Trump spent much of the weekend in an extended post-impeachment Twitter tantrum, railing on his “enemies” and trying desperately to puff himself up.  When Trump goes on a bragging tirade full of lies, it’s usually because he feels insecure and threatened, and this weekend was a textbook case.

Trump fired and police-escorted from the White House Colonel Alexander Vindman, decorated combat veteran and member of the National Security Council who testified in the impeachment hearing, along with Vindman’s twin brother, also a member of the military.  The firing was clearly in retaliation for Vindman’s House testimony and it created a firestorm of criticism on social media and cable TV.  Critics expressed near universal outrage that President Bone Spurs would treat a purple-heart veteran in such an obviously disrespectful and vengeful way, and Trump went bragging to offset the negative coverage. In his heart Trump knows he’s a scumbag and a dimwit, so he despises being contrasted with real heroes–or anybody of substance, really. The firings were entirely predictable and consistent with Trump’s (lack of) character but they merited a public outcry nonetheless.  We can’t let him normalize conduct unbecoming the presidency.

As the Democratic challengers careen into primary season a debate rages over the best way for the eventual nominee to beat Trump.  Every candidacy and campaign boils down to a few points of emphasis, like Obama’s “Yes We Can” and Trump’s “Build The Wall,” so it makes sense for activists to separate out and mute losing issues while pushing winning issues to our candidates.  For example, healthcare should be at the center of the discussion.  Climate change should be at the center of the discussion.  But any version of Open Borders should not.  Yes, we all know immigration is broken and needs a massive fix, but telling our fellow Americans that it’s a priority to let everyone into our country at all times and give them federal money unless and until they get on their feet is lunacy–especially when the issue is enraging and motivating for so many in the Trump Party.  It’s an important issue, and yet it’s a loser when there are so many other winners.

Nicholas Kristof did an excellent job in Saturday’s New York Times of identifying one of the core issues that Democrats should own this election cycle. While the Trump economy is cruising right along and the stock market is hitting new highs, a huge chunk of the nation is not participating in the spoils.  In fact, life expectancy is going down at a higher pace than it did during the Great Depression, with suicide rates and opioid addiction at shocking levels.  Why?  Kristof writes:

These deaths are symptoms of a larger economic malaise for working-class Americans that predates Trump. It’s not his fault, but neither has he tried seriously to address it; in some ways, especially in health care, he has worsened it. Important new research finds that 20 million Americans, particularly those with low levels of education, describe all 30 of the last 30 days as “bad mental health days.”

Full article here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/08/opinion/sunday/trump-economy.html

A large chunk of America has been left behind.  I still can’t get over the statistic from Friday’s blog, that a shocking 40% of Americans can’t cover a surprise expense of $400. Forty percent! In other words, if you have car trouble or a tooth ache or a sick child or a broken pipe, you have to decide between getting help and eating.  No wonder so many Americans are anxious.

The Democrats need to tackle this issue head on and beat it into the ground.  Our healthcare plans make sure that nobody goes hungry or worse–bankrupt–from a medical procedure.  Our fiscal plans mean that if you lose a job and can’t find another quickly, you and your family won’t go hungry.  Our priorities for the social safety net mean that you won’t be forced to live destitute in old age because inflation–or the Trump Party–ruined your Social Security.

The demographic most affected is the non-college educated working class American, and while Trump’s lies about prosperity must seem shiny and appealing, they won’t ever help get this group get to a better place.  It will take job re-training, a raising of the minimum wage, and stronger collective bargaining.  It will take higher taxes for the rich and better support services for the working poor.

It’s been the case for several years that, contrary to our national myth of the Land Of Opportunity, upward mobility in the USA has lagged way behind other countries. Even class-stratified Britain has better upward mobility that we do! No wonder people near the bottom of the ladder feel despair, and when Rupert Murdoch’s Fox lie-machine blames that despair on immigrants or libtards or feminists it only deepens the rift and sours the outlook.

We can’t win with free college or open borders or wonky policy footnotes, as important as all of those are.  We can win by showing working class Americans that our agenda–in contrast to Trump’s deceptions–will make the playing field more level and give them a shot at a life that isn’t just lived from paycheck to paycheck.

Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”

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