[I only have one post about politics on this blog. It’s time for a second one…]
As America heads to the polls again, we must recognize that this election is not just a choice between different policies. Even though the majority of Americans are against most of what the GOP supports, this election is not just a choice between bigger government or smaller government or conservatism versus progressivism.
This election is a referendum on who we are as a people. On whether or not we’re going to preserve basic precepts of American democracy. On whether or not we’re going to restore fundamental human decency to our nation. Unfortunately, we must recognize that a vote for Republicans right now – or for any non-viable third party candidates (sorry) – is an affirmative vote for four more years of…
- Voter suppression instead of assuring the Constitutional right of every American to vote
- Nearly 1,000 dead Americans every day from the coronavirus (and no national plan or help in sight)
- Trying to take away Americans’ health care (even during a deadly pandemic)
- Trying to take away Americans’ food, housing, and employment supports (even during a deadly pandemic)
- A sycophantic cult of personality instead of the rule of law
- Presidential and First Family narcissism that sees no obligation to the rest of America
- Non-stop, shameless lying and gaslighting (and dishonoring of the Presidency)
- Conspiracy theories and outright lunacy instead of science, facts, and the truth
- Using the power of the federal government – particularly the Department of Justice – to punish ‘enemies’ (like in tinpot dictatorships)
- Amoral (and hypocritical) grabs for power at the cost of everything and anyone else (see, e.g., Merrick Garland and Amy Coney Barrett)
- Ongoing obstruction of justice and outright refusals to cooperate with legitimate legal and governmental inquiries
- Self-enrichment, self-dealing, and outright corruption at taxpayers’ expense
- Gutting of government ethics enforcement
- Nepotism and temporary (and sometimes illegal) appointments of key officials that result in governmental dysfunction
- Appointment of Cabinet members who are antithetical to the mission of their own departments
- A non-transparent federal government that destroys or hides public records and data and is unaccountable to the American people
- White supremacy, racism, bigotry, and hate toward our family members and neighbors of color
- Denial of ongoing racial injustice and attacks on social justice-oriented remedies and protections
- Sexism, chauvinism, misogyny, and sexual harassment toward our female family members and neighbors
- Attempts to deny women the basic right to choose what happens with their own bodies
- Homophobia toward our LGBTQ family members and neighbors
- Xenophobia, nationalism, and the denial of the humanity of others – particularly Black and Brown people – around the globe
- The elevation of the interests of fundamental Christians over those of other faiths
- Ongoing Presidential mockery of women, our military, our war dead, and people with disabilities
- Russian election interference
- Unrequited Russian bounties on American soldiers
- Global warming and the denial of human-accelerated climate change (do you like hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires?)
- Dirtier air, more polluted water, and the destruction of environmental protection laws (do you like mercury poisoning?)
- Oil lobbyists over clean, renewable energy self-reliance
- Drilling and mining in our beautiful and precious national parks
- Gutting consumer protections and favoring corporate profits over people
- Removing food safety protections (do you like diseased chicken?)
- Attacks on the poor, increasing inequity, and favoring the interests of rich people over those of average Americans
- Cozying up to dictators who commit human rights violations
- Alienating our global allies
- Continued erosion of America’s global reputation and prestige
- False claims about ‘fake news’ and the destruction of citizens’ trust in professional journalism
- Fake piety toward – and frequent Presidential denigration of – the people who serve in our nation’s armed forces (they are not ‘losers’ and ‘suckers’)
- Simplistic patriotism that is more concerned with an athlete’s knee on the ground during our national anthem than a police officer’s knee on the neck that kills
- Protecting military-style weaponry instead of the safety of our citizens
- A Department of Education that favors the 10 percent of students in private schools over the 90 percent in public schools
- Separating infants from their asylum-seeking mothers and caging small children
- Gassing (and worse) of peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment rights
- Armed White supremacist domestic terrorists (aka ‘militia’) in the streets that intimidate, harass, and injure others
- Manipulation of the Constitutionally-required census
- A political party that doesn’t even have a policy platform (it’s just whatever Trump wants)
- The historical dominators over the historically-dominated
- White people in red MAGA hats screaming vitriolic hate at the rest of America
- The worst of America, not the best of America
- Utter chaos and exhaustion
America has always been an imperfect nation. We have yet to live up to our espoused ideals of liberty, equality, freedom, democracy, and justice for all. But like in previous chapters of our history, we have a stark choice this fall: we can vote for America as it should be and the continual striving to be better and more inclusive, or we can vote for the dark forces of division, ugliness, and autocracy that have emerged once again.
