‘The priority of 2018 is for our nation to rise up and say: Enough’

People tend to use the new year as a reason to adopt new year’s resolutions that they soon forget or abandon. Humans are creatures of habit after all.

So to simplify things this year, there need be only one resolution or goal for 2018 in this national state of emergency: to reduce the number of Trump enablers in this photo to as close to zero as possible in the 2018 midterm elections.

GOP Mug Shot

OK, two resolutions or goals: we also need to reduce the number of Trump enablers in the Arizona legislature and state offices to as close to zero as possible.

The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne writes, This new year, tell Trump: Enough:

In 2018, Trump’s abuses of power, his indifference to truth and his autocratic habits will be the central issues in our politics. Nothing else comes close.

This means there is no more vital business than containing Trump and, if circumstances demand it, removing him from office. This applies not only to progressives and liberals but also to everyone else, from left to right, who would defend our democratic values and republican institutions.

This may sound obvious, but it’s not. Among Democrats, there are often irresistible temptations to fight internal battles in preparation for 2020: Clinton people vs. Bernie people, the center-left vs. the left, the market-friendlies vs. the social democrats and democratic socialists.

These are necessary arguments, and, in any event, they cannot be suppressed. But they are not the most important thing. With special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation under constant threat from Trump’s apologists, solidarity among his opponents is imperative. This is all the more pressing in the face of the Republican leadership’s shameful cowering before a president who is perpetually in search of loyalty and sycophantic praise.

It is a habit of political commentators to say that Democrats “lack a message” and a program. It’s worth mentioning that this has not stopped them from winning a lot of elections, some in unlikely places, over the past few months.

Of course, Democrats must offer a compelling vision of a just country and a coherent approach to the world. They have to be mindful of the complicated and highly diverse coalition they need to build — starting with African Americans but also reaching out to working-class voters of all races who are being hurt by Trump’s policies. Most districts cannot be won without broad, multiracial alliances.

But this is a year of midterm elections, not a contest for the presidency. Voters typically use off-year ballots to render a judgment on a president’s course, particularly when they are unhappy — think 2006, 2010 and 2014. The most effective midterm slogan ever was the GOP’s 1946 plea: “Had Enough? Vote Republican.” With a change in the last word, it would fit the current anti-Trump mood well.

Bumper sticker

Trump, not some ingenious new policy, will be the issue on voters’ minds, and opposition to him will be the most powerful force pushing voters to the polls. Yes, progressives should talk about Trump policies they would try to check or roll back — beginning with the GOP’s egregious tax giveaway — and work to make their ideas on health care, jobs, infrastructure, the environment and education more persuasive. But the point of 2018 is to meet the emergency this presidency has created.

Let’s not shilly-shally about this. To truly check Trump, Democrats will need to win elections in usually unfriendly territory. As my loyally Republican Post colleague Michael Gerson wrote recently, Republican politicians will abandon Trump only “if they see it as in their self-interest.” For this to happen, they will have “to watch a considerable number of their fellow Republicans lose.”

TRA campaign in defense of democracy that transcends immediate policy goals will make it easier for moderately conservative voters to do something a lot of them won’t relish: vote for a party they usually shun.

Since electoral politics is about addition rather than subtraction, progressives ought to welcome the anti-Trump conservatives without expecting them to alter all their views. Again, none of this requires the left to abandon its purposes. Many progressive positions on matters from health care and family leave to fairer taxation and workers’ rights are widely popular. The fact that revulsion over Trump has shaken loose many normally Republican voters can be embraced as an opportunity for dialogue and persuasion.

What deserves rebuke is the obsequiousness of the current Republican political leadership toward Trump as well as the indifference of the president’s protectors [enablers] to the rule of law. Their willingness to pile falsehood upon falsehood in his defense amounts to a war on the basic requirements of reasoned debate in a free society.

Friends of republican democracy are called upon to set aside their differences to resist the corruption of presidential authority, to stand up for truth, and to insist that Trump be held accountable.

The priority of 2018 is for our nation to rise up and say: Enough.

11 Responses to ‘The priority of 2018 is for our nation to rise up and say: Enough’

  1. Rev. Dr. Barber‏
    @RevDrBarber
    In 2018 we must have an all out fight to put voting rights at the top of the political agenda. Full restoration of the VRA must become a top priority for Congressional leadership, not just black members. We must call anyone against this what they are: racist & anti-democracy.

    Rev. Dr. Barber
    ‏@RevDrBarber
    4h4 hours ago
    We must show the connections b/w the destruction of the VRA, the 4 year filibuster, & the onslaught of legislation against the poor and workers by persons elected through racist voter suppression.

