If I can thank Trump for one thing – and it is rather difficult to pin down a concrete belief or consistent policy stance for this bizarre individual – it is that he has gotten people engaged. Now, we can argue all day about whether it is for good or for bad, but what we can’t deny is that people are watching, they are paying attention, and mostly yelling at each other nonsensically.
But god damn it’s a start, and one that I will gladly accept for the majority of Americans who have apparently had their heads buried in the sand for the past several decades while corporate America ran roughshod over them and their political system, wages, homes, insurance, labor standards, cost of living, etc., etc., almost entirely without resistance. This was in part carried out by manufactured consent as Chomsky put it – manipulation of the media by monied interests. However, as Trump (and Bernie) have shown, you don’t necessarily need the support of the mainstream media anymore. People have wised up to the game a bit thanks in large part to the interwebs, and with a bit of persistence they just might start asking the right questions. And there are two big ones:
- Why do we have privatized, for-profit financial, healthcare, and education sectors then wonder why household debt/costs are through the roof, markets are broken, and the politicians are totally bought and paid for?
- If we were to recapture these industries from the mega-rich and return our economic and political system to the people as the Founding Fathers intended, how much better/easier/happier would our lives be?
Populist uprising has clearly taken a hold of the world, most recently evidenced by Brexit and Trump. However misguided those efforts may be, the intent is pretty clear – people are sick of the status quo, they are sick of business as usual, and something has got to give. It appears that many of the financial elite are buying plots of land in New Zealand to prepare for a future societal breakdown, and hopefully for good reason. As Henry Ford said awhile back (and oft-quoted by the great Ellen Brown):
“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
Let’s hope that, in addition to getting fired up about travel bans and all the other wedge issues the mainstream media tosses out to us on a daily basis, more and more people will begin to dig deeper, stay focused, and we can bring about the kind of revolutionary change that is truly needed right now. To jot down just a few quick policy changes, this includes: nationalized (or at least public option) banks and healthcare, free college education, jobs and/or basic income guarantee, campaign finance reform, massive WWII-style mobilization to address climate change, for starters.