Wednesday, November 09, 2016

How progressive ideas might work with, or in spite of, a Trump administration

At least Trump's victory speech wasn't real bad. He was gracious toward Hillary Clinton and mostly talked about things that lots of people would agree on, like folks of different parties, races and religions working together and plans to rebuild infrastructure. At least that speech omitted some of the more negative things he and other Republicans pushed on the campaign trail.

Promises, promises. As for infrastructure improvement, where's he going to get the money?

Lots of things that I push for weren't even discussed by any of the candidates in this campaign. Hardly having any of the ideas I embrace be part of campaigns, at the national level, I still thought Hillary Clinton was the safest bet. Not exactly discussing my agenda, but at least a safer bet than Republicans dominating both Congress and the White House.

Government dominated by Republicans is what we got. It's kind of a product of mainstream American culture. Competitiveness, greed, unwillingness to compromise and so forth. Seems like most American people don't understand things we need to do to deal with climate change and how to adapt our economy to automation and technology.

The Republicans in Congress have done badly. Trump isn't really like them either. He's kind of his own wildcard. Not an establishment Republican. More a loose cannon and a populist.

It's important to realize that the popular vote did go for Hillary Clinton. The popular vote was for Clinton by a slight margin, but the electoral vote went to Trump. The result of an outdated aspect of our government. There is no total mandate for Trump and the Republicans. The country is still close to evenly divided. Who knows what will happen.

Here's one possible scenario. Trump might start courting support from Democrats as he faces the difficulties of office and struggles with the Republican establishment. Established patterns are being disrupted for sure.

I hope for improvements in our culture and the dialog of national campaigns. It's still up to the people how we build society, starting at the local level. Our lifestyles and how we build our communities. How this all fits the current needs with climate change a reality. We need to figure out ways for benefiting from the changes in technology that we are experiencing. Rethink economics. For instance having something like automation bring shorter workweeks with more quality time rather than it leading to more unemployment, stress and problems.

I still don't think most of the American people get it about the changes we all need to make. There are many pockets of society where these changes are being discussed and experimented with, but this discussion has not filtered to the level of the national political scene.

We still have a lot to learn.