Gloria Steinem characterized this election as “a referendum on the future, but the future is coming anyway”. Kat and I gave up in despair and went to bed around 1:00 a.m. hoping to sleep about four years. Wednesday broke clear and our roses were still in bloom. With our first frost forecast tonight I’ll harvest the last crop today, and we will attempt to get on with our lives. Congratulations to you who backed Trump – I sincerely hope that you are correct about him and I am way off base. Still, I have questions for you that echo Colin Powell’s Pottery Barn Rule.
Can our first President without either government or military experience improve American life by making it more exclusive and less economically and politically equitable? Can we become greater by being less America the melting pot and more Fortress USA?
Will he improve our decent and steadily growing economy, or promptly steer it back into recession? How can jobs that went overseas be lured back?
Will a developer surrounded by a cabinet of businessmen and career politicians wisely run this government? W’s eight years were a disaster, but his track record did include running a couple of small businesses into bankruptcy. Oops, almost forgot – Trump has bankrupted some bigger ones.
How can even a unified Republican front possibly replace Obamacare? If the poor and middle class cannot now afford subsidized health insurance, how can they afford coverage with nothing more than Health Savings Accounts? What will become of those facets of the ACA that everyone (except insurers) likes, such as non-discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions, and free preventive care?
Will he lock her up? Will he build that wall using other people’s pesos? Does he have any plan for defeating ISIL? Will we ever see his tax returns? Will his Attorney General find a way to quash the Trump University fraud lawsuits?
Trump has promised vast tax cuts for business and the top tenth of one percent of individuals. Will his GOP Senate, currently so concerned about budget deficits, suddenly like them and change their tune to Cheney’s proverb “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter”?
Will the immense power and responsibilities of the Presidency somehow modulate this man’s anger? Is there any way he can transform his toxic persona, innate cruelty, and penchant for sexual harassment into something resembling a role model for our young? Can the world survive four years with nuclear war only a tweet and a phone call away?
He doesn’t have to make America Great Again. Others have already done that. Suppose Trump fails to deliver on his boasts even with the help of an enabling Congress and a Supreme Court packed to his advantage? If he fails miserably are you who elected this man open to removing him in 2020?
Therein lies the then and now difference between Powell’s Pottery Barn Rule: after breaking Iraq, Bush owned it. If Trump’s election breaks our government, we all have to fix it. There just aren’t enough Hillary voters for us to do it alone. You are going to have to help.