Health Care: Surprise, the Donald is with us! He has promised to keep Medicare and Medicaid and has pledged to make health insurance affordable for all of us. And Speaker Ryan has vowed not to pull out the rug from under those who are covered now. Bottom line: Health care is now an accepted right and not just another optional consumer good for those who have the cash.
Climate Change Acceptance. Obama gave renewable energy a kick-start especially in the public lands of the West. Subsidies also helped while the costs have dropped. The recently negotiated Paris Agreement is a major step in addressing the effects of our industrial spewing.
Iran Nuclear Deal. Speaking of climate change, the Iranian agreement to halt their nuclear arms program is a major victory for the planet. Since it is a product of international negotiation it is not likely to be undone.
Wall Street Regulation. Despite the charge that we let the megabank CEOs off the hook, Obama has made it much more difficult for financial institutions to destroy the economy. Dodd-Frank is in danger, however.
Cultural Progress. The mere fact that an African-American with an Arabic name was twice elected President announces the growing maturity of our society despite the resurfacing of racial tensions. Hillary Clinton’s popular vote victory in the face of unrelenting smear tactics is another significant marker. The recent Women’s March was a major positive event. The progress of the LGBTQ communities will continue despite “Bathroom Bills.”
Job Creation. The original government stimulus bill opposed by the GOP was too timid, but the saving of the auto industry was a success. The unemployment rate finally came down but many of our people still do not have sustainable incomes. Now the Donald is urging another stimulus with a demand for massive infrastructure spending to boost employment. So the need for government to fix the economy remains a given principle.
These successes reveal that we are a cooperative society of interdependent people and are not just a collection of competing individuals vying for personal profit in a zero-sum game. Cooperation makes competition effective.
But Obama warned us that progress does not always move forward: there are “zigs and zags.” The Donald time does not have to be a zag if we continue to make noise!