Here I am, hoping that the first of Trumps major legislative failures is an indicator of what’s to come in his presidency. Being the privileged person I am, Trump’s attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or as its opposition prefer to call it, “Obamacare”, didn’t particularly threaten me. Still, the failure of this piece of legislation gives me hope- perhaps the shifting political climate and transfer of power doesn’t threaten me as much as I thought it did.
As someone who values the rights of members of the LGBTQIA+ community, protection of the environment, and an America that is truly a beacon of hope and freedom, the inability of President Trump to successfully make real legislative change (not just executive orders, which hold little real power) gives me hope for other areas of political concern.
For example, the issues of environmental justice and climate change are very important to me, and I hope that the legislative action taken by President Obama during his 8 years in office won’t be repealed in the same way the ACA has been upheld. If the Trump Administration can’t pass laws changing health care, maybe they won’t be able to change much at all- but this of course doesn’t mean that I will stop being vocal about my opposition to their plans.
The failure of Trumpcare is a small victory for liberal legislation, but we shouldn’t run a victory lap just yet. Healthcare is just one fight of many to be faced in the realm of US politics during Trump’s presidency, and we must continue to fight if we hope to see the same outcomes.
In addressing this failure as a victory, I feel the need to explain myself- I do want what is best for our country, and I don’t want the next four years to be a complete political failure. My idea of success, however, is not exactly in line with that of President Trump. To me, a successful four years means getting closer to equality for all people in light of our differences, and the policies proposed by the Trump administration just doesn’t fulfill these goals. It would be hard for any administration to reach complete equality, but we should at least be working towards it, not against it.
My original plan to hold hope under the Trump administration was the belief that we’d only have to wait two years, that at midterm elections democrats and liberals could show up strong at the polls and nix the republican majority in the house and congress. If this happens, which I still hope it does, Trump’s executive power will be extinguished and we’ll see two unproductive years for the second half of his first (and hopefully final) term. But it seems I may not have to wait this long to see an unproductive Trump presidency.
If the failed healthcare bill is any indication of how the next four years will go, we might not see any significant change made at all. Speaking as a liberal democrat, a quiet and unproductive four years is the best thing I can realistically ask for.