The threads on Trump and a potential coup / martial law have me thinking about some of the posts, especially about the state of America in the future and where we were before Trump. Here’s how I see things. These observations are what I would like to debate. Where am I wrong, and if so why?
Let’s start with the recovery from the Great Depression and WWII. Yes, things were bad back then. Poverty, a world war, part of the US getting bombed, fascism spreading in the world, etc. FDR and the US, however, were up to the challenge. We came out of the depression. We won the world war and our defeated foes eventually became great allies and improved the lives of their own citizens.
Things continued with Eisenhower in the 50s. The interstate highway system was built. The economy continued to expand. Race relations weren’t great, but they improved. We had Brown vs Board of Education, which was enforced by the federal government. Things overall seemed to still be getting better.
Then we get to the 60s. LBJ gets Medicare started. We have the Voting Rights Act. Sure we have Vietnam, racial unrest, assassinations of public figures from JFK to RFK to MLK. But through it all we continue to make progress as a nation.
We get to the 70s, and Nixon continues the trend. Despite Watergate and his resignation, he opens up China to the west. The EPA is founded and things like smog in the great cities begins to disappear. We have some issues with the economy in the late 70s, the Iranian Revolution, gas crisis, etc. But we still manage to overcome them even though Carter (despite probably being the most decent person to hold the job) wasn’t that great a POTUS and Reagan having dementia. Gas prices stabilize in the 80s, the economy continues to improve, and race relations continue to improve.
We then get to the Bush Sr. and Clinton years. The USSR falls, Germany reunites, the internet begins to become a thing for regular people, the economy continues to improve, and people’s lives are still getting better.
Then we have 9/11 and the Bush Jr. years. Yes, we get into a couple of wars, one of which was unjust. Despite all that, things continue to improve, minorities are still doing better than they had previously, the internet continues to expand and more information is available that makes our lives easier.
Again, we have a setback with the Great Recession of 2008/2009. Obama, however, proves to be up to the challenge and the country recovers. Obamacare, despite the attacks from the right, actually does improve access to healthcare. The War on Terror continues to make gradual progress, and we avoid any major terror attacks. Yes, we have incidents like the death of Trayvon Martin highlighting that racial injustice still exits, but overall minorities still continue to have it better than they did in the past. We also get the legalization of marriage for gay people. Marijuana decriminalization is making progress, etc.
By 2016 things were looking pretty good. Islamic terrorism was a shadow of what it was in the Osama bin Laden days. We were recovering quite well from the Great Recession. LGBT people had never had things better. Race relations were still improving even if it was in a two steps forward one step back type manner. China was becoming stronger, but looked to be on the way towards being a rival rather than enemy like the Nazis or Soviet Russia.
Then Trump somehow won the 2016 election and things began to turn to shit. If only Clinton had won things would still be getting better, and we would be even better off now than we were in 2016. In particular the SCOTUS would be down to Thomas, Alito, and Roberts as the conservatives, and the federal judiciary would be going on 12 years of having judges appointed by Democratic POTUSs.
Where have I gone wrong in this analysis? Am I wrong to blame all our misfortunes as a nation on Trump?