It almost feels like a child’s excited anticipation on Christmas Eve. Arizona’s early voting period begins today. It’s finally here!

Early mail-in ballots will begin being mailed today. For those of you who have requested an early mail-in ballot, it should arrive in the mail over the next week. You should fill out your ballot and return it immediately. Please remember to sign, date and provide a daytime phone number on the ballot envelope that goes inside the return envelope. If you do not trust mail delivery right now, you can drop off your mail-in ballot at any early voting site in your county.

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For those of you who who have not requested an early mail-in ballot, you can walk into any early voting site beginning today and cast your ballot. Check your county recorder website for locations.

This election is not just a referendum on Trumpism and his sycophant enablers in the Republican Party, but as I wrote before the 2018 midterm election, this is The Reckoning – Resistance and Renewal (excerpt):

Trump has actively sought to undermine our democratic institutions, political norms and values that have defined America for more than 240 years and to replace them overnight — to “disrupt the status quo” as he calls it — with the crypto-fascism of “Trumpism,” an authoritarian cult of personality.

Trump has been enabled in his undermining of our democratic institutions, political norms and values by a supplicant Tea-Publican Congress which also exhibits authoritarian tendencies in its exercise of one-party rule, and by a fawning propagandist conservative media entertainment complex, and too often, by a cowered mainstream media.

Trump is enabled by a small but significant base of adoring sycophant supporters in his authoritarian cult of personality. For them, he can do no wrong. Their loyalty is to Trump alone, not to the country, not to democratic governance, not to the Constitution. Trump is what metastasized from an existing cancer in the American body politic.

This is not normal.

The Trump era represents an existential threat to our democratic Republic and all that we hold dear as Americans. It is time for American patriots to rise up and to come to the aid and defense of our country, and of our Constitution.

[2020] must be a year of reckoning, a coming to terms with what Americans have inflicted upon themselves in recent years through their own indifference and neglect of our democratic institutions, political norms and values. Too many Americans have failed their basic civic duty as a citizen to participate in our democratic system of governance. Too many Americans have failed to do the bare minimum required of a citizen by failing to vote. Democracy is not a spectator sport, it requires your active participation.

There must be a resistance to the creeping fascism of “Trumpism.” We must not go quietly or submissively into the darkness descending, we must and we will resist and “rage against the dying of the light,” to paraphrase Dylan Thomas. We will defend our country, our Constitution and our American values against this rot from within.

There must be a renewal of Americans’ faith and commitment to long-cherished democratic institutions, political norms and values that define us as Americans: a restoration of our nation, if you will.

Warren G. Harding ran for president after the end of World War I, the most destructive war in the history of mankind at the time, on the theme of “a return to normalcy” in 1920. Harding’s promise was backwards looking, a nostalgic longing to return the United States to its prewar mentality of isolationism and nationalism in a world that no longer existed after it had been swept away by the carnage of World War I and the U.S. had emerged as a major world power. (This nostalgic longing for isolationism and nationalism is a key component of the white nationalism of Stephen Bannon and “Trumpism.”)

We should reject Harding’s framing, of course, but this notion of “a return to normalcy” has a powerful appeal after Donald Trump and the exhausting disorientation caused by the chaos theory of “Trumpism.”

Vice President Joe Biden returned to Abraham Lincoln’s framing as a “battle for the soul of the nation” in his speech at the Gettysburg battlefield on Tuesday:

Here on this sacred ground, Abraham Lincoln, re-imagined America itself. Here, a president of the United States spoke of the price of division, and the meaning of sacrifice.

He believed in the rescue, redemption, and rededication of the union. All this in a time, not just of ferocious division, but of widespread death, structural inequity, and fear of the future. And he taught us this, a house divided could not stand. That is a great and timeless truth. Today, once again, we are a house divided, but that my friends can no longer be. We’re facing too many crises. We have too much work to do. We have to bright a future to have it shipwrecked on the Shoals of anger and hate, and division.

I would define this “return to normalcy” as a forward looking renewal of our faith and commitment to long-cherished democratic institutions, political norms and values that define us as Americans [as Joe Biden did].

The preamble to our Constitution begins, “WE the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union …” America is always a work in progress, always looking with optimism to the future, always striving to achieve perfection. As President Barack Obama said, we must “continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America.” Americans strive to achieve our highest ideals, not to turn away from them or to reject them as the personality cult of “Trumpism” does.

It is not too much to demand that our president behave like a normal president. It is not too much to demand that our president not be a pathological liar who cannot differentiate between fact and fiction (“fake news”). It is not too much to demand that our president not assault and undermine our democratic institutions, political norms and values. It is not too much to demand that our president not engage in the childish behavior of a daily Twitter rage against anyone whom he feels threatened by or wants to insult. Donald Trump, however, is mentally and emotionally incapable of doing this, on this we can all agree.

It is not too much to demand that our politicians behave like normal politicians — a commitment to democratic procedural norms and bipartisan political compromise for the betterment of all Americans — not the ideological abuse of power personified by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose policy of total obstruction under president Obama has given way to the full fruition of his authoritarianism, rewriting the rules of the Senate and disregarding the Constitution in order to get his way by any means necessary.

Updating this post:

Donald Trump is on the ballot in 2020, and “Trumpism,” an authoritarian cult of personality, will be on the ballot, represented by those who support and defend Donald Trump. 2020 is a referendum on “Trumpism” and Trump’s enablers. They must be removed from elected positions of power at every level of government, from local school boards and city councils to the halls of Congress.

Americans have a stark choice to make in 2020 of what kind of country we want to be: the vibrant democratic Republic that our Founding Fathers left to us, or surrender to despair and the creeping fascism of “Trumpism,” and replace our democratic Republic with an authoritarian autocracy.

For true American patriots, this stark choice is an easy choice to make. We will defend our democratic Republic and our Constitution.

The time has arrived for American patriots to rise up and to come to the aid and defense of our country, and of our Constitution.

There must be a national reckoning for what Donald Trump and his enablers in the Republican Party have done to this country. More than 210,000 Americans have lost their lives to the coronavirus pandemic, and the economy is in ruins. They must be held to account for their actions and inaction. “Trumpism,” the new American fascism, must be soundly rejected and defeated, and discarded on the ash heap of history.

It is time for a “blue wave” tsunami of Democrats elected to office that sweeps away Donald Trump and all of his enablers in the Republican Party, at every level of government, so that we can rescue, redeem and rededicate our democracy anew.




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