Donald Trump won the presidency by selling voters on the proposition that he could make their lives better. However, he seems to be proceeding according to rules laid down by Republicans in the Congress who would deprive most Americans of their most cherished security.
Said Trump famously, “I love the undereducated.” He told Black voters that they had nothing to lose by voting for him. It would appear that many of both groups believed him. The irony is that the man is not popular with most Americans. He lost the popular vote, yet he claims a mandate from the American people. Once people realize that they have been conned by a master manipulator, they will turn on him. That will leave Trump and his cohorts with big problems.
So, Trump has two ways to go. He can deprive Americans of some of the things they most cherish or he can impose a truly Fascist-like regime in which he threatens the very foundation of our democracy, including things like the ability to throw him out of office.
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are all vulnerable, to say nothing about the potential to eviscerate key parts of the United States Constitution. FDR and LBJ must be turning over in their graves. These are the programs that have really made America great and now they are under threat, Trump having handpicked people who are hell bent on dismantling them. Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan have promised it will all begin on Day One. Social Security will be changed so that their friends on Wall Street are the big beneficiaries. Instead of the government cutting your Social Security checks, you will need to invest with the big investment houses. If you lose your money because you don’t know what you’re doing, tough darts. They will start with those who are not yet in the program but believe me, they will end up taking your Social Security away from you, too. Here is 70-year-old Donald Trump, making sure that the people who he claims love him will be screwed in unimaginable ways.
After Social Security, the bullies will try to change Medicare. Frankly, I love my Medicare. It is a wonderful program. Every American ought to have it. It truly supplies security for those over 65. Most of us are astounded that this country doesn’t have a government-sponsored health care program for all. Now Donald Trump will deprive everyone, including his Rust Belt voters, of their Medicare. What in the world will they think when the truth hits?
It goes without saying that Medicaid, which offers health care to the poor and the aged, will also be on the chopping block. That’s an easy one for the bullies. After all, this election was really about race. Trump subtly (and not-so-subtly) empowered those who resented all the people who had, by virtue of their skin color, been kept at the bottom — in other words, many of the beneficiaries of these programs.
Then finally there is the Affordable Health Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Twenty million people are receiving health care benefits for the first time. What will happen to them? Will people on the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder kick themselves for not having voted in their own best interest?
At what point will those who have been violated by the new Trump-Ryan alliance take to the streets? I used to tell my political science classes that the day the President was elected because of the Electoral College and not the popular vote would be the day that Americans would get out in the street with their pots and pans. Now it’s happened twice, with the Republicans winning both times. But this time, Trump has the gerrymandered Congress and the Electoral College. If and when he touches Social Security and Medicare, I suspect he will have touched the third rail.