As other pundits in the national and local media have pointed out, It will be tempting these next several months to focus on the Popular Vote Loser’s (Presidents) tweets, outrageous comments and behavior, and potentially criminal acts that will be adjudicated in the courts.
Now that they will be in control of the House of Representatives, Democrats do have a responsibility to provide oversight of the Executive Branches actions that the Trump (Republican) Party failed to undertake. That is only right and proper.
Democrats and Progressives, in the federal government and in the state government offices they triumphed in, should also take this as an opportunity to advance progressive policies (both incremental and ambitious) that will further attract supporters in the rural, urban, and suburban parts of the country. They should attempt to create bipartisan consensus with the Trump Party but be prepared to fight for and campaign on what the Trumpists obstruct in the Senate and the Oval Office.
There are eight legislative agenda items Democrats should promote in the House include measures that are also embraced by Democrats at the state and national level as well as progressive pundits. This includes:
- An increase in the minimum wage. Democrats should fight for a $12.00 to $15.00 minimum wage, take any compromise that the Trumpists offer (as long as it is at least $10.00 an hour) and campaign in 2020 on bringing it up to $12.00 to $15.00.
- Stabilize Obamacare and its subsidy programs. Democrats should also push for Medicaid expansion at the state level and Medicare expansion (allowing people 55 and older to buy into the program with gradual allowances for younger individuals) at the federal level. There should also be a continuation of the efforts to improve care for our veterans. Again if the Trumpists obstruct, Democrats and Progressives need to campaign on that.
- Doing what supposedly the occupant in the White House wants and finally, after years of saying they would, approving an infrastructure program, based on mostly green energy, that would rebuild and modernize our roads, highways, electric grid, railways, shipping, and airline industries.
- Improving broadband, especially in Rural Areas (assuming the Trumpists want their base to have access to real information).
- A middle-class tax reform that includes increases in charitable giving, green energy purchases, child care, and college tuition tax credits and pay for it by taking away some of the tax cuts given to the one percent in the last congressional session. Let us see Trumpists go against that by advocating for the one percent over the rest of the populace.
- Working to making all public-state colleges and universities free, incrementally starting with community colleges and gradually incorporating four-year universities. Let us see Trumpists argue against that to the swing voters especially after they have tripled the budget deficit on tax cuts for the rich.
- Paid family and medical leave.
- Promoting legislation and a constitutional amendment that protects our voter rights and seeks political reform on campaign finance and term limits for officeholders and staff. Again, let us see Trumpists speak out against this from the wrong side of history.
These reasonable and overdue legislative items are supported by a substantial portion of the American People. Democrats and Progressives need to show the people that they will lay the foundations for progressive governance now and fight the Trumpists all the way to 2020 if they stand in the way of the wishes of the people. This will be one of the keys to helping increase progressive influence among the electorate and sustaining it throughout the coming years.