Outside my kitchen window today I watched several squirrels scurrying around foraging for food. One had an apple in his mouth; another a walnut. The birds, bluejays, wrens, blackbirds, morning doves and titmouse’s feeding at the bird feeder seemed to have an understanding amongst themselves because they fed in a certain ‘pecking order’. I noted that the squirrels had very bushy tails. Was their very bushy tails an indication that the coming winter weather would be quite severe? These animals have instincts that enable then to survive the bad times which they know are coming soon.
I hope all enjoyed a happy, festive thanksgiving holiday with their family and friends. Let’s be thankful that so far, the transfer of power and authority to govern America, the most powerful democracy in this world, has been a peaceful transition.
However, this nation’s residents have to prepare for a very harsh political winter (just as the squirrels). Trump is still who he presented himself. As Trump goes through the process of White House staff selection and appointments to his Cabinet, he also is revealing his ‘pale and male’ propensity. Several appointees have a history of extremist machismo behavior and ideology. Perceived loyalty to Trump may be the most important trait, rather than commitment to “American Ideals’ embedded in the U.S. Constitution. This bodes ill for many important domestic programs and policy issues. Using the ultra-conservative approaches to be implemented through executive orders. With a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, the public policies which may become the “Law of the Land” will be conservative.
Once he realized that he would be the 45th U.S. president, and after he had that 90 minute first briefing session with President Obama, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s demeanor became more sober. Several mainstream news media commentators made that observation. ‘We, the People’, at least some, had spoken with their votes. The conservatives and their ideologies will prevail for the next four years…and maybe more.
What may the future Trump Administration do? (1)The ‘global climate change issue’ will not be aggressively addressed. The Trump Administration will respond to ‘push-back’ efforts, but too many cabinet appointees do not accept that ‘global climate change’ is an issue, despite knowing that 97% of all weather scientists agree that ‘greenhouse gases’ must be reduced by 2%. Trump himself does not believe that global warming is an issue. Remember that Trump told coal miners that their jobs would come back; that he had no problem with the use of fossil fuels. (2) The vacant seat in the U.S. Supreme Court will now go to a conservative appointed judge because the U.S. Senate refused to endorse highly qualified and regarded Judge Merrick Garland, who was proposed by President Obama in early 2016. The Republicans will now have 52 votes in the U.S. Senate. Thus the appointment of a conservative Supreme Court Justice is almost certain with the result that the U.S. Supreme Court will once again be ‘conservative’. (3)After his meeting with President Obama, Trump indicated that two features of Obama Care (2010 Affordable Care Act) would be retained– Insurers could not refuse coverage due to existing medical issues and youth could be covered up to age 26 by their parents medical insurance policy. (4) The funding of required infrastructural projects will receive Democratic support because the Republican’s bare majority in the U.S. Senate will need 8 Democrats to cross the aisle to have the 60 Senate votes needed to pass this legislation.
That is how it will be for the next four years and maybe 4 more. The Democratic Party needs new leadership which neglects no public policy issue nor the constituents which are impacted.
The working class folks need to monitor and assess the ‘return on investment’ received from the Democratic Party. As an advocate of Latinos, Hispanics and Chicanos, if this does not happen, then these constituencies need to align themselves with political parties which deal unrelentingly with their priorities: jobs, affordable housing; living wages; ability to make purchasing choices in one’s own best interest…especially in education which sustains the American Dream. Since what happens defines what we must prepare for, we may no longer be quiet nor submissive; we must be vigilant and responsibly speak up when our priorities are not included nor attended to.