Saturday, November 19, 2016

Post Election Thoughts

I can't say I saw this coming.  I thought it was possible, as anybody did.  I knew Hillary is not an appealing figure.  She doesn't generate a lot of enthusiasm.  But at the end of the day I figured since all of the money and all of the power was behind her the rich wouldn't let her lose.  Even if they had to cheat.  It would seem our elections are fair.

I was planning to vote for Stein, but as Michigan tightened I decided to go for Hillary.  I thought it was pretty important that Trump not win, so if you are in a swing state you have to consider that.  We are at a critical point on the environment, or maybe we're beyond critical.  Yet Trump said he'd cancel the Paris climate agreement.  He wants more coal.  He'll likely ram through the Dakota access pipeline.  He's for the Keystone pipeline.

I said in 2012 that I think scientists understate the severity of the problem we face.  Unfortunately I think what we're seeing with Arctic ice, with glaciers, with global temperatures records, is bearing that out.  We're already heading towards the cliff.  The Paris agreement isn't going to prevent massive suffering, but it may buy us enough time to provide some mitigation.  Trump pledges to block even these modest measures.

The future seems pretty grim.  Along the way to climate disaster Trump has some other painful items in store.  Remember the debt ceiling battles of the past?  The sticking point for Republicans is they wanted to end Medicare.  Make no mistake about it.  They'll say "privatize Medicare" as if Medicare would still exist.  Medicare is a single payer health care system for the elderly.  You privatize it and it's no longer Medicare.  They'll provide vouchers, but not at the federal level as the federal government has enough clout to push back against corporate profit gouging patients and denying them coverage.  You send block grant money to the states, who are very easy to push around.  Profits will go through the roof, money spent on actual care will decline.  Your death panels will have arrived.

Trump wants to scale back the EPA.  Clean air and clean water will then be less regulated.  Apparently he trusts the "free markets" to take care of it.  Now when your kids start having poor brain function you won't know why.  Republicans have long wanted to reduce funding to NASA, as NASA data makes us aware of global warming.  Trump could help them succeed.  It's not enough that they do damage to the planet.  They want to make sure we lack knowledge about the details of the damage.

Obviously repealing Obama Care on day 1, as Trump has promised, is going to be a disaster for millions of Americans that now do have health care they would otherwise lack.

On the flip side some have argued that this is for the best.  With Hillary you're on a disastrous climate path, but you also have a progressive movement lulled to sleep under the delusion that we have someone on our side as President.  It was Obama trying to ram through TPP.  He's the one that has locked in the surveillance state and rescinded habeas corpus.  These are tools now being handed off to an authoritarian, as real progressives warned they would be eventually.  Maybe this galvinization of the left creates space for a true progressive movement, one that brings about the real, urgent change that can no longer be delayed.  That may happen.  If it doesn't Nov 8 could go down as the most important date in human history, the day we sealed our fate.

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