November 6, 2020

USA May Fire Trump, But It’s Also Told Biden: Drain the Swamp

USA May Fire Trump, But It's Also Told Biden: Drain the Swamp

Biden’s coalition was ideologically diverse, from Bernie Sanders to Cindy McCain, but if he wants to vanquish Trumpism and build back better, his administration would need fewer elite lobbyists — and more people who look like they could fix a car. 

American voters have spoken, and when the votes are counted they may have rejected a second term for Donald Trump. But if so, they have done so barely. And they have demonstrated no overall movement away from Trump’s Republican Party. 

This website is nonpartisan, but we would be glad to see Trump go, because this website fights corruption, and Trump has been the most corrupt president in U.S. history, with an administration full of disgraceful grifters and opportunists.

Even with its new arch-conservative lineup, we’re hopeful that the Supreme Court, if any cases reach it, will demonstrate integrity and reject invalid Trump efforts to suppress the vote. And we’re hopeful that authorities won’t accept any kind of corrupt deal to motivate Trump to leave the White House voluntarily.  If Trump loses and won’t go on his own, he must be pushed out. 

We hope Joe Biden would be an effective president for all Americans, taking on urgent crises like COVID-19, the collapsed economy, climate change, education, criminal justice, and racial and political divisions.

But if Biden and Kamala Harris win and want to get things done, and prevent a resurgence of Trumpism and even a Donald Trump return to the White House in 2025, they have to change their party, in message and in substance.

Donald Trump has been an awful president, not just corrupt but divisive, vindictive, unfocused, lazy, incompetent, and comically self-centered. But also: His administration’s actions have inordinately benefited corporations and the wealthy, rather than the working people who make up most of the population. His promise to drain the DC swamp was, like most of his promises, the lies of a con man — his policies are for sale to the highest bidders. His blatant mismanagement has culminated in his disastrous handling of COVID-19, with our country, with 4 percent of the world’s people, suffering more than 20 percent of global deaths from the d isease. His post-election day assaults on the foundations of our democracy only confirm his utter narcissism, vileness, and emptiness. 

Yet nearly half of U.S. voters still thought the best choice was to give Trump four more years.

I am confident that the driving force behind Trumpism is and has always been racism. And some Trump supporters heavily prioritized social issues like opposition to abortion, gun control, and LGBTQ rights.

But many Trump voters are working people, dominated by whites, but also including Black, Latinx, and Asian people, especially men, who believe Trump, who may look like a cartoon character con man to liberals, has been fighting for them against a rigged system. This is so even though most of Trump’s actual record, beyond his personal corruption, has involved cooperation with Mitch McConnell, Charles Koch, and other corporate interests to hurt workers and consumers.

Amid all the finger-pointing, I don’t think this is fundamentally about whether the Democratic Party policy agenda has moved too far left, or too far to the middle. I think it’s more about the cultural vibe and bedrock values that the party’s leaders radiate. 

Biden stressed his scrappy Scranton roots, but plenty of voters were not buying it. Even if the Democrats’ platform has been far more pro-working people and populist than the GOP — including the trade hawk/anti-immigrant/deficit spending Trump variant of the GOP — they have fully become, in the perception of many working Americans, the party of NPR, Whole Foods, lattes, the Clintons, the Obamas, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, John Kasich, Cindy McCain, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Aspen Institute, CNN, Anna Wintour, Goldman Sachs, Google, the Lincoln Project, Morning Joe, The Ladies of “The View”: the privileged, elitist, highly-educated, well-groomed, well-compensated establishment. Yes, the Biden 2020 coalition includes a wide range of political views, upbringings, ethnicities. But, mostly, it’s people who seem like they don’t know (as I don’t) how to fix a car.  

In the torrent of bitter falsehoods Trump spoke yesterday in the White House press room, there was this lie, but a lie that clearly resonates with some voters:

Democrats are the party of the big donors. The big media, the big tech, it seems, and Republicans have become the party of the American worker, and that’s what’s happened. And we’re also, I believe the party of inclusion.

In creating a cabinet and administration that looks like America, Biden, if he wins, should emphasize a strong component of women, people of color, LGBTQ people — and also some people, of various racial backgrounds, who not only come from working class families but still look, for example, like Pennsylvania lieutenant governor John Fetterman.

Democrats should emphasize and recruit politicians, of all backgrounds, who can speak to working people in ways that resonate with them. 

And Biden, if we wins, must not find his new team in binders full of lobbyists. However much paid lobbyists for extreme goals pursued by destructive special interests — climate-destroying fossil fuel companies, big banks and selfish private equity firms, predatory for-profit colleges, junk food purveyors, and the like — aided Biden’s winning campaign, they should be banned from entering the revolving door into a Biden administration. There’s nothing at all wrong with bringing into the administration people with business experience; that’s a positive thing. But keeping conflicted former lobbyists and consultants and executives of predatory companies — businesses that have engaged in anti-worker, anti-consumer, anti-environment practices — off his team is important to prevent the actual corruption of policy and also to change the image of the party from one always comfortable with the establishment status quo to one truly hustling to improve the lives of middle class and struggling American families.

An administration free of such corrupt influences would be better positioned to truly deliver for the people things like a growing economy, affordable health care and medicines, living wages, protections from consumer scams, clean energy jobs, civl rights, and voting rights — and undermine the false populism of Donald Trump.