I’m sitting here with my first cup of coffee this morning, and a store-bought muffin, trying to make breakfast stay down on 4 hours of sleep. I’m looking at an assortment of medications and trying to make sure when I take them they will stay down.
It isn’t gonna be easy. Last night I saw things happen that I’d been afraid of for years come true. I saw an America whose anger and fear overtook any vestige of rational thought.
Let me break this down.
The White House is one thing. One man. But Congress is another story. And so is the Supreme Court. In case you were wondering, these institutions are supposed to be the checks and balances on each other so that one doesn’t lord it over the others.
Last night, America handed the White House and Congress to one party, the Republicans. And by extension, the nomination for a new Supreme Court judge to that party as well.
Congress now has the mandate to undo the ACA (Obamacare) and leave millions of Americans without healthcare, of any kind. Insurance companies can and probably will revoke coverage for millions more who have pre-existing conditions or chronic illnesses.
The tax cuts put in place by second Bush will become permanent, and new tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporations will be put in place as well. The money that does go into the federal and state coffers will come from people like you and me, paying the little bits every day and at tax time in April that drain our wallets and leave us without savings. The wealthy and corporations now have even more ways to avoid taxes.
Congress could also cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Not stop them completely, but cut any funds they consider extra. Or cost of living increases. Anyone who depends on these monies to help them could face less and less choices, less ability to survive.
There could also be rollbacks on rules and laws put in place after 2008 to rein in Wall Street and the financial sector. We could see even more risk taking as markets contract and people pull hard money out of investments. Retirement savings, already imperiled, could be either completely wiped out or made inconsequential. More people will have to try and keep working well into their elder years. Which will also prevent younger Americans from getting jobs or moving up any job ladder that still exists.
Education, the one thing that could help the fates of more Americans, faces change. More states will stop Common Core. There won’t be any common standards for children, at least in public education. Schools will have even less money coming from state or federal dollars, and private interests will take over. Want some grant money? Not until you show us that your school doesn’t have undesirables (illegal immigrants, problem children…).
On a social level, the anger and fear is already having an effect. I suspect there will be a surge of hate crimes across the board (racism, sexism, you name it). I suspect that anyone whose English is little or almost non existent will be targeted. I suspect that people will start to disappear as they are scrutinized harder.
Protections won by the LBGTQ communities could well be overturned. There could also be a challenge to Roe v. Wade that will finally overturn it. I suspect I will see the results of a back alley abortion again in my lifetime. I suspect that gains won by women in the workplace and society could be overturned in courts. I even suspect that more parts of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 could be overturned.
There you have it. In a large nutshell. America just might, in 4 years, turn back the clock 120 years.
The coffee is about 2/3 gone, but its sitting badly on my stomach. The muffin left crumbs all over the desk. I need to go investigate how to start a food garden in my backyard next spring.