An Issue Still Important… Religious Authoritarianism and the Trump Administration

Originally posted March 8, 2017.

Analysts have written endless numbers of commentaries to explain why Trump voters voted for him and why they are continuing to support him. “Trump does what he says he is going to do,” they say. “He is authentic”. “Clinton was a crook.” “My identity is being disrespected while undeserving people are being given handouts by the government.” “We can’t afford a higher minimum wage, paid sick leave, maternity leave, healthcare, job protections, public transportation, child day care.” Instead of handouts, they say, government should encourage private enterprise. Trump voters feel they are unfairly disadvantaged economically. They feel their patriotism is not admired. “Money spent on the military is patriotic.” They want to return America to the fifties and the supremacy of white men. Continue reading “An Issue Still Important… Religious Authoritarianism and the Trump Administration”

DEMOCRATS: SPEAK UP, GIVE AMERICA YOUR IDEAS

Push Investigation into Russian Meddling in US Election

Democrats have some terrific utterly convincing leaders speaking out on issues that Trumpists are trying their best to muddy or drive some tractor trailer parked in some alley next to the White House to run over. The minority leader on the House Intelligence committee Adam Schiff is so good the media runs to get his take  on any development in the “Obama wiretapped me” story – Trump’s latest self vindication campaign, which, true to form, Trump can’t let go of.  He has to be correct, however debunked, and partly because of Schiff, he is failing.

 

Push Real Cost Benefit Analysis of Keystone XL Pipeline

Democrats should do “a Schiff” on every issue. When Trump gets out there to announce that the Keystone XL Pipeline Obama had vetoed will be built Democrats should be ready with an immediate statement. Trump shouts out what great creator of employment this will be for America.  That statement can’t be given even 24 hours to work its way into American minds and become a “fact”. There are figures out there that directly debunk the Trump job creation narrative. It is true that some jobs – by one estimate 1,950 direct jobs – will be created, but only for the 2 years building the pipeline would take. After the pipeline is finished the employment plus for America is 35 people. Among other questions that can be asked, is this really worth the climate change downside? This oil will produce 18% dirtier  greenhouse gasses than ordinary crude oil.  Nebraska should be encouraged not to issue a permit, as responding Democrats might recommend.

 

Push Pro Healthcare Measures*

Big messages are not getting out! The Democratic Party should repeat over and over both at the grassroots and nationally that Trumpcare is/was “a tax cut for the wealthy financed by dropping health care for the needy.”   Trump is getting away with the counterfactual that Democrats are the ones costing Americans money.

 

Democrats should start a “Don’t Let Trump Subvert Your Healthcare” campaign.  When his American Health Care Act failed he said petulantly that Americans would just have to live with the Obamacare even though it was on a death spiral, and they wouldn’t have to live with it long, because he would also subvert it. If somehow the Republicans start over again on a “replace” bill, undercutting the healthcare Americans have right now, this subversion would be even more his tactic.

 

The Democrats’ position should be that, instead of working against the interests of his constituents by trying to subvert their healthcare, Trump could:

  1. Fulfill his promise to bring prescription drug prices down by using Medicare bargaining power with drug companies.
  2. Revert to the original ACA provision that called for reimbursing insurers with extraordinary losses in the early years of the exchanges. Sen. Marco Rubio derailed this provision, causing many insurers to flee the exchanges.
  3. Agree to implement the Section 1402 of ACA which requires the government to reimburse insurers for the cost of waiving some deductibles for lower income families.
  4. Maintain annual enrollment period at three months instead of ending it during the holiday period. And restore marketing funds to encourage enrollment.
  5. Upgrade the website.

 

Start Talking about Tax Cuts

Trump says he wants to move to tax cuts in his legislative agenda.  Democrats should start framing the issue,  tearing apart the idea that they will have benefit for anyone apart from the very, very rich.  The theory of “trickle down” economics – that the newly richer will spend their new riches on investment that will create jobs for Americans in America – has been debunked time and again. Maybe there are income generating ideas the Democrats should start advocating especially at the grass roots level.

 

Push New Banner Headlines

“Trump Corrupts America”

Elizabeth Spiro Clark

Religious Authoritarianism and the Trump Administration

Analysts have written endless numbers of commentaries to explain why Trump voters voted for him and why they are continuing to support him. “Trump does what he says he is going to do,” they say. “He is authentic”. “Clinton was a crook.” “My identity is being disrespected while undeserving people are being given handouts by the government.” “We can’t afford a higher minimum wage, paid sick leave, maternity leave, healthcare, job protections, public transportation, child day care.” Instead of handouts, they say, government should encourage private enterprise. Trump voters feel they are unfairly disadvantaged economically. They feel their patriotism is not admired. “Money spent on the military is patriotic.” They want to return America to the fifties and the supremacy of white men.

Do these short hand quotes really explain, however, the incredible picture of Trump appointing, almost without exception, incoming heads of departments who vow to destroy both the meaning and the substance of the work of these departments. Even the degree of hatred of anything Obama did is not a powerful enough explanation. After all, the meaning of these departments is to help Americans realize their dreams. To be the American Dream. The best national park system, the best public school system, the best health care, the best public transportation, the safest air, the safest water.   Americans should feel proud of these programs and goals. Instead, on the Trump side, they appear to despise them.

Can the incoming Republican really put as their first priority squashing the homeless, the helpless, the sick, the refugee, the native American trying to preserve his heritage. The answer is: yes, they can. For Republicans, the American Dream is private goods, house, car, vacations, opportunity for my kids. It is not public goods – clean air and water or national parks. Empathy is not part of the American Dream for people who you don’t know or don’t look like you. The Republicans who lack empathy or any sense of community with Americans who are not just like them will not only seem cruel, they will be cruel.

Commentators are missing one large target for explaining the Trump supporter that does not require believing they are all bad people. They need to look at their religious convictions, which the Trump supporters say are guiding their actions and which probably are. Continue reading “Religious Authoritarianism and the Trump Administration”