New York Trend Online
Serving New York City, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties

I’m Too Young for the Good Old Days, Right?

I think I was wrong to be excited about this election year. First, let me explain: in 2016, I was in graduate school and often you could find me debating the merits of the democratic field post Obama with my classmates. We would rhyme about our optimism for a country that was in the midst of an economic upturn, we would drink to the blessings of a clearly ascending wave of young and open minded progressive legislators across the country and for all the vitriol Obama inspired on the right, even conservatives I knew were pretty content. But I was living in a fantasy land, a bubble and it burst with the election of Donald J. Trump. Now you may be thinking, Justin, you’re just another unhappy liberal who gets mad at a figurehead while not recognizing that Obama’s America equally created Trump as it suggested Hilary would win. With that I say appearances are obviously deceiving. As my hopes for a democratic dynasty were dashed, I had to consider what the next four years would be and honestly besides hearing ugly tweets and CNN turning into MSNBC and MSNBC turning into a dumpster fire within an echo chamber, my life hasn’t been drastically affected by Trump’s presidency. For all the rhetoric about how racist he is, how he can’t spell, how he insults the office, how he is corrupt and so on and so on, his image or what he symbolizes seems to be more of a threat than his actual domestic policies, for the most part(His defunding of Obamacare notwithstanding).

Now it’s 2020 and the democrats have their long awaited chance to strike back at the long casting shadow of their worst nightmare, their living Voldemort with an invincible harpiece; yet, all I can see so far from the candidates that remain are a party that is defining itself based upon the great other. The recent debates have been full of squabbles about who among them is fit to handle Trump’s tone, or go tweet for tweet with him or why they are the most likely to convert the 2016 voter who went from Obama to Trump. Its an honest effort but one that is turning the democrats into the party of response rather than the party of action. They are so clearly on their heels, reeling from either Bernie pulling the party way to far left or Trump somehow polling at 49%. In fact, every time a substantive debate about actual policies like healthcare, or the rare bird that is foreign policy or childcare or race occur, every fifth noun is Trump and every verb is spun to somehow address the issue, weakly, and him, feverishly. It’s gotten to the point where candidates are just getting lazy: Buttigieg is not even defending his 20 or so billionaire backers, Biden wants you to think that somehow Obama is on the ticket with him, Klobochar has literally a few paragraphs explaining her healthcare plan(keep in mind bills can be hundreds of pages so, yea) and Bloomberg didn’t even campaign or enter the New Hampshire primary or the Iowa caucus. What does all this mean folks? It means that in Trump’s America the bar has been lowered so much that democrats don’t even think they can be vetted, they simply think they need to appear like the most likely to win: not have the best ideas, not have the best record, not even debate well or campaign equitably. Never in my life have I seen one party define how they compete based on one, finite entity while forsaking all diversity of platforming. It may get us the candidate that can win, but it’s a bad precedent to set in a country where bad precedents seem to lead to bad future outcomes. From the Clinton scandal leading to the Bush economy, from Obama’s introduction of social media into politics to the bevy of inappropriate Trump tweets, and the consistent thread of war in the Middle East beginning in the first Bush’s presidency, precedent matters, especially when it’s set within a situation people have a strong opinion on. We may never return to campaigning that is about issues, ever. That should scare you. Or who am I kidding maybe you prefer it this way, this juvenile, tit for tat , distraction heavy populism. I know Trump does. And now with a heavy hand on my brow as I keel over, unfortunately, so do all the opposition from the party with the big blue ass for its logo..

About the Author

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.