I’ve made it to 61 years of age through trial and error. I did more things right than not because I had the good fortune of having around me people who cared enough to tell me when I was screwing up.
I am a child of the 70’s, and am still around 25 between my ears. One look in the mirror, though, reminds me that I’m no longer 25 on the outside!
I voted for the first time in 1976, for Jimmy Carter, and have voted in almost every election since then for the Democratic ticket. