It’s kind of funny to be using the word “hope” at this point in time. For me, Thursday night was a depressing night. First, there were a couple of days hearing how “good” Trump had done with his speech on Tuesday night. Yeah, like we should be impressed that he could read something for an hour, stay on message, not go wacko, all the while not saying anything. I, for one, was not impressed. I was going to boycott the speech, but if I’m going to criticize the man, I can do it far better if I listen. Then add Thursday to the mix. Jeff Sessions? Scandal number two with a cabinet appointee. What a score! Obama, eight years, no scandals with an appointee at that level. Trump, fewer than two whole months and two scandals, one resignation. Plenty to be “proud” of. But of course, it’s all just “fake” news. And then to make it all “better” I spent some time reading posts on Facebook. I learned that Hillary had “coordinated” her campaign with the Russians, was far more involved with them than Trump. Of course, a reference to facts, to proof was conveniently missing. (we’ll ignore that Putin was afraid of her) And replies asking for facts were responded to by telling the persons asking for proof that they were pretty much too stupid to know what’s going on. Subsequent posts that I read left me wondering about the connections that some people have to reality.
So why is this posting called hope? We’ll, it’s because of what I read the next day.
- I live in Massachusetts. We are probably the bluest of the blue states from the bluest part of the country. Yeah, we have a Republican governor, Charlie Baker. He publicly declared that he wouldn’t vote for Trump, that he would “blank” the presidential election. So what does he do? His actions make clear that any declaration that all Republicans are bad are false and unfair. He publicly declares his support for Planned Parenthood and states that he will ensure they are funded in Massachusetts at a level that will allow them to continue to provide current services regardless of what happens in Washington.
- I hear about what my neighbors to the south in Rhode Island have to say to Paul Ryan. They offered these words: “Coward! Coward!”, “This is what Democracy looks like!”, and “You can run but you can’t hide — you work for us!”
- It seems that Dodd-Frank and the CFPB may not be as dead as they looked when Trump was elected. There was barely a mention in his speech Tuesday and it seems that the only proposed alternative is pretty much dead, being attacked on all sides. I guess some neglected to understand that the CFPB not only protects consumers, but banks as well. Of course, there is a survey that says most of us (81%) don’t even know what the CFPB is. There is also an interesting stat in that survey: 12% of Americans support the agency. That means of the few people who know what the agency is, two-thirds support it. And since bankers, mortgage brokers, and people in the financial industry are more likely to know about it than others, well, it suggests that the regulated support the agency.
- And the news is getting better that the ACA may not be as dead as feared. I’ve long said that while things may change, that a full repeal of the ACA is unlikely. First, the law was written for insurance companies, to help them stay profitable. If it was only about providing healthcare we’d have a single payer system. The overhead for the VA and Medicare is about 3%. It’s around 30% for private insurance. And look up what the bonus was to the CEO of United Healthcare . It was $66 million in 2014. Lest we forget, there are 20 million people who have insurance now that didn’t before and probably won’t if the ACA is repealed. (note: while I have read this number many times I can’t find a good citation to back it up. I can find reports that say 11 million to 30 million now have insurance). 20 million people can make a lot of noise.
So yeah, hope is my word today. There is still darkness ahead, but as long as we keep the pressure on #fucktrump then hope will live. And I, like many, don’t believe that he has the stamina, the will, the ability to withstand the criticism of him and his policies.
Resist. And hope.