The Democratic Party has numerous flaws right now. But I’d be willing to stack up that list against the one above any time. Sadly, over the past four years Republicans have shown us who they are right now. There seems to be no corner of America that they are not willing to erode and destroy. They currently favor a declining minority that is desperately and tyrannically attempting to hold onto power at the expense of the rest of us. They are more than willing to proudly support a President who spends his time golfing, watching Fox ‘News,’ rage tweeting lies and insults, and destroying our country. It’s time for us to vote out as many of them as we can, and force the once-proud party to confront its internal demons, cowardice, disrespect for the norms of democracy, and growing irrelevance to a younger, multicultural population and electorate (since they won’t do it themselves). We not only have to vote out Trump, we have to vote out every single enabler as well.
Our more-fragile-than-we-thought democracy deserves nothing less. Vote for America. And then talk with your family members and neighbors about how we move forward from here.
Great post, Scott. Thanks!
Wow. This is a truly spectacular post. Thank you so much for sharing, Scott.
There are some items that are certainly problematic, But there are some items on your list that are arguable. Other items may sound bad, but are not really true or the ‘evidence’ is questionable, which goes to your comment about trust in journalism. The mistrust in journalism is partially the change in what passes as journalism. Many news outlets are no longer hiding their bias and no longer just reporting the news and letting readers/viewers decide
.Many are turning their position into opinion pieces and editorials. I also understand that by even suggesting that I could be dismissed. But, as much as people dislike Trump, and there is plenty to discuss, looking at how the media has negatively reported on the President versus similar stories from others.
One recent example with the story from the NY Post that reflects Biden in a questionable light. FB and Twitter all of a sudden say they have a problem with something being not fully researched, but had no problem with the questionable obtaining of Trump’s taxes or the anonymous sources claiming Trump said things about the military let’s it show that there is, at least a double standard.
I don’t really want to get into a drawn out discussion, but there is very often another side to things that are not just blindly following the President and not just conspiracy because it goes against some news organizations. But the media have made themselves untrustworthy by only giving partial stories or being opinion commentators when they should be reporters. (I’m not against opinion writers but not when I expect a fair reporting of the facts)
Regarding white supremacy and calling the military losers; the evidence for that is questionable, or outright wrong. If he is a white supremacist, he is not very good at it- There are many smart, black conservatives who support him, people who know him not to be racist- he has repeatedly denounced WS groups and yet the media and even Biden pretend he didn’t. He never said WS are fine people- he never called the military suckers and loser in France- The evidence was a couple anonymous sources versus approx 10 people who were there saying he never said it.
I only add these things as examples and I don’t have time to study all the possible things in your list, but I think that some issues are more complex than just painting him in a bad light. He has said many things already are problematic but not everything he says or does is always as bad as a FB clip makes it seem. Sometimes it might be, but many times, there is a different way to see it. Sometimes, like in the classroom, there is more to the story.
Thank you for taking the time to write a thoughtful comment, Derrick.
Every day there are numerous new atrocities from Trump and his GOP enablers. As Maya Angelous said, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” Republicans have shown us who they are time and time again the past few years. I stand by the list above.
If you still can stomach voting for Trump and Republicans this election after what we’ve seen over the past four years, I don’t really know what to say other than I stand against it. All of it.