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CODGERTATIONS: Now the fun begins


Tom Harker

Well, Lyin’ Donald did it again – right there in his inaugural address. A little ways into it, he says emphatically, “The time for empty talk is over!” Very good – except he kept on talking.

Of course, although Trump may know that most of his talk is empty (he’s already wimped out on jailing Hillary), his rabid followers believe every word. It never dawns on them that all the magical promises are empty and impossible. Some that supposedly “serve all Americans” do so at the expense of some Americans; some plans conflict with other plans; some conflict with positions Trump champions; some of his plans contradict sacred Republican dogma. Good luck, Donald.

Trump’s promise to serve all Americans – as he surely must know – is impossible. Negative treatment of LGBT’s and attacks on women’s rights, while serving the prejudices of some Americans, do not “serve all Americans.” Huge tax cuts for the extremely wealthy, paid for by reductions in programs that serve the rest of us, do not “serve all Americans.”

Trump pledges to severely cut taxes. At the same time, however, he will rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, seriously pump up the military, and build a very long and expensive wall (or has he started wimping out of that one too?). Well, as Republicans say, when Democrats want a new program, “To do that will require large tax increases or cuts in other programs.” Do you think Republicans will support large tax increases – particularly on the ones with all the money – the ones whose taxes he plans to cut? Whose programs do you think they’ll want to cut? Can you spell “Social Security” and “Medicare”?

Trump says he’ll bring jobs home from places like China, but he opposes raising the minimum wage because “workers must compete.” Even if he could get Apple to bring its China sweatshops back to the USA, Americans cannot compete with desperate people locked in factory dorms, who are worked endless hours whenever a big order comes in, are paid very little, and recently were kept from additional suicides by nets installed under windows. Not going to happen without help from Harry Potter.

President Lyndon Johnson said, “”If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

When Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964, he commented, “We have lost the South for a generation.” Soon after, Southern Democrats started becoming Southern Republicans. As such, they have for decades resented any money spent on “unworthy,” “lazy,” poor people – black or white. It’s just money wasted on low-down “Takers” feeding at the “public trough.” So, what’s the likelihood of Trump getting a Republican Congress to provide all Americans with needed health insurance when they “repeal and replace”? Not going to happen without help from Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Obamacare will be repealed, but if over 50 years of Republican behavior is any indication, the “replacement” will be a much less acceptable plan. The spin so far clearly indicates the same old con: it’s going to be better because there will be more freedom and choice: freedom for the poor and hard-pressed to choose a much cheaper – but nearly worthless – policy; a free choice by the middle class to pay more for what they already had before repeal; and freedom of state governments – via block funding – to redirect the needy’s health-care money to unrelated pet projects. Watch. You won’t need Sherlock Holmes to see the truth.

Finally, we hear over and over how polarized the nation is. Half love Donald Trump; half hate him. As a result, he’s not going to be able to serve all Americans, even if he really wanted to. We are called on by numerous voices to come together and support the new President, to wish him success, but that’s not going to happen. For eight years – starting the day before Obama took office – Republicans have worked day and night to make him “a failed President,” not supporting anything he wanted – even when his proposals originally were Republican proposals. Now, they want different treatment for themselves.

At the same time, most Americans, including many who support him, would be foolish to support his presidency. Not much of what he has promised will come to pass; and what does will serve the elite, not the vast majority. Watch! As Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot by watching.”

This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal