of efforts to clean up the earth, “We don’t do that anymore.”

The question is, are there any silver linings in any of these horrific goings on? It’s hard to imagine there are. It is possible that this is just the beginning of the end for America. Trump is building up the very Military-Industrial Complex that Republican Ike Eisenhower warned us about. My wife recently heard of an Italian woman saying that her country was the laughing stock of the world when Silvio Berlusconi was Prime Minister for twenty years. She intimated that the United States has now taken over that number one position.

Clever, but the Italian Prime Minister was hardly in a position to blow up the world; Donald Trump is as he eliminates Meals on Wheels and argues that we need an even bigger nuclear arsenal. So, I would argue that if we get through these four years and if the Democrats do not commit political suicide and if Trump doesn’t lead this country into fascism, there may actually be a silver lining in his election.

The fact that he is the president and is hurting so many people by taking away their health care, cancelling Meals on Wheels, and targeting those of particular faiths, just might means that Americans may be developing a different perspective on leadership. Don’t tell me that a grandparent of a kid who has been ripped from an afterschool program or deprived of a hot meal isn’t going to say to himself, “What have I done?” Don’t tell me that when a little girl is going to be deprived of her chance for sexual equality by a monster who brags about grabbing women by their genitals, her parents don’t regret casting that vote.

If we can get through four very long years in this kind of an environment, my bet is that we will see an awakened public attending congressional town meetings and telling their elected representatives that for the first time, every vote they make is under a microscope. All of a sudden people who never wanted to play in the game are demanding to be let in. In less than two years when it’s time for congressional elections, we will see whether anything has changed. Even Andrew Cuomo, who first ran as a conservative Democrat, is now tacking left as they say in sailing.

So that’s the silver lining; people are waking up. The problem is that it may be too late.