Celebrate, but it ain’t over. Not by a long shot.
First off, yes, I’m calling it. Trump’s days are numbered. Democrats may be leading the charge for investigations, but nothing will happen unless the Republicans are on board. I suspect Trump has gone too far, even for them.
No, I’m not talking about Mike Flynn and the Russians. They will probably be the means, but they are not the reason.
No, I’m not talking about Trump’s string of extreme executive orders. Or the extremists he’s appointed into his cabinet. Or the extreme positions he is taking on, well, everything.
It’s about rhetoric.
Trump is not an extreme example of a Republican policymaker. All the policies underway under Trump are in perfect line with what Republicans have wanted for a long time. The problem is, “He says what he thinks.”
The racism is not new. The homo/transphobia is not new. The fear of any religion outside right-wing Christianity is not new. The attacks on women’s health are not new. The adulation of the rich and belligerent is not new. The line Trump crossed is not a moral one. It’s a line of form.
Wittingly or not, Trump has exposed the seedy underbelly of the Republican Party. All the policies and direction that Trump espouses have been mainline Republican positions for decades. Nixon’s Southern Strategy outlined the ways the Republican party could appeal to white voters through coded language. ‘Welfare reform,’ ‘prison reform,’ ‘balanced budgets.’ All are specific policies packaged as if they were targeting minorities (those freeloaders!).
It’s a lie, of course. Plenty of white people like medicare. But still.
And lately, Democrats have bought into a lot of it, as well. But still.
The Republicans have been pretty virulent in their racism, classism, and all other forms of bigotry. Trump has merely said out loud what the rest of the right has said with dog whistle phrases.
In other words, Trump has exposed the beast. He is both Oz the Great and Terrible, and Toto, revealing the silly man behind the curtain.
He has changed the policies from, “I’m not a racist, but…” to “White power, woo-hoo!”
This, for the Republican Party, is unforgivable. He has eliminated their argument of plausible deniability. For this, he must go.
When he does go – I believe it’s a matter of when – all his appointments will remain in place. His executive orders will remain in place. ‘His’ policies will continue apace.
In other words, nothing – nothing – will change. Except the rhetoric.
Republicans and Democrats will go to bed, crowing about how the system works. The elected right will claim that they aren’t as extreme as they are. The elected left will claim a meaningless victory to bolster their own power, even while they timidly sit by and watched the scorched earth policies continue apace. Except for Bernie Sanders. And Elizabeth Warren. Mostly. Both already voted to accept some of Trump’s nominees. I know. But a handful of resistors does not an opposition party make.
For the rest of us, however, nothing will change.
We must not let this happen.
Bernie Sanders would not have saved us without a movement to back him up. Establishment Democrats beholden to Wall Street certainly won’t help us. Getting rid of Trump will not save us, either. It’s not about any one individual, it’s about policy directions. It’s about movements.
It’s not about Oz the Great and Terrible. It’s about the silly man behind the curtain. Let’s not be distracted. Let’s be active.