Saturday, April 13, 2024

Random Thoughts on Ronald Reagan and President-elect Donald Trump.

December 12, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Politics, Weekly Columns

( It’s been five weeks since the 2016 Presidential election and folks are still shocked, upset, despondent and dismayed about the results. Why? Is it because people dislike Trump so much we forgot our ancestors lived and experienced much worse, even thought Trump hasn’t even been sworn in yet?! I can’t believe Black people thought Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party was our friend, our benefactors or they would do right by us given their history of supporting Bill Clinton’s policies of “welfare reform”, his war on crime that created a massive gulag system that incarcerated millions of Black and Brown people for minor non violent offences, and opened the door for privatized prisons, his repeal of the Glass-Stegall Act which paved the way for the financial collapse, fraud and corruption, the foreclosure crisis and loss of equity wealth of people of color, wealth we probably will never get back. I just don’t get it.

Our people have lived through much worse, suffered and experienced abuse, brutality and exploitation during centuries in this country where we had no redress or protection, when the courts, were stacked against us, when we could not vote, when our lives, dignity and prospects for redemption were few. The US Supreme Court even said in 1857 in the infamous Dred Scott vs Sanford decision, “Blacks were not citizens and had no rights a white person was bound to respect.”

There was a time when almost everything was arrayed against us, yet we still persevered. The only thing our people had was hope and faith. They had faith there would be a better day, faith THE CREATOR and ancestors would give us the strength to persevere and overcome. Their dogged hope and faith sustained our ancestors, helped them pave a way out of no way, hew a sense of personal and collective dignity out of the mountain of deprivation and allowed them to survive unfathomable horrors, constant terror, degradation, rape, dehumanization and desecration. And today we are worried because someone like Donald Trump is the next president?! We should be ashamed of ourselves!

I was watching PBS the other day, they were featuring a documentary entitled Black America Since MLK. It chronicled the circumstances of discrimination, deprivation and oppression, our responses and the counter reactions of the oppressive US system. When it came to the 1980’s and Ronald Reagan I saw an alarming similarity to Donald Trump.  Reagan was a former Hollywood actor, never a real star, who was active in the union who used his Hollywood career as a stepping stone to politics. Trump like Reagan is a media personality who knows how to use the camera to his advantage. Reagan’s campaign slogan was “Let’s Make America Great Again”. Donald Trump’s campaign slogan was “Make America Great Again.” Reagan and the Republicans proposed massive tax cuts for the rich, and government deregulation. With a straight face Reagan and his cabinet members said it would trickle down throughout the economy and generate jobs and wealth. His tax cuts and deregulation did neither.

In fact Reagan’s policies so destabilized the country’s fiscal standing he and the next two presidents: George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton were forced to raise a myriad of taxes to cover the massive shortfalls Reagan’s tax cuts created! Several years later, George W Bu$h claimed tax cuts for the rich and deregulation would spur economic growth, it did not. Then they allowed 9-11 to happen and all budgetary restraints for the Military Industrial Complex and the subsequently created Department of Homeland Security went out the window!

Now Donald Trump is making the same claims and promises, tax cuts and deregulation will spur economic growth and prosperity for all. But Trump has added a new twist. He says he will negotiate better more favorable trade deals which will save the nation money. Yeah right. The taxpayer funded boondoggle is part of the way Washington works and the 1% are not going to take kindly to having their money and profits from overruns, fraud and waste cut.

Anyone who has had to balance a budget knows you can’t cut revenue and keep spending the same amount or more if you want to get out of debt. So do not expect Trump’s plans to work. Anyway we cannot depend on Donald Trump to save us. I don’t want to be a Davy Downer but if Trump is anything like Ronald Reagan, things will get worse  policy wise for us during his watch and the 1% will have a field day ripping off the government! Remember Iran Contra, the cocaine and opium importation and the Saving and Loan crisis?!

As we approach a New Year let us not wallow in despair, self-pity, hopelessness or defeatist attitudes. We come from strong stock, our ancestors were great people who  made a way out of no way, we can do it again. We rumbled against white supremacy and won (the Civil Rights movement brought US statutory apartheid down)! Stand up straight, hold your heads up man and woman up; let’s be about the business of doing for self!

Columnist; Junious Ricardo Stanton

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