I am now a forgotten American and have been for just a bit over 14 hours.
When Trump gave his inauguration speech, he made it clear not only that previously forgotten Americans (i.e., primarily under-educated white males) would not be forgotten now that he is president. His choice of at least six Goldman Sachs alumni for cabinet positions or positions just under cabinet level makes it clear that he has no intention of remembering the poor or the middle class workers of America. His choice Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary broadcasts in the clearest possible terms that the middle class is now in a far graver situation than they were yesterday, since Mnuchin was one of the meanest predators during the recession that began in 2008.
Trump’s language did not convince me that forgotten Americans will no longer be forgotten nor did it convince that I have not be forgotten. I am a well-educated American who believes that “greatness” is a matter of character, not wealth. I believe that a successful businessman is one like my father, a building contractor in my hometown for 43 years without anyone ever suggesting he had overcharged them or cheated them in any way. The subcontractors in town all wanted to do work for him because they knew he would always take care of them fairly. My father was a shining success. . .though he never got rich. Trump got rich but has left behind him a trail of people who were cheated, sometimes even to the point of being driven out of business. I’d call him an utter failure as a businessman.
And I believe that greatness of a person or a nation is measured by generosity, compassion, sacrifice for others, a spirit of servanthood as exemplified by Jesus. People like me, feeling shame for America for incarcerating Japanese Americans during WW II and closing our doors to the German Jews in the 30s and 40s and now closing our doors to the Middle Eastern refugees, we are now suddenly the outsiders whose values do not matter to Trump.
I’m now a forgotten American because i am convinced that one of the most important responsibilities of human beings is to be earthkeepers, people who cherish the planet and do not see it a merely a warehouse full of goodies to be stolen. And I’m a forgotten American because I believe strongly that Trump and the Republicans have become incredibly short sighted. They cannot seem to imagine a step two in any of their proposals. It is now clear, for example, that after all these years (at least since the Clinton administration) action has been needed on health care, they have been able to think no further than getting rid of Obamacare.
On immigration they have no ideas beyond building a wall. On jobs they now are following Trump in believing protectionism will fix our job situation, apparently without giving a moment’s thought to how that would work and what the results would be. As amazing as anything is the fact that Trump is now officially inaugurated yet has made close to zero progress on filling the thousands of jobs required to run the greatest nation on earth.
On Thursday, just one day before the office became his, his team was scrambling to get Obama’s appointees — the very ones who had told to pack up and get out by noon on January 20 — to stay on indefinitely because the transition team hadn’t yet found replacements. All of trump’s efforts went into getting elected and he seems not to have envisioned what he should be doing after the election. He is now dangerously far behind.
And I’m a forgotten American because i believe that Trump’s portrait of “American carnage” is a blatant lie, as were all the charges he laid against everyone on the stage with him yesterday morning. Obama’s list of accomplishments is amazing, especially considering the blind, irrational opposition of the Republicans. (And I’m happy to see that Obama’s popularity as he leaves office is far, far greater than Trump’s as he enters the office. The majority of American’s are not fooled by Trump.)
I so want to stop complaining about Trump but his offensive ignorance keeps reminding me that America is now in serious trouble because he simply doesn’t know what he is doing and is entirely lacking in the moral character that the office of the presidency requires.