Lately I’ve been thinking about the despair/anger/disbelief we all feel about the election of Trump. Wingnuts are pushing ‘get over it, snowflake’ memes, of course. And Liberals are responding with ‘I’ll give him as much respect as you gave Obama’, but that feels too much like simple tit-for-tat.
The thing is, the situation is objectively different. What was the Right afraid of, with Obama? Mostly, things they IMAGINED he’d do - take their guns, throw open the borders to Messicans, surrender to Al Qaeda, give up sovereignty to the UN. There was no reason to believe he’d do any of that, and of course, he didn’t. As an aside, of course there are lots or wingnuts who will tell you either that that’s EXACTLY what he did, or that it was only through their vigilance that he was prevented from doing so.*
OTOH, what are we afraid of, with Trump? Things he said he’d do. Walls. Trade wars. Aligning with Russia. Jailing political opponents. Mass deportations. Nuclear arms race. Encouraging nuclear proliferation. Abandoning our allies to favor Putin. Packing the judiciary with scalias. Repealing the ACA. Abandoning work on climate change.
And then there’s what his party has planned - voucherizing Medicare, cutting Social Security, cutting back on all the social safety net programs, revamping the tax system to favor the rich even more.
And there’s Trump’s disdain for all of the conventions of government, like that the President goes to extremes to prevent even the appearance of conflict of interest, or that he takes questions from the press on a regular basis, or that he’ll at least pretend to take seriously the experts whose job it is to study everything from the climate to what the Russians are up to.
So, no, it’s not tit-for-tat, and there’s far more reason to fear a Trump Presidency than there was - even for Conservatives- to fear Obama’s. But at least they’ve give us a roadmap, and made it clear that the conventions of respect for a President, bipartisanship, political comity, etc. can all be flouted at will.
*Like the joke about the old man in England who stops every few seconds to clap his hands ‘to keep away the tigers’.
“But sir, there ARE NO tigers in England!”
‘You see? It works!’