Why I'm Not Rooting for Trump to Succeed
Well, folks, we recently passed an important milestone: Donald Trump’s first year in office. It’s an important milestone because, to be honest, I did not know if we’d make it to this point, as a society, as a culture and as human beings who want to continue to exist on Earth and not be annihilated in a Dr. Strangelove-style accidental nuclear apocalypse because Trump didn’t like the tone of a Kim Jong-un tweet and figured he’d give the old nuclear football a toss.
I’m only partially kidding because Trump’s narcissism, arrogance and terrible judgment really do represent a potentially extinction-level event. Trump is so deservedly toxic that when Hillary Clinton supporter and national treasure Jeff Bridges said he was “rooting for (Trump) to do well by our country” a whole lot of folks were enraged.
I am rooting for our country to do well but I am most assuredly not rooting for Trump to do well, because my idea of a successful, healthy and functional United States isn’t just markedly different than Trump’s: they’re antithetical. It’s no longer a matter of the left and right sharing the same fundamental values and goals but disagreeing on the best ways to realize them: increasingly, the left and right inhabit entirely different worlds with different realities and different news sources reflecting those violently competing realities.
While I want the economy to do well, Trump’s vision of a successful economy is very different than mine. My idea of a successful economy involves a living wage, universal healthcare and free college. Trump’s idea of successful economy involves huge bonuses for CEOs, tax breaks for billionaires and the rich becoming even richer.
I’m not stupid or naive enough to imagine that what’s good for billionaires is good for me. On the contrary, in my professional life, every time a company I worked for became more successful professionally, my day-to-day life became much worse.
I very much doubt that Pitchfork would have killed The Dissolve after just two years if they weren’t eager to get a money-losing division off the books in preparation of their sale to Conde Naste. The owners made millions, if not tens of millions, and I was fired two months before the whole site shut down. I similarly can’t imagine that The A.V Club would have killed My World of Flops to save 425 dollars a month if they too had not been bought by a billionaire media mogul who, like all billionaires, got that way by being as heartless as possible to the people who work for them, particularly the people at the bottom.
For me, the success of the powerful people at the top has translated consistently into my life becoming harder, less secure and more difficult.
So when I see the stock market soaring and I’m still living from paycheck to paycheck, it’s maddening. I honestly have incredibly complicated, largely negative feelings about the United States economy doing well because that generally means, again, that the billionaires and bosses and CEOs are doing great and fuck everyone else.
Trump’s vision of a successful nation is one where the clock has been set back decades for the LGBTQ community, Muslims, immigrants, African-Americans and Mexicans while white Christian heterosexual male supremacy is once again the order of the day. Fuck no. Fuck that shit.
I don’t give a fuck about Trump’s “unprecedented wealth creation” if the only motherfuckers creating wealth are evil billionaire fucks passing their ill-gotten gains on the mouth-breathing Donald Trump Jrs of the world.
I’m rooting for our country to succeed but also just to survive the awful threat posed by Trump, yes, but his values and priorities as well. That’s why I’m rooting, and rooting aggressively, for that evil orange bloviator to fail, and to fail hard, in achieving his deplorable goals.
Support Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place and get neat bonuses like one patron-only Control Nathan Rabin a month and access to all previous patron-only content over at https://www.patreon.com/nathanrabinshappyplace