Sometimes, we can recognize the significance of an event only in retrospect. I wonder if, one day soon, even progressives like me will thank President Trump — not in spite of his horrific presidency, but because of it, and what it led to.
Consider, for example, England’s awful King John. He’d inherited the throne after his older brother, Richard the Lion Heart, had died heirless. (John’s mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine — a feisty, cunning woman if ever there was one — had anticipated this calamity. She’d begged Richard to produce a son; but — alas! — he’d probably been gay, and so had never fulfilled his regal responsibility.) Just as Eleanor had feared, John proved to be a failure as a king, evidenced by his own nickname, “Soft Sword.” (And his detractors weren’t referring only to his sword!)
The nobles hated him so badly, in fact, that, in 1215 AD, they cornered him in a now-famous field, Runnymede, and, at the point of a real sword, forced him to sign The Magna Carta, which vastly limited his powers.
The Magna Carta is now revered, of course. It became the model for our Bill of Rights.
You see, thank goodness John was a bad king! (Life is full of little ironies.)
We may soon say the same of His Highness, Trump. Each of his blatant lies, outrageous tweets, and “I want my wall!” temper tantrums — and the fact that the soft-sword Republican leadership continues to defend him so cravenly — only ensures that the Democrats will win both the presidency and the Senate in 2020. (Two thirds of the senators up for reelection are Republicans.)
And, what are the Democrats likely to do with this newfound legislative power? Well, Trump’s election so shocked them that they’ve been forced to reconsider their Clintonesque pro-corporation/pro-bank policies, and to now speak brazenly about something that has long been only a naïve Bernie-esque pipe-dream, Medicare for All.
Once the United States has finally provided Americans what citizens in almost every other major industrialized nation take for granted — the inalienable right to health care — we may all look back to Trump with whimsical gratitude.
Maybe we’ll have begun to appropriately tax the obscenely rich and, thus, restore our middle class, too.
Gosh, in that case, I’d even shake Trump’s hand!