Adolph Reed Is Right: This Is Important

Adolph ReedI’m a great admirer of Adolph Reed. And I generally agree with him. Unlike most of the people I read on the left, I don’t read him contingently. What I mean by that is that he is roughly as “liberal” as I am. People like Paul Krugman are allies because our country is so out of whack. But if the country does take a solid turn to the left, I will be more and more at odds with Krugman in a way that I won’t be with Reed. So I was pleased to see him write, Vote for the Lying Neoliberal Warmonger: It’s Important. He means, of course, Hillary Clinton.

Now, I actually don’t have much bad to say about Clinton in the same way that I don’t have much bad to say about Obama. Neither people are truly in my political camp. But they are both like Krugman: in the modern American context, they are allies. Also, in Clinton’s case, I think most of this narrative about her not being honest is due to the right-wing campaign against the Clintons in the 1990s. I don’t find her any more corrupt than any other politician of her stature.

Adolph Reed on 1930s Germany

But there was one thing in Adolph Reed’s article that really struck me. He was talking about how the Communists refused to support the Social Democrats in Germany in the early 1930s. And their leader, Ernst Thällman, famously said, “After Hitler, our turn.” Reed wrote, “His point was that a Nazi victory would expose them as fraudulent with no program for the working class.” Of course, that didn’t happen. Thällman underestimated the ruthlessness of Hitler and the Nazis. Reed goes on to discuss this. You should read his whole article, it is typically brilliant.

I’d like to talk about this in the context of our political system. I am one of those people who thinks that our democracy is stronger than Donald Trump. But I hear a lot of “Bernie or Bust” types claiming that Trump would be such a horrible president that he would only serve one term — if that. And then we would have a wonderful future where everyone is fairies and elves and you can have all the cotton candy you like. This is a total misreading of how politics works in the United States.

How a Trump Presidency Will Go

I think if Trump were elected, it would be Ronald Reagan 2.0. At first, the economy would tank. People would flip out. But then, they’d notice that Trump hadn’t actually started World War III. And the economy would recover. By 2020, Trump would win re-election easily. And by the time he left office in 2024, the country would be in ruin. But by then, the laws of the country would be much worse.

The lower classes would pay a far higher percentage of the taxes than they now do. There would be virtually nothing left of the social safety net. And the federal courts — most especially the Supreme Court — would be so conservatives — that it would be almost impossible to fix the country if a liberal Democrat were elected president with a Democratic House and 70 members of the Senate.

This Is Important

People who believe this “Trump will be such a catastrophe that everyone will see it” nonsense don’t understand how things work in this country. There ain’t gonna be a revolution. The same rich people who are in charge now will be in charge then, but the rest of us will be poorer with far less power to do anything about it. And that’s the best we can hope for. With all the voter disenfranchisement that the Republicans will enact, it could be many election cycles before anyone anywhere near liberal is in the White House.

Adolph Reed is right: this is important. Super important.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

6 thoughts on “Adolph Reed Is Right: This Is Important

  1. I think it will be much worse-Trump is already on record saying he will go after the media if they write things he disagrees with. Since they mostly have failed to hold him accountable (how hard is it to have a little counter showing how many days since he has not released his taxes? Or anything he should have released.)

    I just looked at the NYTimes’s political page. They have a few articles on the Trump Mexico visit but one headline is misleading: Vicente Fox, Ex-President of Mexico, Scoffs at Donald Trump’s Visit

    Fox didn’t scoff, he outright said that Trump should not have come, he was unwelcomed, rejected and said that Trump is untrustworthy. Fox goes on a long tear about how disgusted he is with Trump. It is not “scoffing” but a brutal take down from a former President.

    So they don’t care to report the truth in their headlines. This isn’t Cracked which always puts out erroneous headlines as clickbait-they can because they aren’t a serious news site despite doing better reporting then real news sites. This is one of the most trusted papers in the country and they are failing. Why?
    So if the media does this-how likely are they to report on him just ignoring the Constitution or laws and using the DOJ as his personal hit squad?

    • Look: The New York Times has a reputation to uphold! You then to — What?! — try to make up for the Iraq War? They have a brand now and they are lovin’ it!

      I just think that we have far more robust democratic institutions. I could be wrong. And that’s why I’m planning to move to Uganda if Trump is elected.

  2. Trump is too lazy to bother with the stuff he’s threatened to do. The actual work will be done by the wingnuts in Congress, most of whom are not Trumpenproletarian but bog-standard New Gilded Age types pining for the return of 1899.

    And after eight years of Trump they’ll pretty much have it. We’ve lived so long in the corona of the New Deal that most of us have forgotten that this country can work and has worked as an open oligarchy. It just works really, REALLY shittily for anyone not an oligarch.

    But by the time the last tatters of the New Deal are blown away it’ll be too late for anything but a Great Depression-size catastrophe to drive the GOP and their plutocratic patrons into the wilderness for a generation or three – if even that. I was a little shocked by how little genuine outrage flamed up from the Great Recession, long after if became obvious that the whole mess was a head-on collision of crony capitalist greed and regulatory negligence. The circumstances that forced the U.S. to turn left in 1932 increasingly look like a one-off, which makes the consequence of a Trump Administration even more dire for those of us not in two-yacht families…

    • I totally agree with that. All I would say (and I may have said it in the article) is that this would all happen regardless of which Republican became president. If the Republicans control Washington, this is what we are going to get. But this will all be done with the system we have: the House will pass its budget, the courts will be filled with people like Stephen Johnson Field. That would have been true of Jeb Bush as much as Trump.

  3. I’m a little confused. Reed is saying that Trump is uniquely dangerous unlike previous Republicans, and admits that he only occasionally voted Democratic. Haven’t you been saying for a while that you don’t see Trump as that different from other GOP politicians?

    • That’s correct. Any Republican would be equally catastrophic at this point. In fact, Trump might be less so, but I doubt that because I expect him to have a shadow president. You made me go back and read the article! Having done so, that’s all subtext. Trump will sign the Ryan budget. Trump will put horrible people on the bench. Trump will effectively destroy the lives of half the population. Just like any other Republican. As I said, “I am one of those people who thinks that our democracy is stronger than Donald Trump.” But immeasurable damage can be done inside that democracy.

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