Why Either Outcome is a Win for Progressives
Progressives and progressive causes continue to gain broad support. The arc of history and changes in demographics favor the progressive agenda in the long-term.
I’ve been asked what I’ll do if Donald Trump wins re-election.
I’ll continue doing what I’ve done my entire adult life, which is to fight for the things I believe in. That’s also true of Joe Biden wins. The fight doesn’t end, no matter who wins or loses. The strategy is just a bit different given who’s in power.
One very cynical (but realistic) way of looking at a Trump victory is as follows: Trump winning would be an absolute bonanza for progressives. It would be the best thing possible for the far-Left. How is this so? That sounds absurd. Here, I’ll explain.
A Trump victory absolutely ensures worsening divisions, graft, cruelty, and hardship. A Trump victory guarantees another economic crash, and probably a depression. Want evidence? Look at history when conservatives get their way — conservative economic policies (deregulation, tax cuts, etc.) ALWAYS fail. Conservative economic policies, when unchecked, ALWAYS crash the economy, at least eventually — proof in 1929, 1987, 2008 (all after long periods of conservative dominance of government and economy).
Even without COVID, most analysts saw a “correction” coming.
Trump’s so-called economic “boom” was due to bust. It was already slowing down. So, add in all the ingredients — including more trade wars and crippling national debt, not to mention (okay, I’ll mention it —– the incalculable cost of COVID nationally and globally, which will be paid by taxpayers at some point) — and the United States economy will certainly CRASH like an egg rolling down a mountain. Slow steady growth (like under Obama-Biden) was the ideal recipe for success. Pumping the patient with steroids — tax cuts, giveaways to the rich — might look good for a short period by inflating markets, but then the real cost of abuse will become evident, and the pain will be real. This was an economy addicted to steroids and hooked on opioids.
The horror of a Donald Trump second term would be so calamitous that the predictable backlash could be political instability and perhaps even a revolution. Part of me welcomes this possibility. Another part of me is terrified of that level of discord and chaotic aftermath. But the bottom line is — it’s inevitable in a post-Trump America. 100 million disenfranchised Americans, their lives in ruin, WILL do something about it. A crashed economy, authoritarian crackdowns on protests, loss of civil liberties, international instability, environmental disasters (which might be inevitable, no matter who wins), staggering levels of corruption for Trump and his cronies, government agencies dominated by Trump-loyalist flunkies, a warped judiciary (especially on corporate crimes), more SCOTUS appointments, expanding corporate power and influence at the expense of the working class, depressed wages (especially for the lower class)…..the list of Trump disasters is endless and incalculable.
Accordingly, if the system can’t take another stress test, it likely means a progressive tidal wave, certainly in 2024 if we make it that far. It fundamentally changes the Democrat Party from a centrist, corporatist, milquetoast coalition into a far more laser-focused party that will champion real progressive causes. If it doesn’t, then progressives will form a new party and Democrats will be left in the dust. And working-class America, the true victims of Trumpism, will largely embrace those Leftists ideals in the same way an entire generation of Americans — black and white and young and old — all flocked to FDR’s New Dealism during the 1930s and became proud lifelong Democrats. America saw what happened when Hoover and Republicans destroyed the economy, ruined millions of lives, and they NEVER forgave that party for it. The same would happen if Trump wins re-election.
Indeed, the best way to win is to lose. Sometimes, letting the other side win and govern proves all our points and gives evidence to our warnings. Then, we come in and pick up the pieces.
My only fear is — there might not be any America that remains, as we know it, *if* Trump wins. That’s the real fear. The disaster might be so catastrophic, that we cannot recover and no ideologically-driven agenda can return us from ruin.
Nonetheless, if this election does not go as we hope, progressive ideas shall continue to endure and thrive as a younger generation gradually takes over and recognizes the arc of history always bends towards advancement, despite the reactionary forces intent to slow the inevitable.