With the polls showing Trump pulling further ahead of the Republican pack this Super Tuesday, the concern of a Trump nomination turns into to real fear of a Trump Presidency. But is the fear warranted?
Let’s look at the effects on a functioning democracy with the current Democratic hopefuls and examine what I think could be the best case scenario during a Trump Presidency.
First, is Hillary really that bad? No. It may be a fairly low bar, but if George Bush was qualified to be President, so is Hillary Clinton, so let’s get that out of the way. Regardless of whether you find her trustworthy, or are bothered by her financial, big money, and lobbying ties, evolving positions, positions on war, BLM thorns, etc., she is qualified. You may not like or trust her, but she is qualified. With the right Congress, she might be an amazing President.
There still remains questions about the email investigation, for some, however the Benghazi trial was an admitted ruse. Republicans, and even some Democrats, have done a great job slinging mud, smearing, and discrediting the former Secretary, but all those aside, the bigger concern with HRC is the level of down ballot prowess she may not possess. The enthusiasm she brings is muted in comparison with her current rival, the Senator from Vermont. If she doesn’t win by a landslide, the claim of a public referendum, may limit her ability to sway a locked Congress.
“If” she inherits the same legislators that plagued President Obama his last term, progress will be measured in inches, or worse, we experience the same regressive tactics. Party lines are already drawn, and as hinted by pundits, a President Clinton might be forced to manage by Executive Order. Not the best path for democracy, but it’s somewhat workable.
Sanders Gets Burned
Then there is Senator Sanders, the dreamer. At the youthful age of “it doesn’t matter”, he gets people excited. Revolution! Free College! Focus on Climate Change! Get money out of politics! etc. Sounds absolutely dreamy, but is it a dream that our Congress can implement?
The same problem that may plague an HRC Presidency, could be problematic for Bernie’s. Yes, we’ve seen some down ticket excitement, with a few races highlighting Sanders Democrats but, that may not be enough. Even if the Senator influences the House, the Senate may remain hostile. “We the people,” may welcome a Democratic Socialist in the Oval Office, but it’s still a two party system with razor sharp, corporately funded ridges that are staunchly resistant to change. Bluntly, Senator Sanders may be a “people’s” candidate, but the people no longer control the system.
A President Sanders would face strong opposition from the Right, and other profit institutions. Barring a substantive challenge resulting in the reversal of Citizens United powered by a left leaning SCOTUS, we might see the same incremental change (maybe). Empowered by the Bully Pulpit, Bernie could keep the pressures on Congress, and assuming enough Congressional turnover, then we may see some of his cornerstone proposed legislation enacted, but that’s a lot of conditions to meet which could take a few cycles. Otherwise, he too manages by Executive Order. Again, not the best path to a functioning democracy.
The left hates him, so does the establishment Right. In a Trump Presidency, that saves us.
Mitch McConnell is a career politician interested in his longevity. As of now the majority of the Red and Blue Establishment are rallying against the Trump. They don’t support him or his Presidency, they are seriously not happy with their creation, but let’s assume he wins. Then what?
The same “do nothing” Congress works against him, a watered down version of Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian ex-Prime Minister.
I believe there will be significantly more bipartisan support to block President Trump’s bad ideas, almost forcing his hand at every turn. It’s optimistic, and I’d hate to leave that kind of power to the likes of Paul Ryan, but we do have some adults still left in Congress.
Assuming the future Congress employs the same blocking tactics, now employed by both parties, President Trump gets boxed in for at least two years. We could have a Legislative Branch that ties him up, and a left leaning SCOTUS there to squash unconstitutional action. Embarrassing, yes, but the President’s powers are limited.
President Trump gets the blame for ineffective leadership, which allows both parties time to get their proverbial houses in order for the midterms. That’s where we might get a second chance at wrestling away political deadlock, maybe even with enough juice for veto proof legislation.
Therefore, we could see real change begin in two years, instead of the four years of incremental progress from HRC or potentially two Presidential cycles before we realize Sanders’ dreams. It might even put enough pressure on both Parties to find candidates that the people support, without choosing the lesser of two evils, while teaching the Republicans a lesson in creating the monster they let loose, while also giving the Democrats a lesson on listening to the grassroots. Those are very big maybes.
I would hate to test this hypothesis, but it is the best case scenario I could come up with. The alternatives are simply too horrific to entertain. With a Trump Presidency, the anger, exclusive entitlement, and the bigotry that exist in this country would have one of the most powerful voices in the land which would further emblazon his supporters. Would it stop with David Duke and now Louis Farrakhan supporting the Candidate? Who would check the hate or the hate that hate made?
Add to this Trump’s promise of bringing down the separation of Church and State, enabling Pro-Lifers, and growing the Christian lobby! Secularists, Atheists, Progressive Christians, and those interested in health, equality, and choice, should all reel at that idea. That’s a scary future.
It’s Super Tuesday, don’t just vote up ticket. Pay close attention down ballot because if you allow people in Congress that will sign-off on Trump’s worse ideas, should he win, building a wall, banning Muslims, and Pro-Life everywhere, may just be the beginning.
And this best case scenario, would be something for which we long. So, it’s Super Tuesday, have you voted?