    Rev. Dr. Barber
    ‏@RevDrBarber
    4h4 hours ago
    We must show America why we have to unite around black, white, & brown fusion movement that is anti-racist & anti-poverty.

    Rev. Dr. Barber
    ‏@RevDrBarber
    4h4 hours ago
    We must take the Resistance to the ballot box w/ a massive moral movement and a mass GOTV plan in the South.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      • Yeah. Just a feeling in my gut but I have to believe the day of reckoning is getting close. I don’t have a prediction for how it happens, just that it likely will.

        Trayvon Martin’s murder hit me hard and a few months later that same year it was Jordan Davis. Jordan Davis was gunned down just six miles south of the house in Jacksonville where I grew up.

        I don’t go back to Florida anymore since my mother died in 2000. But for so many years it looked like real progress was being made. And it has, no question about that. Trayvon Martin wanted a career in aviation and it was totally within his grasp. That is the good part of his story.

        But then one rainy night in Sanford, Florida, totally without warning he is catapulted into Emmett Till’s America. And for these kids growing up today that is a place they cannot possibly understand no matter how many “talks” their parents have with them.

        And then there are all those videos.

        We have never come close to being post-racial, certainly not as a nation. But I do believe that the resistance movement isn’t looking for a return to where they were, they are looking for something better. And occasionally, even now we see glimpses of the 21st century, a new black mayor in Birmingham and a new mayor in Atlanta, a black woman.

        • For clarification, the resistance movement isn’t looking to return to pre-Trump, they are looking to be much farther ahead. And that may end up being Trump’s contribution to history, energizing the resistance in ways that ultimately transform the nation into a more just and progressive democratic state.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      Rev. Dr. Barber is what I grew up thinking a Christian was supposed to be.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        And here is a fine example of today’s GOP.

        • For Sure Not Tom

          • The victims of the Charleston shooting were not “waiting their turn” to be shot. How could this fool be so misinformed? Dylann Roof assassinated State Senator Clementa Pinckney. He pulled out his gun and shot him three times. An older man, Daniel Simmons, tried to charge Roof and got shot four times. The only other man present, Tywanza Sanders, put his body between the Roof and his mother and 87 year old aunt, and tried to talk Roof out of shooting the rest of them. But Roof shot him too.

            William Chumley is correct in saying that all of these people were attending Bible Study in a church basement without their Glock pistols. Who does that?

            SMH.

  2. More of this…

  3. Posted on Facebook:

    U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders — US Senator for Vermont
    11 hrs ·
    What a year it has been!

    Yes. We all know that we have seen a president take office who is the most dishonest, bigoted, divisive and reactionary president in the modern history of our country.

    We have also seen a right-wing extremist Republican Congress attempt to throw up to 32 million Americans off of the health care they have, give hundreds of billions in tax breaks to the richest people in our country and the largest corporations, destroy environmental legislation and work overtime to deny women the right to control their own bodies.

    Yes. We have seen all of that and much more. But we are also seeing something else that, from an historical perspective, is far more important. We are seeing the American people come together, fight back and win important victories all across the country.

    In 2017 we made progress when millions of people, in every state in the country, took to the streets for the Women’s March in opposition to Trump’s reactionary agenda. We made progress when an unprecedented grassroots movement elected a young African-American as mayor of Birmingham, Alabama. We made progress when tens of thousands of Americans turned out in rallies and town meetings to successfully oppose the Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and we’re making progress when more and more Americans are joining the fight for a Medicare for All single payer program.

    We’re making progress when governors and local officials in every part of the country announce, in response to student demands, tuition free public colleges and universities. We’re making progress when states and communities from coast to coast adopt legislation which provides a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

    We’re making progress when, on Election Day, November 7, 2017, in local and state elections all across the country, Trumpism suffered a major defeat as hundreds of progressive first time candidates from every conceivable background ran for school board, city council, state legislature and other local offices – and many of them won.

    We’re making progress when, on December 10,2017 a strong Democrat was elected to the U.S. Senate from Alabama, one of the most conservative states in the country.

    The truth is that the American people are far more united than the media allows us to believe. They get it. They know that over the last forty years, despite a huge increase in worker productivity, the middle class has continued to shrink while the very rich have become much richer. They know that, for the first time in the modern history of the United States, our kids will likely have a lower standard of living than their parents.

    Our job, in 2018 and beyond, for the sake of our kids and grandchildren, is to bring our people together around a progressive agenda.