August 20th, 2019

U.S. Political IQ

At the founding of our democracy, Alexander Hamilton was leery of mass enfranchisement. He didn’t think enough people were sufficiently intelligent or informed to make the right choices affecting their governance. He therefore wanted to limit voting rights to select segments of society. Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, had greater faith in the masses, and promoted universal suffrage that is now the rule of the day.

In our recent presidential election, the votes were about 63 million for Donald Trump, 66 million for Hillary Clinton, and 7 million for other candidates (Green Party, etc.). That clearly showed that Donald Trump was not the majority choice, though, through the antiquated Electoral College, he was granted the presidency.

Since taking office, Trump has engaged in a flurry of manic, autocratic activity Đ some of it possibly unconstitutional and none of it directly addressing the issue for which many voted for him: JOBS! Nor can he create more domestic, private-sector jobs in a global Đ and increasingly automated Đ economy without doing even more damage to the nation through protectionist policies. So Trump addresses the job problem indirectly through his immigration ban. Keeping out of the country people who will increase competition for the few jobs available is a policy that may have racist elements, but one that can also have domestic worker support. And, of course, the seminal systemic question is never addressed: Why, even in a globalized economy, is there such a paucity of opportunity to earn a living wage in such an advanced society? This is the can of worms opened only by left-wing “radicals.”

Nonetheless, most people didn’t vote for Trump. Of those who did, there’s the billionaire class that knew its interests, opposed to those of the majority, would be served by a fellow billionaire in the White House. And then there was a huge sector that, for one reason or another, so disliked Hillary that, given the choice, would probably have chosen Hitler over her. Which, in a sense, it did. The rest of the Trump voters naively fell for the preposterous notion that a deceitful, egocentric billionaire entrepreneur would function in their interest.

It now seems that many of these Trumpists are already disillusioned. After little more than three months after the election, polls taken on the new president’s policies and behavior are showing dramatically higher disapproval rates than approval. In addition, the disapproval is taking the form of massive oppositional organizing across the nation. Many lawyers and legal firms are voluntarily scrutinizing the legality of Trump’s edicts and actions, while a corps of state attorneys general is laying in wait for an impeachable breach of the constitution. I don’t recall in my fairly long lifetime a president under such heavy fire within weeks of taking the oath of office.

The oppositional grass-roots movements are geared to coalesce into a massive progressive organization more powerful than the right-wing Tea Party that was created and funded by the billionaire class solely to consolidate and perpetuate its wealth. And the progressive movement may very well succeed, because it appears that the nation’s majority Đ especially young people Đ has become increasingly aware as to where its real interests lie. Add this to the fact that most people rejected Trump at the polls, and the conclusion is obvious: Though we humans can do a lot of stupid things, Jefferson was right. Despite powerful propaganda forces distorting reality, over the long haul TRUST THE PEOPLE!

Andrew Torre
Londonderry, VT

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