Turning back the Conservative tide

Turning back the Conservative tide

Regular readers may recall posts over the past couple years where I have taken note of massive tectonic plate shifts generated by high court decisions in favor of some of the pressing progressive social issues of our time.  A year ago I posted about feeling the axis tilting leftward in the aftermath of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.  Obviously,  I was not the only one to feel that leftward tilt as the conservative majority in the Congress took a stand and executed a well played strategy of “stall, dismiss and ignore” and succeeded in leaving a vacancy on the Supreme Court to be filled by the 45th President.  Here along the most conservative stretch of Old Route 66, the former Oklahoma Attorney General who prided himself on his reputation for pushing back against that leftward-shifting progressive social tide, has landed a gig as head of the organization he loves to hate.  Scott Pruitt, a conservative culture warrior who tied up in litigation the state supreme court’s order to remove the Ten Commandments monument from state property and attempted to sue the State of Colorado over their legalization of marijuana in 2012, has been confirmed as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, an entity he sued thirteen times as Oklahoma AG.  This is consistent with what Presidential advisor Steve Bannon proclaimed this week as the goal of the new regime, to “deconstruct the administrative state.”  With the addition of Scott Pruitt to the 45th President’s administration along with other cabinet and agency heads whose world view is antithetical to their respective organization’s intended mission such as Betsy DeVos, Rex Tillerson, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and Steven Mnuchin to name a few, the regime is now in prime position to do exactly that.  In spite of all this and despite enjoying a definite high tide of Conservative control of all sectors of government, the ship of state that is the S.S. Trump seems to be taking on water and listing heavily to starboard (that means tipping steeply to the right for you readers without a nautical background) and now over a month into its administration has yet to move away from the pier and the approval ratings reflect it.

S.S. Donald J. Trump

While the GOP tide is riding at its highest peak in over a decade, that of the Democratic Party is at its lowest ebb in nearly a century.  It would be easy for any Democrat to become discouraged at this point and abandon the one major American political party known for being all-inclusive and resort to being Independent, Green, Socialist or whatever organized party out there with which one would choose to identify.  The GOP would love that as it would allow them, their surrogates and minions to not face a unified opposition and in terms of legislation to run amok, stack the deck in favor of the “haves” and make life in America difficult for anyone not a Christian or conservative.  Amid the chaos of the status quo there has been a moment of clarity this very weekend.  The Democratic National Committee met in Atlanta, GA and elected former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez as party chairman by a vote count of 235 to 200 over Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota.  Upon his victory, Mr. Perez immediately moved to make Mr. Ellison his vice-chairman, a move reflecting a level of dedication to inclusion that is needed.  One thing we Democrats have before us at the moment is the ability to rebuild our party from the grass roots up with a focus on reclaiming the populist message of Bernie Sanders, the critical element that Candidate Clinton failed to capitalize on last November.  I will personally vouch for the sustained numbers I have seen at my local grass roots level as all the meetings and meetups I have attended since the November general election have been packed out, standing room only.  While my observations are purely anecdotal, they bode well moving forward especially for such a conservative locale as where I abide.

As the Trump regime seeks to convert as many of the GOP Congressional members to Trumpism as possible and the Conservative tsunami sets about to inundate the American body politic with all elements of is economic and social agenda, a loyal opposition must be prepared to push back against every effort at deconstruction of the administrative state.  Regardless of political stripe, every American who has ever paid into Social Security or who is coming up on retirement age has a dog in this fight.  The GOP plan to contain costs is to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67.  They also have proposed increasing the age eligibility for Social Security.  That may safeguard the tax cuts for the upper quintiles of wage earners but it sure does not help rank and file baby boomers, regardless of how enamored they may be with Trumpism.  It is going to take a strong grass-roots-up push back against this huge conservative tidal wave to preserve the nation bequeathed to us by those who suffered the hard times of the Great Depression and WW II.

Opinion does not matter nor does it matter if we think we are up to the task or not.  The Conservatives are coming for all that we have worked for and we are going to have to fight them for it.  It is not like nobody foresaw this battle.  The late George Carlin saw it coming well over a decade ago.

George Carlin:  They are coming for your Social Security

Excerpt:  <<“But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.

“You know what they want? Obedient workers ­ people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they’re coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fucking place. It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club.”>>

It is incumbent on every grass roots activist and operative to step up and do their part to push back against this raging conservative tidal wave.  As more Trump voters realize that Obama never came for their guns but Trump may be coming for their Medicare and Social Security, the louder the focused noise of push back against Trumpism and the Conservative agenda will be.  Will it be enough to stem the overwhelming tide converging upon us?  We can only hope.  We all have a lot to lose and hopefully that will be a key motivator in pushing back against the biggest obstacle confronting that leftward shifting tide.  I do not expect that leftward social push to relent.  I do expect the obstruction to it to only get more stiff.  We have before us a very contentious future.  May the more determined win out!