As United States citizens now living under the rule of the interloper Donald Trump and his sycophants we must face the reality that every day he remains in power is a day closer to him consolidating his power, leading to an increasing diminution of democracy in this great experiment of ours. He knows the investigation into his possible collusion with Russia around influencing the election in his favor is deepening as the net around him and his ilk draws tighter and tighter. And so he is trying every way possible to divert, deflect, and parry attention away from that investigation. Unfortunately, his tactics may be working.
That is why the most effective way to slow the Trump juggernaut is to win control of one or both houses of Congress for the Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections. This will not be easy. The Democrats are a split party between progressives who were loyal to Bernie Sanders in ’16, and who, in large numbers, either did not vote for a presidential candidate or voted for a third party candidate, and moderate/liberals. It remains now a huge challenge to bring Bernie supporters back into the Democratic fold to return to the polls and win back the House, the Senate or both for the Democratic Party. Progressive Democrats, seemingly, do not trust moderates or liberals in the party. Trump voters hated Hillary Clinton, even branding her a manifestation of the devil in the Bible Belt of the South. Progressives disliked Hillary to the point they would not at least vote for her to prevent the election of a megalomaniac with fascist tendencies.
Ninety-two million eligible voters did not vote in ’16. A large percentage of them, I believe, were these Bernie Sanders progressives who would have no one except Bernie as their standard barer. They were angry that he did not win the nomination, feeling that the Democratic National Committee was complicit in blocking him from attaining that nomination. And in the race of Hillary versus Trump, they refused to drop that anger and do the right thing to prevent Trump from entering the White House and do the damage he was sure to do to our country and the planet.
Hillary won the popular vote, nationwide, by almost three million, stemming from the reality that she won certain states, like California and New York, by wide margins. In the few key battleground states that Trump won, like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, his margin was relatively small. Many former Democrats who had voted for Obama in ’08 and ’12, switched to Trump in ’16. If only a small percentage of Bernie supporters had voted for Hillary in those states—as he urged— they would have countered this movement towards Trump and prevented his victory.
So the challenge now is to convince those who sat out the ’16 election, stewing out of anger for the defeat of Bernie Sanders, to reenter the fray and vote for any and all Democrats on the ballot no matter what level of government. In particular, they need to be convinced of the urgency to restore the U.S. House of Representatives and/or the Senate back to Democratic control.
Why? Because if Trump and his ilk are not driven from power via the Russia collusion and/or obstruction of justice investigations, and the Republicans retain control of Congress, he and his party will do irreparable damage to this country and the planet for many years to come. Trump, with Steve Bannon as advisor, is attempting to dismantle the basic tenets of democracy, essentially establishing an oligarchy and possibly a dictatorship in this apparent bloodless coup that is taking shape. Free elections will become a sham, with many minorities, who usually vote Democratic, being unqualified to register as is now the case in a number of key states. The Supreme Court, once it becomes fully stacked with conservative judges will atrophy into a mere rubber stamp for Republican ideology. And the Congress will deteriorate into what congresses look like in China, Cuba, Russia, and North Korea.
Am I exaggerating? Look at what Trump has done in the few months he’s been in office. I needn’t list his attacks on a free press, his denigrating the integrity of Federal judges, his use of intimidation and lies via Twitter, his conflicts of interest to increase his and his family personal wealth, and his disparaging of sensible treaties and alliances, the latest being the Paris Climate Accords.
It is not likely that Trump will be impeached or even forced to resign by next year, or even by 2020. It took Nixon almost three years to resign after the Watergate revelations and investigations started. And Trump will use, and has been using, every means possible to try to block and impede these present investigations. And he seems to have a loyal core of voters who will back him in lock-step with his every bloviated pronouncement.
And yet, all I see in the emails of the DNC are requests for funds. We need much more than money to convince wayward Democrats to come back into the fold. This is not a battle for the pocketbooks of voters: It’s a battle for the heart and soul of America, the world’s leading bastion for democracy. Funds are important, of course, but the DNC must find practical ways to get people to vote and vote for candidates who will actively oppose Trump and the Tea Party conservatives in the GOP who are backing Trump. If Dems can win back either of the Houses of Congress, these Trump conservatives will begin to leap like rats leaving a sinking ship. Once they see the political winds shifting away from Trump, they will no longer support his toxic policies and intentions. At least, that’s my hope.
Now, you may be asking, as I have, what can I, as one voter, do? First, make sure you vote and vote for candidates who oppose Trump and his agenda. If you’re a progressive Democrat and still angry about Bernie, for goodness sake, drop the anger and help us oppose and irritate Donald Trump by voting for any politician who opposes him. Volunteer at Democratic election headquarters in your area, offering to sit at tables and call voters in your area as well as other states. Talk to people who you sense may be apathetic or uninvolved who don’t think all this concerns them. Yes, contribute whatever money you can to Democratic groups working to regain Democratic control of Congress. Call your representatives in Congress and offer your opinions opposing this very dangerous politician who conned his way into power. And one other item: flood Bernie Sanders’ phone lines with a plea to get out there and implore his faithful to get involved and resist Trump in the best way possible: namely voting for Democrats—any Democrats— and encouraging their friends to do the same. Bernie has been far too quiet of late. We are in crisis mode. This is not a time to split the Democratic Party between progressives and liberals. A united Democratic Party can stop the Trump juggernaut.
His supporters booed him at the Democratic National Convention when he endorsed Clinton for the nomination. In response, Bernie said, “It is easy to boo, but it is harder to look your kids in the face if we are living under a Trump presidency.”
His number in Vermont is (802) 862-0697.