A very wise person once pointed out to me an old saying. It is that if one student misses something, blame the student, but if many students get it wrong, blame the teacher. Sixty million people voted for Donald Trump, despite the fact that he is an uninformed, self-absorbed lecher. Many of those who voted for him were working men and women who had, until that election, been the backbone of the Democratic party. Applying the old saying, the blame for this falls in large part on the Democratic party for not understanding that they were failing the very people whom they claimed to represent.
Those good people are asking a very basic and fully justified question: what about us? They are not greedy, and they are most certainly not self-absorbed. They work hard to provide for their families. They are, as a group, the main source of income for the government. They have welcomed people from around the globe into their communities. They believe in and are dedicated to the American ideal of the inalienable rights of all human beings. They are also, however, in need of support, and they are convinced that their own party has failed to give them that support. So they sought change, and Trump offered it to them.
Those good people asked for two main things: 1) jobs with a living wage, and 2) adequate and affordable health care coverage. I have previously stated that, since Trump’s words could not be believed, the only way to judge his administration would be by his deeds. However, another wise person observed that words can be deeds also, particularly if they are proposals.
Tuesday night, March 1, 2017, Trump will give a speech to Congress. In that speech, he will set forth his proposals for health care and improved jobs. These words may finally tell us what he will do for the working people of America. We should all listen closely, because the first hints of what he is going to do for, or rather to, the working families of America will be made clear.
With respect to health care, beware the word “access.” As I have previously written, Trump promised the working families of America that he would have a health care program installed that would provide coverage for all Americans, and that coverage would be cheaper than Obamacare, and that coverage would provide more benefits than Obamacare. So far the only program actually produced by the Republicans would provide coverage for fewer people, would provide fewer benefits, and would cost more. To cover up for this astounding failure, the Republican legislators in power in Congress have taken to using the word “access”, as in the statement, “We will provide access to health care for all Americans.” This will be fairly easy to do. After all, we all have access to purchasing Rolls Royces and million dollar homes. The sales people are just waiting for us. We have access, but we don’t have the money and never will.
With respect to jobs, beware claims that anything Trump has done or will do will fulfill his repeated promise to provide jobs with living wages. First of all, he inherited a jobless rate of less than five percent, so it is hard to imagine that he will improve that. Second, he has promised jobs that will never come back. The manufacturing jobs of twenty years ago are now being done by robots. The jobs provided in coal country have been disappearing for years, both because of mechanization and because the world has found better sources of energy.
Finally, beware the claim that we have to strip the budget of things like environmental protection and grants for needed research in order to pay for more military spending. Beware particularly any claim that we should be very afraid of attacks from without. That is the talk of a dictator, and it would accord with other dictatorial stances like condemning the free press as the “enemy of the people.”
Those good people claimed that they were being ignored, and they were. They demanded change, and they got it. Now the question is whether the change Trump has in mind will help the working people of America. Tomorrow night, we will find out.