By Doug Porter
More than twenty progressive and liberal organizations on both sides of the Hillary/Sanders split released a letter yesterday calling on all Americans to join together in taking action to oppose the candidacy of Donald Trump.
Calling him “a five-alarm fire for our democracy,” the letter sets forth concrete steps to oppose the Republican front-runner — from protesting to organizing large-scale voter turnout efforts.
From Common Dreams:
Trump’s candidacy, it continues, “is a threat to the America we love, and we must respond to him and what he is stoking as such — with a nonviolent movement grounded in love and community that ensures that he never comes anywhere near the White House, and perhaps even more importantly, makes clear to every other politician and every person in the United States that racist demagoguery is a dead-end political strategy that most Americans reject…”
…According to a press statement, the officials “plan a massive nonviolent mobilization including protests, voter turnout efforts, and greater accountability for leaders who refuse to condemn Trump.”
Specifically, the letter calls for:
- Non-violent mobilization and organizing. What could this look like in your community? 500 families rallying against hate at the high school football stadium, or 50,000 marching in the streets of your city for love and against hate. Door to door conversations about the values that make our democracy thrive. Teach-ins on the importance of confronting hate. Letters to the editor. Vigorous social media presence. Prayer vigils. Yes, yes, and yes.
- Asking every media outlet, corporation, and office-holder—from the school board on up to Congress—”Will you condemn Trump’s racism, misogyny and xenophobia?” No one’s off the hook. Decades of dog-whistle politics from political, corporate, and media elites rigging institutions and the economy in their favor at most people’s expense have fertilized the ground that Trump is now tilling for his own gain.
- A voting renaissance. We know that a majority of Americans reject hate-baiting and racism—if we vote, we stop Trump, and we show that our country is better than this. We can do that while building an even more powerful progressive majority. We need to build a massive volunteer effort to door-knock, phone bank and have real conversations with voters of color, new U.S. citizens, women, Muslim-Americans, working class voters and white voters. It’s that simple.
Supporters of this effort include individuals affiliated with: Move On, Service Employees International Union, Greenpeace, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Jobs with Justice, the National People’s Action Campaign, the Sierra Club, the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, the United States Student Association and Color of Change.
Fight, Flight or Freeze
Pointing out that the only sure path to the White House for Donald Trump is a low voter turnout election, Bruce Shapiro, writing at The Nation says “there is no denying the moral force and necessity of confronting his racist, authoritarian demagoguery.”
A minority of overt racists may be cheering. But most Americans are negotiating the political version of a basic biological dilemma: fight, flight, or freeze. Trump is counting on freeze, translated into more voters—especially unaffiliated, occasional, and crossover voters—turning off and staying home. He knows that the news cycle quickly adapts to a new reality, and it’s only a matter of time before the bullying, threats, and actual violence that now seem outrageous are accepted as numbing routine. That is why this is no season for bystanders. Apathy now will harden into resignation and can only breed a sense of inevitability and exhaustion in the fall.
Kevin Faulconer’s favorite for the GOP nomination–Marco Rubio– has dropped out of the race. It’s my bet he’ll play it safe, either refusing to endorse or blessing the long-shot candidacy of Ohio’s John Kasich.
Any progressive effort in San Diego has got to start with people demanding that elected officials take a stand against the candidacy of Donald Trump. And the perfect place to start is with the mayor.
Every city in California should go on record with resolutions condemning The Donald’s policy ideas approved by elected officials. It would be great if San Diego was among the first. Start by sending our councilpersons‘ emails. Send one to the mayor while you’re at it. Let’s not forget our other elected officials, starting with school boards all the way to the legislature.
What to say? How about:
Now is the time for all true patriots to stand up and oppose the violence, racism and misogyny of Donald Trump. Please find a way to publicly make your opposition known to this man’s un-American platform for ruining our country.
Once a Bully…
Meanwhile, The Donald’s victories in primaries on Tuesday have emboldened him to the point where he’s threatening the GOP, should an attempt be made to stop his candidacy at the party convention next summer.
From Huffington Post:
Trump said such a scenario would outrage his supporters, who have shown increasing willingness to use violence against their political detractors.
“If you disenfranchise those people, and you say, ‘Well, I’m sorry, but you’re 100 votes short, even though the next one is 500 votes short,’ I think you would have problems like you’ve never seen before. I think bad things would happen,” Trump continued. “I wouldn’t lead it, but I think bad things would happen.”
