By Cesar Fernando Lumba
Look closely. Observe the characters on stage. The current turmoil in our political landscape is not just the keystone cops in a Chinese fire drill on steroids. Trump is shouting down the people he brands as the establishment. Cruz and Rubio are shouting back. Bernie Sanders says he wants to sponsor and train people to become revolutionaries in a political revolution that America needs. Trump and Sanders are forming armies of passionate warriors. Warriors for the cause of tearing down highly infected institutions. Beneath the hollering, cursing and stomping of feet, it’s really serious business.
But no, Trump. And no, Bernie. The revolutions you are both talking about are not in the distant future. The revolutions are here. Now.
Will the revolutions succeed? Let us examine the Trumpian version. He wants to make a mockery of the First Amendment. He’s targeting Muslims because he knows that if there are people who will succeed in burning down America and blasting their way into our homes, schools and public places, it will be Muslims. This is not the America of our Founding Fathers, say Trump critics. Trump doesn’t care about our Founding Fathers. He only listens to the voice in his head and the echoes in his heart’s chambers. He wants to build a wall to keep Mexicans out of the country, round up 11 million illegals and ship them on cattle trains back to Mexico, just like the Nazis did to the Jews who had been tagged for concentration camps. He wants to bring back factories to America (everyone in America wants this to happen) by erecting un-scaleable tariffs. Right goal, Trumpy, but not the right solution. Will go back to this.
Millions of Americans are applauding Trump’s every word. Millions more are forgiving his excesses and his words that drip with hatred.
People want to listen to those with conviction and who are telling the truth, even if the truth hurts for a lot of people.
On the other side, Bernie Sanders wants to stand the capitalist system on its head. Free college tuition in public universities and colleges. Medicare for all. A Robin Hood-style taxing of the rich and giving the money to the poor and the middle class. Asking the rich to finance the remaking of America.
Young people, parents of children suffocating under the weight of student loans. Older people who are concerned for the new generations of Americans whose standard of living is destined to be below that of their parents. For the first time, young Americans are no longer confident that they will do better than their parents. For the first time in our history this is happening.
Young people and their allies want two revolutions that will compete for prominence. They are not aware that the revolutions have begun.
Will the revolutions succeed?
It depends on one’s time line. The Bernie Sanders revolution will eventually be successful. His ideas are what people want in this country. Eventually we will have free tuition in public colleges and universities, Medicare for all and a strengthened Social Security system; a country that takes care of its citizens from cradle to grave. Just as a billionaire family takes care of all the children and close relatives, this country – worth trillions upon trillions – will take care of all its family members – U.S. citizens and nationals. It’s natural. It’s bound to happen. It will happen.
On the Trump side, will we ever build that wall? I don’t think so. Will we deport 11 million illegals? No, nyet. Will we ban Muslims from coming to America? We can’t and we won’t.
What about bringing jobs back to America? This will happen. It will be the cornerstone of the rebuilding of our factories, of giving good jobs to our young people. Good jobs for the 50-year-old Americans whose jobs have been shipped to China and who have been told, harshly in my opinion, by opinion makers like Tom Friedman that they have to go back to school, learn new tricks, so they can qualify for the new kinds of jobs that American industry is creating. Really? We’re asking fifty-year-old people to go back to school so they can find work again?
Not gonna happen. What will happen is the gradual, phased-in return of some manufacturing to America so that our young people and our fifty-year-olds who are being forced to retire early because no one will hire them, not even McDonalds, will get decent jobs again.
When we give the new generations good jobs, they will not have to boomerang back to their parents’ houses because rent is too expensive for them. A government led by Sanders would be able to come up with a plan to help our young people buy condos under very favorable, easy terms. There will be a boom in condos. In cheap and moderately-priced condos. There will be schools in the midst of the high-rise buildings that will mushroom all over the American landscape. Along with flying cars and intelligent home appliances, a society that encourages city living as opposed to suburban sprawl will sprout thousands of urban centers. Gone will be the McMansions of the billionaire class, because there will be a premium on lifting all boats as opposed to the triumph of a few actors who have cornered most of the wealth of America. Wealth will be spread out more fairly in an economy that is un-rigged.
