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After Trump

After Trump

John Feffer

Donald Trump has shaken up U.S. foreign policy. Most of what he has done has been disastrous, like pulling America out of the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal. He has been erratic, unprincipled, aggressive, and unilateral.

After Trump, there’s only one direction to go.


Mr Trump is interested in two things only - money and power . Once he goes America can live again .

All Trump all the time, No. The real danger lies in sly Democratic candidates for office in 2020, such as O’Rourke. How to tell they are true blue?

To gain the support of progressives, 2020 candidates need only answer four questions: Are you supportive of (1) Medicare-for-all (2) tuition-free public university (3) reinstate FDR banking regulations and, (4) reversing global warming. Only four questions. (Forget about the multi-page, 101 items progressive ‘pledge’ that ends with a ‘report card’ which no one can remember in the voting booth.) These four items alone will stop dead the three biggest sources of corrupting money: health care payees, Wall Street, and extractive/polluting industries. Starved of money, opposition to many other worthy causes will thin out in due course.

And oh, don’t forget to insist that the job applicants provide details to go with their answers - no weaseling allowed.

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This is an outstanding analysis. It has led me to question my reflexive distaste for Trumpism as prima facia evidence of the virtue of the opposite position.

That said, there are elements of Trumpism which we who identify as progressives must carefully consider. Trump is the master of the value proposition of professional wrestling. Be a cartoon fighting a cartoon. It doesn’t matter if you think he is a babyface or a heel, what he wants is the attention. He can then use your disapproval to make you into a cartoon. He can then point to cartoon you and say, “This cartoon hates who and what you love, namely what I mean to you. By extension, it hates you. This is further proof that I am a noble warrior on your behalf.”

Trump uses false fears to make his value proposition: Mexicans, Muslims, liberal elites, political correctness, NATO allies, all who would take advantage of our good nature, Antifa.

There are real things we progressives do and should fear, as the author ably enumerates. My only concern is we must take great care in how we speak of those fears. Trump is the master of mockery and vilification. We can’t win a battle with Trumpism with those weapons.

I agree with the intent of your comment, but disagree with your conclusion.

I agree that we need to build a strong national concensus on an anti-Trumpism agenda. I also agree about some of the virtues of a shorter list and the perils of a longer one. What I took from your comment is that 101 points are difficult to communicate and remember where a list of four points lead to more accountability. Did I get that right?

All good points, but consider where lack of detail can also lead to problems. The forces of reaction use the lack of detail in public understanding of the Green New Deal to say “THEY” want to confiscate your cars and hamburgers. I don’t want to limit our policy debates only to points vulnerable to such willfull mischaracterization. Nor do I think we must limit our debate based on fear of willful mischaracterization. But I think having more detail about a broad agenda increases accountability for those who would claim or decry the validity of any of its components. I would love to find a place where we can agree.

Sorry, I was mucking around in the third world for a couple of months.

In following the money, one needs only follow the stink of the big three: Wall Street, health care payees, and extractive/polluting industries. Details and other worthy issues abound, and they should be addressed by advocates, one and all. That do you?