As I noted earlier this week my ability to guess what the future will hold is practically non existent. I say that so that folk will not put too much faith into my predictions although strange enough when it came to Trump, I was never far from the mark. But then again if you thought American was working reasonably well as a democracy and slowly improving to include all our folks in an equal manner predicting what would happen under Trump was not too hard.
Trump’s slogan making the US great again meant that it had diminished itself from some point in the past. He never specified when that occurred so his followers could decide at what point they would like to return to. From what appeared many believed it was during or even before the ante-bellum days.
I clearly knew that going back was not the way forward. Even my pre-teen grand kids knew that. But a good number of Americans climbed on board the train as it threw itself into reverse and gave Trump the engineer’s job sitting in the caboose.
One thing I never could have imagined, I must admit, is as part of the backward run Trump had plans to reduce the number of people in America. He used the Covid-19 virus as the mechanism to do that. Had he taken a laissez-faire approach it would have been bad enough. But he preferred to expectorate in the face of science and make battle on those who tried to adhere to its advise. His followers, having a similar bent toward science, eagerly followed Trump’s faux masculinity, and gladly endangered themselves while reproaching others.
Backward we plunged picking up those who enjoyed the idea that at one time years ago things were better. Back past the Obama presidency which gave rise to the all but dormant Tea Party based on the idea that a guy who traced his roots to Kenya should never have been president. The Tea Party took its name from the Bostonians who threw tea into Boston Harbor in December, 1773 to protest the laws imposed on them by the king. They wanted to throw off the royal tethers in favor of a democracy.
Strangely though, in January 2021, about two years less than 250 years after the original harbor flinging, members of the Tea Party attempted to overthrow democracy in favor of Trump who sought to be king. The passage of time changes folk. The party of Lincoln turned itself into the party of Jefferson Davis which metamorphosed into the the Party of Trump. The GOP was no longer grand or old.
Trump keeps plummeting rearwards to an unknown destination tearing down rather than building (yes, there was his wall). He ignores oversight. He starts appointing acting directors and firing inspector generals. Newly created programs to provide health care are demonized in favor of Trump’s health care plan which like his tax filings he promises to produce but never does. He jettisons existing agreements and regulations as well as long term relationships. Onward, ever onward we slide down.
Back through the 80s, the 70s, the 60s, into the 1950s. The train roared on past those decades. Finally, despite him calling foul, the people had enough. They booted him off the caboose. They turned the train around speeding back to the present. We never knew its final destination.
I often wondered where it would stop. I never believed Trump would reinstitute slavery. So I figured it would stop around the the days of the Scopes Monkey trial in the 1920s. The KKK, the predecessor of the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, etc., was at its peak membership of 4 million men. Jim Crow was resting comfortably. The Evangelicals, Trump’s adoring churchgoers, had laws enacted that outlawed the teaching of any theory beyond the Bible story of the origin of man. Mostly, though, Silent Cal was President. His first message to Congress was like Trump’s: isolation in foreign policy, tax cuts, economy and limitation on aid. What followed was known as “Coolidge prosperity.”
Those were the good old days for the WPAs (white Protestant Americans). As for the other folk, the WPAs felt they were here at their benevolence. They were to be seen but not heard from, especially from the voting booths.
Unfortunately for the WPAs that pesky document the Constitution said otherwise. Perhaps they should have done something back then to change it. You can bet had Trump a little more time he would have done so.