Sounds like the future? Yes, this is our future. And the seeds of this new world are being planted today. Changes made by Sanders’ revolutionary army. But not by Sanders.
Sanders is not our next president. Unfortunately for many young ‘uns, no. Not by a long shot. For the youth of America, Sanders is the man of the hour. The man with the ideas whose time has come. But for most Americans, it’s way too early for his ideas. And he strikes a lot of grown-ups as a dangerous man. Socialist? Our president a socialist?
Not gonna happen.
America wants a transitional phase, a getting-used-to-the-idea-of-socialism transitional period.. Alongside the revolution that has already started but will fizzle temporarily after the November elections this year, there is a quiet evolution that must go on.
This evolution is being led by a woman who appears to be destined for the presidency. Hillary Clinton is always the adult in the room. Everywhere she goes. She too wants what Sanders wants for America’s youth. She too wants jobs back from China as much as Trump wants those jobs. But her response is not to seize our institutions and stand them on their head, not to hold the billionaires by their ankles over a balcony and watch the gold coins drop out of the billionaire’s pockets in a monumental shakedown. She wants to do things gradually, evolutionarily. Will her approach work? Well, consider this: most changes occur through evolution. Rarely do we see major overnight changes in society like the French Revolution, or the American Revolution.
But evolution takes a long time. Glacial speed. So Hillary must blow the whistle in an accelerated cadence. Double time. Changes must come quickly, or the fire in the youth’s belly will be gone.
And if the speeded-up evolution is not enough, then Hillary must take out the feather duster and resuscitate the Sanders revolution that is happening now but will be shelved after Sanders’ defeat in November.
Free college tuition in state colleges and universities. Medicare for all. A living wage for all that work for a living. The return of manufacturing. Redistribution of income away from the billionaire and multimillionaire class to the middle classes. The breakup of too-big-to-fail banks.
There will be cries to go slowly. We evolve, plants evolve, animals evolve – the argument goes.
But are we going to evolve fast enough and are we going to evolve into a society according to Sanders’ and Trump’s visions? If recent history is our guide, I don’t think so.
And there’s the Reagan evolution that is going on as we speak. We’re in the midst of an evolution that is transferring most of America’s wealth to the coffers of America’s billionaires. We are creating tens of thousands of millionaires each year and a few dozen billionaires to boot.
The only way to stop this process is not by a counter-evolution. It is by revolution.
Hillary will win this year’s election because there are more people in this country who want evolution and not a revolution. Realistically, however, there is no way to stop the massive transfer of wealth from the middle classes to the billionaire and multi-millionaire class, except by revolution.
Stop the damned process on its tracks. Force the gears to go into reverse!
Hillary. Who is also a revolutionary in the sense that she wants the ultimate female empowerment on her watch, with her becoming the first woman president and the most qualified and the most obviously knowledgeable about the issues that everyday Americans face. She knows in her heart that only a revolution will do the trick. So that’s in the back of her mind.
Hillary campaigns this year as the Evolution president, but in 2020 – when she runs for re-election – she will be the Revolution president.
I look for her to start adopting the goals set by Sanders and by Trump. When she becomes president. Not IF. When.
Reagan said that with his entry into the presidential race in 1980, it was morning in America. The truth? Reagan’s policies were the opening salvo for the nightmarish transfer of wealth from the middle classes to the billionaire and multi-millionaire class. Now Marco Rubio is using the same line – Morning in America – to signify that he will give the billionaire class more tax breaks, accelerating the process of the continuing transfer of wealth.
But the true morning in America will happen when a woman becomes our president and the woman adopts the goals and policies of the man that she will have defeated because that man’s policies, vision and dreams make a lot of sense for today’s young generations and generations still to be born. Not just make sense for them – it’s their only hope.
Hillary will probably win the presidency, but the true winner will be Sanders’ ideas and one Trump vision – the return of manufacturing to America.
Incidentally, that last part – the return of manufacturing – can best be accomplished through the adoption of my Proposed American Doctrine: 51% of all goods manufactured by major manufacturers that are intended for the American market must be made in America. Unscaleable tariffs, Trump’s plan, must be the last resort.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.