President Trump: An Unintentional Harbinger Of Liberal Progress
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President Trump: An Unintentional Harbinger Of Liberal Progress

Hegelian dialect lives on within the American political system.

President Trump: An Unintentional Harbinger Of Liberal Progress

Ever since it became either perfectly or frighteningly—depending on which side of the political aisle you choose to side with—clear that Donald J. Trump was a serious contender for President of the United States, Liberal fears have echoed throughout the public sphere concerning what America might be morphed in to by a Trump administration. Much like Richard Nixon during his time as President, Trump has been lumped in with the likes of Nazis and branded with the "F word"—Fascist. Also, quite similar to Ronald Reagan during his presidential campaign, Trump has been described as an unfit crazy man who threatens to blow up the whole Washington establishment, and the rest of the United States along with it. However, unlike Reagan, that destructive forewarning would seem to come directly from Trump himself, as opposed to his critics who would seem to just be using his own words against him—however, admittedly, turned up to an apocalyptic level. Trump's complete inexperience with politics leaves the future of America quite uncertain at this moment. On one side, Liberals cry out Fourth Reich. On the other side, Conservatives promise a return to a Reaganesque, "shining city upon a hill," America. So, for the sake of argument, let's assume that the state of America after the next four years will be dreadful—absolutely dreadful.

After all there is an argument to be made that, despite Trump's inexperience and wild card characteristics, it is possible to see what is on the horizon for the United States. In order to determine what direction any given administration might be heading in, it is equally important to examine the incoming collective of the presidential cabinet along with the president-elect. As far as we can currently tell, Trump's cabinet will be mostly made up of politically inexperienced billionaires, hawkish generals, Christian fundamentalists, far-right politicians, a handful of banking elites, and a whose who of establishment Republicans from the nineteen-nineties. Liberals could comfortably christen the incoming presidential cabinet: The Worst Case Scenario. Also, while Trump hasn't exactly been forthright in the specifics of how he will "Make America Great Again", it is important to analyze the few policy specifics that have so far come from the Trump camp. Doing this would reveal that it is prudent to openly establish the fact that the current Trump tax plan is eerily similar to the Bush tax plan—the one that helped facilitate the nearly complete collapse of the economy and the onset of The Great Recession.

While I may not necessarily agree or disagree with the left-wing stance on Donald Trump—as my views are my business, and mine alone—I can clearly see why, if looked at from a liberal point of view, some might think that a possible American reality, if Trump was left to his own devices, is one of fiscal disaster, suppression of liberty, and the beginning of a super conservative era of Trump. Let's refrain from going that far though. Let us assume that Trump doesn't become America's first dictator, and is simply a failure as a president. However, let us not down play the fact that if Trump is unable restore America to some vague time of past glory, the state of our country will be, as I said previously, dreadful—absolutely dreadful. Although, a failed Trump administration and a resulting desperate American populous could just be what far-left Progressives have been needing in order to kick start their foothold in the system of American governance.

This hypothesis is the result of a philosophical method known as Hegelian dialectics. The namesake for this method, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, was a German academic, author, and philosopher that lived from 1770 to 1831. Hegel is not a name that would often be uttered outside of a collegiate level philosophy course or the hallways of a philosophy convention. It would seem that Hegel, unsurprisingly, has been forgotten—or more likely never known of—by the preponderance of the modern human population. Nevertheless, he is a titan of western philosophy. Hegel developed the titular method, which can be explained as such: Hegelian dialectic is comprised of three dialectical stages of development. These three stages are the Thesis, the Antithesis, and the Synthesis. The Thesis and the Antithesis are two opposing extremes, while the Synthesis is a middle ground solution resulting from the tension of the two combative forces. Hegel never personally used this specific terminology in his works—this particular model of vocabulary was developed by fellow philosopher Immanuel Kant—but these are the terms most often used and cited by contemporary philosophers.

