Revolutions are caused by frustrated expectations. Not by grinding poverty or by evil oppression.
Historically, people revolt and riot when their expectations are raised and reality doesn’t match what they expect.
So, I worry about the United States in the Trump era.
This man has given iron-clad promises to do the impossible. He is guaranteeing border security and crime-free neighborhoods, well-paid manufacturing jobs, and a return to a time when everything was “Great”. He is going to make the evil Federal Government smaller while simultaneously launching wide-spread construction projects for the country’s transportation infrastructure. He’s lowering taxes while increasing spending. He’s repealing Obamacare, and making sure that everyone has medical coverage.
His Inauguration speech doubled-down on the high-level rhetoric filled with visions of new America. He pledged that Washington’s self-serving politicians had been vanquished, and the People are in charge again.
Many people believe him. They love his straight-forward, blunt statements. They are excited that someone in power is offering them everything they yearn for. Let’s return to the safe, secure, prosperous days that we enjoyed before technology claimed jobs, foreign countries challenged our International supremacy, and straight white people had to respect and share power with minorities.
Nothing Trump swears he’s going to do are ideas unique to him. All parties want better jobs in the United States, better infrastructure, and more individual financial and physical security. The Devil is — and always has been — how you achieve these universal goals.
Still, Trump’s supporters are deliriously happy that Trump is going to deliver on all of vows.
And, I am worried about what’s going to happen as time passes and everything doesn’t become magically better. Trump and the Republican in Congress have offered no positive, detailed proposals to do anything that furthers the blue-sky promises of the new President. In fact, many of Trump’s goals conflict with each other or have no way of being achieved.
- The government cannot rebuild the country’s infrastructure and at the same time get smaller.
- How is the government going to make sure everyone has better health care with smaller costs to individuals and lower out-of-pocket costs?
- Will Republican deficit hawks in Congress really pass budget-busting increases in military spending while drastically lowering taxes?
- How is the less regulatory government going to get US companies to move production, jobs, and corporate money back to this country?
Moreover, Trump’s personnel picks so far are extremely rich corporate executives who favor policies that have contributed to the decline of the Middle Class. From the Secretary of Labor who fights minimum wage and workplace safety laws to the Secretary of State who is cozy with Russian oligarchs, Trump’s men have no history of helping average Americans. They are the 1% of the 1%, and about as un-populist as possible.
What is going to happen when Trump doesn’t deliver on his promises? When Congress refuses to pass tariffs to punish companies who import electronics from Asia, when a lone-wolf terror attack hits an American city, or when Republicans refuse to fund rail projects because of rising deficit?
Those people who honestly believe that Trump will deliver on his pledges are going to be frustrated. They are going to be angry. They will feel betrayed.
Many of Trump supporters feel that he is the last hope for their ideal of America. What will they do when they get laid off or get a pay cut, even though their President is in charge.
What will happen?