Maybe If We Just Shake Things Up, Things Will Get Better

“Maybe if we just shake things up, things will get better.” I heard a Trump supporter say that this morning in an interview on NPR. I think there a lot of “Trumpites” who feel that way. And, quite frankly, there are a lot of Bernie Sanders’ voters who would agree with that sentiment.

I can understand how, say, an unemployed or underemployed blue collar worker who just can’t seem to get ahead no matter how hard she or he works might come to that conclusion. And I can understand how a college student, or recent graduate, disillusioned by Barack Obama’s seeming inability to find common ground with Congress to move forward a progressive agenda on raising the minimum wage or reforming the immigration system or getting corporate money out of politics might feel the same way.

And so, “maybe if we just shake things up, things will get better.” Or not. Maybe if we shake things up, things will get worse.

What will happen when Donald Trump cuts taxes but, in order to strengthen what is already the finest and strongest military in the world, increases the Pentagon budget? A George W. Bush style recession, that’s what. What happens when the wall gets built (whether or not Mexico pays for it), when we resume or even increase the levels of torture used against detainees, when we renege on international trade deals and cut back on regulations designed to combat global warming? The United States will become the laughing-stock of the world…and especially of our allies, that’s what.

What will happen when Bernie Sanders tries, and fails, to get a single-payer health care system in this country? The gains made by so-called Obama care will be forfeited as a contentious debate about health care opens all over again, that’s what. What happens when college is deemed free, but the tax cuts on the upper, upper class proposed to pay for it, does not find sufficient votes to pass? A crisis in higher education, that’s what. And just how will those “big banks” get broken up, Bernie? We still haven’t heard.

I could go on and on, but these few examples may serve to illustrate my point. “Maybe if we just shake things up, things will get better?”

Or maybe they will get much, much…worse.

 

 

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