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Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:19 am

How magical is Donald Trump?

Jim Hightower
PHOTO BY LARRY D. MOORE
Trump & Company claim they have a sweeping mandate from voters to remake America –but wait, it is just a magic trick – almost half of the electorate chose not to vote in last November’s presidential election.

Here’s another fact: Those of us fighting for populist justice are stronger than we’ve been in decades. But how can that be, since Trump is in the White House? Because the vast majority of people agree with the ideals, issues and ideas of progressive populism, not with Trumpism. Even most of his supporters were not voting for what they’re getting – a plutocratic/autocratic agenda that’ll steamroll the working class and poor.

Trump was not elected on issues, but on anger. Yes, many white supremacists, misogynists, nativists and xenophobes did turn out to support his raw bigotry, but a lot of Trump voters simply heard him speaking one truth repeatedly: The system is rigged by and for the elites. That group of voters was filled with a deep, seething fury created by corporate, political and authoritarian elites who’ve been flattening the majority of people for years, then callously stepping over them as if they don’t exist. That’s true – so the riggees, furious at being flattened by the corporate and political powers, saw Trump as a great big bois d’arc stick they could grab to thump the whole smug establishment upside its collective head.

However, far from alleviating their anger and despair, Trump is already betraying them, as revealed by the actual proposals he’s made and the people he’s brought inside the White House. Remember his promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington? Instead, he’s pulled a new slew of creepy-crawly swamp creatures out of his hat to help him run the country – like Jeff Sessions, Steve Mnuchin, Rex Tillerson, Tom Price, Scott Pruitt and Betsy DeVos, among a mess of Wall Street insiders. These are career-long corporate hacks, not working-class champions!

Let’s look at one of the issues affecting working-class Americans. The Amazing Wunderkind of Global Luxury Living – and now Our Nation’s Phantasmagoric, Fast-charging President – is proving to be a legislative magician on the issue of Obamacare.

In his campaign, Trump’s number one promise was that he would “immediately” repeal the entirety of Obamacare, then – hocus-pocus and abracadabra! – simultaneously replace it with “great health care for a fraction of the price.” Wow - that’s why his White House media operation calls him “President Action, President Impact.”

But... oops! It seems that the Amazing Donald has abruptly learned that what magicians do is not magic, they just perform illusions. In other words, it’s fakery. So, Trump is now caught in the spotlight of reality, unable to produce a workable plan to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, as he had so glibly promised. In fact, the GOP replacement scheme he’s been backing would leave millions of people with no health care coverage, while reducing the benefits and jacking up insurance payments for millions of others.

Frustrated, President Action recently whined to a meeting of state governors that “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.” Of course, by “nobody,” he meant that he didn’t know, therefore no one could’ve known, since he knows everything.

But wait - in a truly amazing magical act, The Donald has promised to dazzle us with more smoke and mirrors. His new Trumpcare plan, he brags, will guarantee that every American will have access to health coverage. Before you erupt in applause, however, notice the trick word he’s using: “Access.” That doesn’t mean you’ll get coverage, you’ll just get access to coverage – if you can afford it.

Progressives not only need to resist the plutocratic agenda, but also to put forth our true people’s agenda and start rallying voters around it. Now!

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, columnist and author.

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