Can The Country Survive Trump?

By

Leonard Zwelling

The short answer is—of course.

But I have had many discussions with many thoughtful people who are genuinely concerned for the long-term stability of the United States. And it’s not just about Trump, although he’s a big piece of the puzzle.

First, there’s the economy. If you think the economy is represented by the New York Stock Exchange, your likely attitude is “what, me worry?” But the Dow Jones Industrial Average is not the economy. People are paying more for everything while their wages are stuck due to the rising cost of employer provided health care benefits and the need to show a quarterly profit by every business, small or large. Gas prices are on the rise as are the cost of housing, food and clothing. If the tariff war (a better name than a trade war) between the U.S. and China gets any worse, prices of everything will soar, including cars and refrigerators let alone iPhones. The economic growth hasn’t been this good in a while. So why does the country feel like it should feel better?

Second, there is the U.S.’s standing in the world that Mr. Trump seems hell bent to undermine. If he decides to have a tariff war with the EU (maybe this has been headed off?), things can only get worse at home and for the farmers trying to sell their goods abroad. These countries are our allies and friends and have been since 1945. Now is not the time for a fight with Western Europe.

Third, there’s Russia. Russia is a has-been nation determined to get back in the ring with the big boys and willing to do anything to get there including disrupting democratic processes in the West and supporting horrible dictators in the rest of the world. Russia is not an ally as Mr. Trump seems to believe. Russia is our enemy and must be treated as such. As long as Mr. Trump cozies up to Mr. Putin, the US is in danger. Has Trump committed treason? If treason is aid and comfort to the enemy, he has. Whether or not that is impeachable is up to the dysfunctional Congress.

Fourth, Congress. The entire leadership of both parties in both houses needs to change and to do so immediately or certainly by January of 2019. The Senate is locked down in dysfunction and the House is like recess on a bad day in kindergarten. There is no leadership and no followership. Both are needed if the first branch of government (described in Article I of the Constitution) is going to function as a counterbalance to the Executive Branch.

Finally, there is the internal divisiveness of the American people over immigration, race, class and opportunity. If we cannot deal with this, then Mr. Trump will have won and managed to split the greatest democracy in the history of the world into tribal clans of warring, gun-toting idiots—on both sides. On all sides.

There really is only one solution to begin the healing process as was necessary in 1974.

Mr. Trump must be fired some how. Or be forced to quit. Believe me, the support for Mr. Nixon in 1972 was greater than the support for Trump now. Impeachment is the only option and perhaps after the Mueller probe wraps up, that will be likely. I think that it will be.

For reasons obvious to all, from Hillary Clinton’s lousy and inappropriate and ill-timed candidacy to Russian influence on our election process, the United States elected a fool as its president. As a friend recently said to me, “Hillary’s loss proves that the United States is more misogynist than racist—and it’s pretty racist.“ Nothing is irrevocable except death. This leader can be changed and needs to be. Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and the panoply of older Democrats like Nancy and Chuck are not the answer. New talent is needed with new ideas and a new way of doing things. Someone needs to take a page from the Obama playbook and figure out how to win with a smile instead of a groan.

Can America survive Trump? Yes, it can. Does it need to get on with it? Yes, it does.

Leonard Zwelling