It’ll Be a Good Start
No one can predict with 100% certainly what will happen fifteen minutes from now, much less in a few weeks, so no one knows what will happen on November 3 or in the time just after the election. El Presidente’ Dear Leader has threatened to throw our democracy into chaos in a number of fascist ways during and after the election, so handicapping the outcomes now is impossibly foolish, much like the colossal idiot who daily ridicules rationality by his very presence in a position of authority in our government.
But just for the sake of argument, and luckily to provide a premise for this essay, let’s just say that the best possible outcome happens: Trump is crushed by an historically devastating Blue Tsunami and Democrats gain control of the Senate and retain control of the House. It’s possible, but it’s not at all certain that that is what is going to happen. We felt good about Hillary Clinton, right? So anything can happen; Trump has assured that horrific degree of uncertainty. But let’s just say we get what any sane person wants.
That’ll be a good start, but that’s when the real work begins.
I say this principally because it has taken Republicans some fifty tears to meticulously construct the hellish, inequitable mess we are in as a country, and Trump was only a final, fanatically virulent symptom of their feverish underlying disease of greed, racism, corporate cronyism and unbridled self-interest. They concocted the anti-populist plot beginning in the 1970’s and conspired with the rich and powerful to furtively hijack our government and its economic system over decades with only a minority of privileged whites as supporters. Mountains of dark corporate money have kept them in business.
They engineered voter suppression schemes, conservative business friendly court appointments, a culture war against women and minorities, gerrymandering dirty tricks and a rock solid, monolithic block of congressional votes to out-maneuver their Democratic opposition much of the time, successfully frustrating progressive initiatives even when Democrats held the White House and majorities in Congress. When Democratic reforms were finally enacted, once back in power Republicans worked tirelessly to destroy them. Author Kurt Anderson calls them “Evil Geniuses” in his book of that title, and he’s right. They worked their machiavellian malevolent magic to a tee.
And I think a Kremlin-derived term can also be used when talking about Democrats. Sometimes, I think Democrats have been played mercilessly by Republicans and have been manipulated like “Useful Idiots.” They too got caught up in trying to capture the middle of the country to win elections; to the extent that Bill Clinton has oft been described as the best Republican President we’ve ever had due to his moderate and even conservative policies. Democrats too got caught up in feverish tax cut mania, trying to gain greedy well-to-do votes, and let’s face it: Joe Biden is the safe, establishment, center left, middle of the road candidate, not the fresh, new, energetic progressive light many of us would like to see leading us into the future.
Don’t get me wrong; I love being a Democrat. We’re a decent, compassionate, inclusive, multi-cultural lot that truly reflects the diversity that makes this country great. We’re also openly argumentative with each other, we range across a broad spectrum of political proclivities and the people in charge at the DNC have not been the best, in my opinion. Will Rogers said, “Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.” And famously, “I’m not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” The sheer magnitude and diversity of our Big Tent makes it a tough animal to control.
But now, assuming for the moment we get what we want, we have an opportunity to get much smarter about dealing with Republicans. For Republicans, winning is all that matters, hence the stunning degree of ruthlessness, deception, connivances, depravity and raw criminality they are willing to stoop to get their way. I’m not suggesting that Democrats compromise their moral fiber, at all. I am suggesting that Democrats must understand clearly that they are dealing with the Dark Side of the Force politically when they are opposing Republicans, and when needed must move together as one party in lock step to defeat Republicans and their soulless initiatives at every level of government.
Because if we win the way we need to in November, it will take decades of Democratic control to undo the sheer evil institutionally perpetrated on this country by the selfish, racist, market-infatuated, greedy, corporately driven, power hungry Republican Party. It took them 50 years or so to construct this elaborate Gordian Knot of Cruelty; it will take some time to undo do it and provide a better way that puts people before profits.
The agenda is a steep one: provide affordable health care for all, eliminate the Electoral College, expand the Supreme Court, end gerrymandering, end the filibuster, end systemic racism and police violence, end voter suppression, guarantee and protect the rights of and protections to the LGBTQ community, enact sensible gun control and safety legislation, establish income and wealth equity, attack the Climate Crisis, strengthen Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and SNAP, provide a sensible and compassionate approach to immigration, elect diverse and representative government at all levels, enact tax legislation that requires everyone to pay their fair share, outlaw business and special interest campaign contributions…and whole lot more.
There’s a lot of work to be done, and only Democrats will do it. Republicans will object, obstruct, obfuscate, fear-monger, lie, cheat and steal to maintain the power that they and wealthy, privileged white oligarchs have amassed in the last 50 years. By 2050, whites thankfully will be the minority in this country, and it may well take 30 years of compassionate Democratic majorities to get us where we need to go.
But it all starts in a few weeks. And we must prevent this lawless Republican President, his Administration, the Senate and now the Supreme Court from screwing that up. We the People Have the Power.
Do all you can think of in the time we have left to push decency over the top in November. Please.
(Photo by J.E. Hargate)