Over the past several weeks, journalists covering Trump’s campaign and people protesting at his rallies have been manhandled, punched, threatened and physically removed from events. The candidate said he would consider paying the legal fees for a supporter who was charged with assault for punching an anti-Trump protester in the face.
Trump celebrated on Tuesday night with a “press conference” where he took the stage, didn’t answer questions and launched into a diatribe against the media. A reporter for the center-right Politico is now barred from the candidate’s events, following the publication of a story where more than 20 former associates of Trump’s campaign manager “being rough with reporters and sexually suggestive with female journalists, while profanely berating conservative officials and co-workers he deemed to be challenging his authority.”
From the Washington Post:
After speaking for about 15 minutes, Trump threw some insults at the journalists sitting far away from him, beyond all of the well-dressed supporters who laughed at his jokes and applauded him again and again.
“Disgusting reporters,” Trump said, as his guests laughed. “Horrible people. Some are nice. Some are nice. Some really disgusting people back there. And I just want to say: We’re going to go forward, and we’re going to win. But more importantly we’re going to win for the country, we’re going to win, win, win, and we’re not stopping. We’re going to have great victories for our country. Thank you very much, everybody.”
And that was it, the press conference was over without a single question being asked.
Misogyny on the Campaign Trail (Not Just Trump)
In case you haven’t heard, Trump dislikes women, even though he says otherwise:
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton swept all five primaries on Tuesday night. And the media could hardly contain their sexism.
A sampling, via Media Matters:
Hillary having a big night in the primaries. So she’s shouting angrily in her victory speech. Supporters loving it. What’s she mad at?
— Brit Hume (@brithume) March 16, 2016
Hillary shouting her speech. She has the floor; a more conversational tone might be better for connecting with folks at home — HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) March 16, 2016
Smile. You just had a big night. #PrimaryDay
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 16, 2016
It’s Not Over for Bernie Sanders…
… but it’s going to be tough. There are a string of primaries in coming weeks where the Vermont Senator can and should win.
It’s telling though, that the question of Super Delegates, who many Bernie supporters would do away with if they could, are now at the heart of his strategy.
Bernie Sanders is falling further and further behind in pledged delegates — but even after Hillary Clinton’s Tuesday romp, his campaign says there’s a longshot strategy that lets him regain momentum and win the Democratic nomination by relying on superdelegates even if he comes into the Philadelphia convention still trailing Clinton.
Sanders’ campaign thinks the next few weeks of the campaign calendar favor him and is preparing plans to make the uphill case to the superdelegates—the 718 activists and elected officials who can vote however they please—that his late-breaking momentum would make him a stronger nominee that they should support over Clinton.
As Yogi Berra once said, It ain’t over till it’s over…
Say No to Plastics
A hat-tip to Facebook user S.K., who caught on to a devious strategy in play in California by the oil/plastics industry to undermine an upcoming law eliminating single-use plastic bags:
If you encounter a signature gatherer saying: “Sign this petition to use the money from the plastic bag ban to help the environment!” PLEASE DON’T SIGN IT.
A man outside Sprouts on Sunday told me that “at the last minute, the UNIONS negotiated for the funds to go back to the grocery stores instead of the environment, and that’s bad!” He wouldn’t tell me who was sponsoring the petition.
I just heard from Mark Murray at Californians Against Waste: “The signature gatherer is paid by the plastic bag manufacturers and they are attempting to put a second measure on the ballot whose sole purpose is to confuse voters. The line about the unions is total BS.
The ’10 cent charge’ provision came about during the EIR process in LA County in 2009. It was/is designed to discourage consumers from simply switching to single-use paper by requiring that they pay the cost of the paper bags. The state law, and more than 100 local ordinances have tracked the exact same language as the LA County ordinance (Grocers and Unions had nothing to do with it).”
If you’re not sure, NEVER SIGN PETITIONS.
P.S., I hate the plastics industry.
On This Day: 1850 – The novel “The Scarlet Letter,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was published. 1960 – The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) was formed in New York to represent New York City public school teachers and, later, other education workers in the city. 1968 – U.S. troops in Vietnam destroyed a village consisting mostly of women and children. The event is known as the My-Lai massacre.
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