Hegelian dialectic, though not many people would take notice, is quite a constant in the world of American politics. A prime example can be cited by using the last three consecutive presidential administrations. You start with the Clinton administration as the Thesis. Bill Clinton was a smooth talking, intelligent, southern Democrat. He was, and continues to be, a liberal through and through. However, despite all of his positive characteristics, he was seen as a liar by a large margin of the American people. So he and his style of sleek liberal governing was cast out, and a 180 degree turn was enacted. In comes the second Bush presidency, George W. Bush—the Antithesis. The second Bush was a straight talking, earthy, self-classified southern Republican—with a bit of northern blue blood inherited from his father. Bush, like his father, was and is a staunch fiscal conservative, but with a larger dose of social conservatism. He was a noted simple talker, which convinced people that he couldn't possibly be lying to them or swindling them—much like how Donald Trump is perceived today. Then when the Bush administration was all said and done, it was evident that the eight years of his presidency resulted in an unmitigated disaster. It would seem that another exchange of power was needed. Following the Bush years comes the last eight years of the Obama administration—the Synthesis. Barrack Obama is a charismatic, relatable, northern Democrat, who is a good amount more conservative than the Republican party or their cable news apparatus would put on. Obama's charisma gave him the allure of a Bill Clinton, but the perception of him as a folksy outsider granted him the relatability of George W. Bush.

This model, for the most part, is how political progress is made in the United States. Not since the time of the Democratic-Republican and Whig parties has their been considerable stretches of time dedicated to a White House dominated by one particular party. The last century of American presidential politics has consistently gone through phases of ideological extremes between the Democratic and Republican parties. Ours is a system run on the idea of making up for lost time by varying between the two extreme sides of the aisle, and compromising on certain issues along the way. It would seem that the presidency of Donald Trump is the emergence of a new cycle of extremes. President Donald John Trump—the Thesis.

If this cycle of dialectical change in American politics continues, then, at least for liberals and Progressives, the old adage would seem to be true—it is always darkest before the dawn. Trump has two years to prove to the U.S citizens that he was right in his assertion that only he can fix, what he sees as, an ailing and diminishing America. If by that time he cannot plainly prove his competence in the arena of politics, a rallied and furious liberal base will almost certainly, as history would indicate, sweep through the midterm elections of 2018—stripping him of the long standing Republican majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives. Thus, a Democratic majority could handily organize an insider resistance effort against Trump and his policies. Like President Obama and the Democrats of the last eight years, Trump and his colleagues would be powerless to resist the purposefully induced gridlock meant to block the establishment of any partisan programs, institutions, or laws.

The show of weakness and inability on Trump's part to follow up on his promises of change in the American political and civil systems would prove his critics correct in their pre-presidential outcries of his ineffectiveness as an inexperienced state leader. In turn the stage would be set for someone from the side of the left to come in and intensely oppose Trump, and, due to the age of extremes in which we live, it is possible that this ideological opposition to Trump could take a more liberal form than we have yet seen in the government of the United States. Considering the fact that Bernie Sanders openly ran as a Socialist, and gained a massive movement of populist support, there is a possibility that whoever will step up to assail Trump—possibly even Sanders himself—will be on the extreme of the far-left, just as Trump is on the extreme of the far-right.

If this yet unknown leftist presidential contender is able to break through Trump's defense of vociferating and distraction, and successfully stump the Trump in the 2020 election, the United States will have gone from one end of the spectrum to the complete opposite in a span of just four years. Even if Trump wins the next presidential election and remains in the White House, there is still a chance of this theory proving true in 2024. It is hard to tell if Hegel's method will safely guide the United States back to the center with an even later candidate that offers a Synthesis solution to the madness that is current American politics. That revelation is for another time, however. Nothing is really for certain in these ever changing and increasingly maddening times in which we find ourselves. The only thing that is near a certainty is that Donald Trump is pushing the country into a realm of conservatism not yet seen in modern America. It is a good bet that him doing so will have a severe, equal, and opposite reaction, as all things do. Trump's promise of a conservative fueled boosting of America back to the top of the world ladder may yet ignite a deep-seated far-left overtaking of this country. If that proves to be true, then it will be apparent that the ascension of Donald Trump to the highest office in the land—and arguably the world—was the catalyst for the biggest wave of progressive change this country has ever seen.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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