Columnist Stan Maron: Decent people must get us back on road to prosperity

  • President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Congressional leaders in the Oval Office of the White House, Sept. 6, in Washington.  AP FILE PHOTO

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Call Trump any name you feel fits. There is no shortage of descriptions that apply to this humanly made political product, produced and manufactured on the streets and in the suites with a good amount of help from conservative lobbyists and ideologues, and unsavory characters like Felix Sater who was convicted of shoving the stem of a broken cocktail glass into a man’s face, which got him a year in jail.

But who are the ordinary folks who are considered to be Trump’s base, the “very, very nice” people Trump likes to refer to? Some of Trump’s base have said they are confused, and maybe some are, but there still doesn’t seem to be much confusion at his so-called rallies when he mentions his favorite refrain, “crooked Hillary” or encourages building the wall. As the cameras scan the faces of his base, we often see smirking smiles and at times loud applause which seem to reflect approval and understanding, rather than confusion.

Could we be experiencing payback time directed at traditional liberals, neoliberals, and neocons whose policies have hurt people for the past four decades? Could Trump’s base be people who have gone to wars in the name of freedom, don’t have good health care, decent jobs and education opportunities? Or women who have gotten promises of equality, but are still working for 80 cents to the dollar earned by their male counterparts? How about students who owe more on student loans than they will ever be able to pay without going bankrupt in the future?

Maybe Donald Trump provides a good role model in this area with his four bankruptcies that put working people out of jobs. Trump is still considered to be a billionaire by many.

And maybe even a few think some of these Russian hackers are really cool, accused of hacking deep into the underbelly of “crooked Hillary’s” campaign for president. Could these possibly be the guys and gals who before coming to a Trump rally kissed their loved ones, fed their pets, maybe had a drink or two and are now out for a night of fun all paid for by the Trump campaign, including the opportunity, encouraged by Trump, to shout obscenities and beat up on anti-Trump protesters. With the right connections, they can even get invited to a neat after-rally party.

Maybe some of the answers to these issues lie in a good look at post-World War I history. People tired of war, economic depression and a breakdown of morality comprised a large part of the scenario. The Nazi party of Germany took the lead, but many more reactionary elements made the tragic events and horrendous mayhem of World War II and its aftermath a reality.

Our work is cut out. What is needed now is for our many good, decent people to work to get us all back on the road to economic prosperity, equality and justice for all.

Stan Maron, of Northampton, is a Korea-era veteran, member of Veterans for Peace, retired from the New York City Department of Homeless Services, and author of “New York Hustle: Pool Rooms, School Rooms & Street Corners.”