It will be hard for a lot of people to believe, but America has made some interesting progress in the 14 months since Donald J. Trump (R-New York) entered the White House.
A lot of that progress will astound Trump haters (such as me) and displease a lot of the Donald’s supporters. Yet it has occurred and needs to be documented in the name of fairness and accuracy.
Much of this progress has little or nothing to do with Trump himself, indeed a lot of it has happened as a reaction against the Donald and his followers. Despite its reactionary nature the progress (or evolution), is largely positive and it makes me feel good to be an American.
A few examples of Progress in Trump’s America include:
Americans are Far Less Tolerant of Racists and Racism
Until Trump, there had been a sort of unwritten law that racism was okay as long as the racists wore suits and ties and did not use the N word. The Donald’s success has changed all that.
The rapid downfall of Roseanne Barr shows just how less tolerant Americans have become towards bigotry. Had Barr’s bigoted Tweets occurred in 2014 or 2015 there is strong possibility that Disney would have given her a big new contract and more venues to spew her venom.
After Trump’s victory, the Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) owner of ABC moved quickly and decisively to shut Barr down. Her sitcom was cancelled and executives disavowed their relationships with her.
On the ground level, a practice of shaming average people that engage in casual racism has begun. One example of this was the outcry against Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) for calling the police on African American men who just wanted to sit. Another has been the willingness of African Americans to confront whites that called the police on them, and post the results on social media.
A refreshing aspect of the new crusade against racism has been the effort to single out and punish individual racists rather than brand all whites as bigots. People are beginning to understand that racism is a character flaw that needs to be dealt with on an individual basis.
Trump’s success has caused Americans to rethink casual racism and their tolerance for it. Both African Americans and whites have decided enough is enough. The spectacle of a bigot in the White House has woken a lot of people up.
Americans are Less Tolerant of Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Harassment
There would be no Me Too Movement if Hillary Clinton (D-New York) was in the White House. Institutions as diverse as Hollywood and the Southern Baptist Church would not be purging themselves of perverts and sexual predators if it were not for Trump.
There is also a good possibility that alleged sexual predator Harvey Weinstein would have never been arrested; and sexual predator Bill Cosby convicted, without Trump in the White House. Perverted creeps like Matt Lauer and Bill O’Reilly would have never lost their cushy jobs if Hillary was in the White House.
Even former President Bill Clinton (D-Arkansas) is feeling the heat for his mistreatment of women. When Clinton and money-grubbing author James Patterson went on The Today Show to promote their terrible thriller, they found themselves grilled about the Monica Lewinsky affair. That would never have happened if Hillary was President.
The spectacle of such a sexually crude man in the Oval Office has woken a lot of women up and energized them. America is finally taking strong action against the scourge of sexual harassment, whether the crusade will last or be effective is anybody’s guess but at least people are trying.
Some Media Executives are Depriving Arrogant Celebrities of their Soapboxes
A media tycoon Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) CEO Bob Iger has put the public good above the bottom lining by taking away an arrogant celebrity’s soap box. Iger was the only person in a position to cancel Roseanne’s show and he took that action.
Iger set an important precedent by punishing an egotistical celebrity for racist and politically extreme views. Barr is not only a bigot; she has spouted offensive leftist nonsense in the past, and even disrespected the national anthem. Roseanne even ran for President on the leftist “peace and freedom” platform in 2012.
Disney will lose some money for firing Roseanne; possibly between $22.80 million in and $60 million in ad revenue, The Los Angeles Times reported. To be fair $60 million is chump change for Disney; which made a gross profit of $7.015 billion in 2nd Quarter 2018.
Nor is it just Roseanne, Iger has cracked down upon. He was taken steps to silence another arrogant celebrity; Lawrence Fishbourne, by refusing to air a propagandistic episode of his silly sitcom Blackish.
Yet is refreshing to see a media CEO taking “With Great power comes great responsibility” to heart. Note: that’s Spider-man’s catch phrase, and Spider-man is a Marvel character, Disney owns Marvel Comics. Iger himself is apparently an old Marvel Zombie, so he obviously learned something from Stan Lee’s old comics.
If somebody at Comcast Universal (NYSE: CMSA) had taken such a line against Donald J. Trump a few years ago; he might still be peddling get-rich quick courses in Holiday Inn ballrooms, instead of embarrassing the nation from the Oval Office. Had somebody at Comcast; which owns NBC, pulled the plug on The Apprentice in 2010 we might have avoided the whole gruesome Trump phenomenon.
Conservatives and Evangelicals are growing up and learning how to Compromise
A surprising aspect of the 2016 presidential election was the clear-sighted acceptance of reality and realpolitik on the part of some members of the conservative coalition. It was the so-called moderates that behaved in a childish, hysterical, and intolerant fashion.
Libertarians and Evangelical Christians were willing to swallow their pride and vote for a man who clearly opposed many of their beliefs to achieve wider political goals. The Religious Right seems to have abandoned its goal of remaking America as a Christian country and is willing to compromise with secular figures like Trump. Libertarians seem to have grown up and realized that they will have to accept big government and tolerate the welfare state.
These elements’ willingness to support and work with Trump means they will be willing to collaborate with gays, African-Americans, progressives, and unions in the future. That indicates a new politics of cooperation is possible in America, provided the Left is willing to go along.
The American Left has grown a Backbone
The worst aspect of American politics in the past 40 years has been the total cowardice of the American left.
Leftists were afraid to admit to their ideas or fight for them. The right was a fountain of ideas while the left simply spewed out New Democratic platitudes or regurgitated New Deal slogans.
Anybody that did not accept the “Republican-lite” politics of Bill and Hillary Clinton (D-New York) and their ilk as gospel was voted off the Democratic island. The only audible voices of dissent on the left were brain-dead radicals and Marxist wackos.
Under Trump, leftists have discovered their backbones and their voice. They are not just criticizing the president, mainstream leftists and progressives are suddenly proposing all sorts of interesting ideas. We are hearing about big ideas like Single-payer healthcare, basic income, automatic voter registration, and a jobs guarantee.
The left is fighting back for the first time in decades, and even taking that fight into rural areas and blue states. The media elitists in New York have been shocked by Democratic victories in places like Alabama.
Despite this progress Trump is still a terrible president who is trying to implement a lot of horrendous policies. Yet even those shortcomings drive progress by energizing Trump’s opponents.
Future generations might look back upon the Trump administration as a time of great progress. The Donald might be a necessary part of America’s social and political evolution.