Donald Trump is surrounding himself with people who appear to be obsessed with short term profit taking, disregard for Constitutional principles, the trampling of the environment and military-minded xenophobia.
As this plays out for the next few years, we’ll be better positioned to see how much of the DNC governance of the past 8 years was empty rhetoric on these same issues. I’m not saying that there aren’t differences. In fact, I’m terrified that we are about travel backwards on many serious issues.
On the other hand, we’ve come from 8 years of an administration that was quite friendly to Wall Street, Health Insurers, Telecoms and other big industries that have essentially become consumer gouging monopolies or worse. Where was the DNC-led outcry as fracking became commonplace, as drones hit numerous innocents abroad, as we waged undeclared war on at least 6 Middle Eastern countries, and where government spying on U.S. citizens in the absence of probable cause continued to be business as usual? Did we cry out in protest as our state and federal governments approved budgets that crushed the abilities of schools to hire excellent teachers and provide them with necessary supplies. Did we speak out on the “war on drugs,” which destroys the lives of many non-violent users who crave street drugs that for the most part have legal equivalents peddled by Big Pharma?
On the issue of the environment, I know that this is anecdotal, but how many dyed-in-the-wool Democrats do you know who care about the environment with the fingers they use to set their thermostats at home, who commute with bicycles and take mass transit every time it makes sense, who buy cars with fuel efficiency as the prime concern, or who take seriously many of the other things we could all do to slow the rise of oceans that are about to decimate many millions of coastal inhabitants?
My fear is that Trump’s inner circle will expose many of us, much of the time, as hypocrites who excel at generating empty rhetoric instead of voting with our actions to effect the changes we claim that we need.
The coming years will offer a wake-up alarm, and we’ll see, more than ever, who we really are as a People.