I feel hopeful about most things in life and am a resolute optimist overall (because if it’s a choice, which life would you rather live, the one full of constant worry and doubt?), but politics in this country is definitely the exception.
Even if Trump and his entire administration went away tomorrow (which isn’t an option even if there were magical D landslides everywhere in November), I don’t think any optimism is warranted, because the actual problems the US faces aren’t on the table to be solved.
When you go to vote for any national-level politician at the Senate / President / Congress level, your choices are literally:
Candidate 1. Somebody who is a millionaire and needs to raise tens of thousand of dollars every week, and whose policies are going to favor big corporations and the 1% while hurting the middle class, and is pro huge military, pro spying on all US citizens, pro perpetual copyright laws, and pro “tough on crime”
Candidate 2. Somebody who is a millionaire and and needs to raise tens of thousand of dollars every week, and whose policies are going to favor big corporations and the 1% while hurting the middle class, and is pro huge military, pro spying on all US citizens, pro perpetual copyright laws, and pro “tough on crime”
So all actually serious public policy problems we have in this country such as soaring productivity coupled with stagnant wages over the last 40 years, job insecurity, a disaster of a healthcare system, nondischargable student loans, stratospheric college costs, shitty k-12 education systems, housing becoming more and more unaffordable, wealth inequality, literally unbelievable “defense” expenditures every year, us being a literal police state and imprisoning more than anyone else…none of these are on the table for real change.
Instead, our “choice” boils down to some window-dressing along the lines of:
Candidate 1 (D) - I believe gay people are okay, and gun control can be considered, and immigration should be expanded. Also, abortions should be a woman’s choice.
Candidate 2 ® - Guns are the foundation of our society and we will fight to the bitter death any and all attempts to control them, gay people and abortions are NOT okay, and we need to tighten up our borders.
Just because lately Candidate 2 has added “we hate brown people and muslims and are fueled by the tears of libtards and will bring back a bunch of manufacturing jobs to factories that no longer exist!” doesn’t actually change much, besides making that choice a particularly reprehensible one and making Candidate 1 seem better by comparison.
With Trump and his administration in particular, there’s significantly higher risks of financial crashes, nuclear brinkmanship tipping over into something really bad, and election-nullifying hacking, so I will totally agree that anything we can do to moderate or get rid of this administration is a very urgent and important thing.
But the thing is, even if we go back to a world with sane candidates on both sides, at the macro level even Candidate 1 (D) sucks!
None of the SERIOUS broad societal problems we have as a nation are on the table to be solved, because both candidates are and will always be millionaires in the pockets of corporations and the 1%. And that’s not going to change, barring revolution or unrealistically huge systemic changes to campaign finance, first-past-the-post, and the electoral college.
The only saving grace for the optimists among us are that the federal government has relatively less impact on you than your state and local government, so even though it’s all irredeemably fucked at that level, you can still get along with your own life with relatively slow changes or impacts trickling down from that level.