After one of the most demoralizing election seasons in recent memory, when it seemed as though there were new depths to be plumbed every week, Americans have good reason to be sick of hearing about politics. Realistically, after our elections were likely trolled by the Russians and the Alt-Right which helped to install Donald J. Trump, what choice do reasonable and rational Americans have other than continued vigilance? At this point, Russia’s involvement in the election has even been acknowledged by Trump.
In a statement, he acknowledged that “Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat(ic) National Committee.”
There are those, some misguided and others dishonest, who will continue to put lipstick on a pig and convince us that Trump is in some way good for the nation no matter what. Remorseful Trump voters are becoming a thing, but largely poorly informed Trump voters are going to be waste of time for Progressives. What about the reasonable and rational Americans, who can see the Emperor has no clothes and would like to look away but know that something has to be done about it?
An acquaintance of mine pointed out an important point in moving forward that rational people need to give greater thought to. In order to be effective in opposing Trump’s Neo-Fascism, mockery is good but it is not a replacement for direct action. It was so simple during the election for progressives and even his opposing candidate to think, because we derided the Emperor’s lack of clothing, which in a more literal sense is –basic human decency, that Trump’s fatal flaws as a suitable president were obvious. People were lulled into complacency and Trump capitalized on that.
However, we can’t forget that part of the electorate has been primed to dismiss even mainstream media without consideration. Of course, Trump is still doing that very thing now, dismissing CNN as fake news in a press conference and calling on Breitbart instead. This person’s tweet is a particularly startling example of the Trump effect, Right Wing media propaganda, and poor critical thinking.
Who knows what this type of low information voter will believe next time? Therefore, the onus is on us to take back our government –to play the long game. So what is the way forward?
There are several action steps that need to be taken now because many Americans that can vote shirked their civic duty. If you think about it voting is not a mandatory civic duty like taxes for Americans of ordinary means. These steps are outlined by former progressive staffers in a guide called “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda”. One of the key tenets is a local strategy. My husband Aron Ra is running for the Texas State Legislature and we are currently investigating what that entails.
Long term, though, as much as we hate our long drawn out primary process, the 2020 primary season has begun early for all intents and purposes. If we all want to eat the cake of better political representation on healthcare, climate change and scientific research, public education, civil rights, separation of church and state, you name it, people are going to have to work towards it.
The Democratic Party needs to get serious and get behind a presidential candidate that is a silver bullet, that is the best opposition possible to replacing Trump’s madness. Although I voted for Hillary Clinton because there wasn’t a better choice available, the DNC needs to stop trying to reheat Neoliberal leftovers and feed it to the Progressives in the party. The DNC needs to realize that they don’t have the GOP’s electorate that swallows what corporate donors are selling.
If I had my druthers, (in this case though my druthers are a silver bullet candidate not who I would ideally prefer) I would like to see a Joe Biden/Elizabeth Warren. Although Biden definitely has neoliberal tendencies such as support for the Iraq War, he has shown some growth in that he argued against Clinton for a more diplomatic approach to Iran. Additionally, he would have to show growth on economic globalization policies like he will have to walk back his support of NAFTA. That is why it is important for him to work with Warren on the ticket.
Both Biden and Warren are more nationally known and liked than most of the other names in the 2020 hat. I don’t believe any path to the presidency for Democrats can risk running a candidate they have to convince people to like. President Barack Obama just awarded Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the ceremony looked like foreshadowing the heir apparent to Obama’s presidency.
Calling the former longtime Delaware senator “the best vice president America’s ever had” and a “lion of American history,” Obama gave his White House partner the award in an emotional ceremony, billed as a farewell.
That’s a pretty strong job recommendation. In the next couple of years, it will be interesting to see who enters the national consciousness as a contender to Trump. It may be someone no one has yet predicted. Whoever it is, the DNC, neoliberals, and even progressives are going to have to look past what would sell them personally and look at what a safe majority of the U.S., particularly of swing state voters, will most likely buy without much coaxing. We cannot afford a national embarrassment like 2016.