As the primary election season winds up in California, I want to make a pitch for voters to look past the candidates they do or don’t support and vote according to a higher standard.
I have avoided commenting too much about Donald Trump in recent months because of the need to begin rebuilding democracy at all levels of politics. For me, that meant focusing on San Diego contests. Now it’s time to draw a line between those local elections and the national political scene.
The President of the United States believes he is above the law. He’s said so on Twitter. His lawyers have said so. And apparently, the political party he represents isn’t bothered by the idea of an all-powerful executive.
Which means the checks and balances the founders of our republic so carefully crafted are about to go out the window.
As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2018
Note: The “13 Democrats” part is complete hooey. Life-long Republicans are among the leaders of the investigation.
Lots of people thought those checks and balances, along with the ‘reasonable people’ on the conservative end of the political spectrum, would serve to counter the worst tendencies of Donald Trump.
Here’s Gwynn Guilford, writing at Quartz:
Flash forward two years and Donald Trump is the Republican Party. Or as John Boehner, the former Republican congressional leader, recently put it, “There is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump party. The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere.”
Truly, the president’s policies on everything from trade and the deficit to immigration and infrastructure would have been at odds—and in some cases, anathema—to the pre-2016 ideals of the party of Ronald Reagan. But it turns out the GOP’s members weren’t particularly attached to morals-obsessed, supply-sider conservatism that had defined the party since Reagan.
Bruce Mehlman, via Axios, notes Trump boasts the highest after George W. Bush post-9/11 in postwar presidential approval ratings among each president’s own party at their 500th day in office.
A whopping 87% of Republicans like trading short-term tax cut for long-term bankruptcy, the undeniable resurgence of bigotry, and active efforts to despoil our national resources and history.
The President being above the law means the ultimate sanction is an option. Think about it: if Obama took that approach, he could have simply executed the Republican members of Congress who opposed the Democratic party’s agenda and then pardoned himself. Mike Pence could shoot Donald Trump and it’d be just fine.
Even local politicians who were once considered ‘moderate’ Republicans have jumped on the bandwagon, as County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar’s embrace of Escondido’s brand of bigotry clearly shows. San Diego’s feckless Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the robber barons who support him have turned a blind eye toward cruelty and avarice, hoping to catch some of the crumbs falling off the head table of the newly emboldened aristocracy.
It makes no difference whether Gaspar or Faulconer personally approve of this sort of crap. The fact is they won’t say or do anything to stop it.
Voter registration for the GOP in California has dropped by 3.35% over the past four years. Less than 10% of the nearly 68,000 16 and 17 year-olds pre-registering to vote are declaring themselves as Republicans.
The myth of bipartisanship including a nearly-extinct breed of Republicans continues as 2018 elections approach. There’s a disconnect between understanding the corruption and basic evilness of the Trump administration and realizing nearly all local GOP candidates would never have the backbone to stand up and do the right thing.
The political institution these folks all support has given itself over to the dark side, Regardless of what they say–”I don’t like Trump’s Tweets” is considered a moderate position–Bonnie Dumanis, Chris Cate, Lori Zapf, Summer Stephan, Bill Gore, and the rest are complicit in the denigration of our rights, our health, and our environment.
I’ve never even slightly changed the mind of a Trump supporter – have any of you? I think we need to accept people who voted for him before will vote for him again. The important thing is getting EVERYONE who doesn’t like Trump to vote this time – obvious and so so important…
— Stu Cameron (@stucam7771) June 4, 2018
I get it that plenty of Democrats would abet this collective madness if asked. Others have no clue when it comes to understanding the political and economic crossroads facing the United States of America. Going ‘back’ or moving to the ‘political center’ are not even options at this point.
Still, I’d rather have those battles than exist in the dystopian mess the worshipers of ‘me first’ and ‘trickle down’ are leading us toward.
For those of you out there dreaming about organizing a vanguard to lead the masses when capitalism crashes, there is nothing in history suggesting unabated greed and authoritarianism leading to an inevitable collapse turning out to be a good thing for a society.
Miracles or media exposés or Facebook likes won’t change the world. The hard work of building community and organizing for justice will.
Politicians are prone to pitching voters on the idea of mid-term elections being the most important thing, ever. This time around, they might be right.
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