inessential by Brent Simmons

This Fascist Shambles and the End of Medicare

If you’ve seen reports about how the Trump transition is incompetent, vindictive, and corrupt you may have been tempted to take heart that a Trump administration would be bad at actually getting things done.

I was tempted too. But remember — these people got Trump elected. They are effective.

You might think Trump’s too lazy to do the reading and pay attention during briefings. He’s bad at those things. But he’s not lazy — he works harder than you or I do.

I wouldn’t place even the smallest shred of hope in their not getting things done. They will get things done. And you will not like those things.

* * *

Bankers are celebrating Trump’s victory. Of course they are. This administration is not for the white working class — it’s for the top of the 1%.

Trump goes out to an expensive steak restaurant and tells everyone there how he’s going to lower their taxes.

* * *

You might think that at least he’s got an infrastructure plan, so there’s that. Maybe it takes a Republican President and Congress to get infrastructure spending passed.

But hold on: it’s not what you think. It’s the privatization of infrastructure. It’s tax breaks in the hopes that it would make our roads and bridges and airports better.

If it were anything else — if it included actual, needed infrastructure spending — the Republican Congress would kill it, and they’d be able to point to that and claim that they’re independent, that they’re not just blind Trump supporters.

The one good thing you think is on the table is not actually on the table. Don’t be fooled.

* * *

You might be tempted to think there are two Republican parties: the party for the bankers and the party for the white working class. There are not two parties: there is just one, and it is not the party for any working class.

* * *

You remember laughing when Tea Party protestors would hold up signs like “Government Hands Off Medicare!”

Of course it’s silly, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt since you can’t fit that many words on a sign. The sentiment is clear: the government should not fuck up Medicare.

But it’s going to. Paul Ryan and friends are going to privatize it, which is another way of saying that it is essentially going away.

So: not only will millions lose their health insurance when ObamaCare is repealed, but future senior citizens will not have the guarantees of health care that current and previous generations received.

Which includes me, and probably you, and a whole bunch of people in that white working class.

This is going to happen. Not down the road some time — next year. 2017.

* * *

Stop thinking that there’s anything that can’t possibly happen.

You might think that there’d be too high a political price to pay for ending Medicare — but then you thought that a guy who brags about sexual assault couldn’t be elected President.

There is no regression to normality. Cooler heads won’t prevail.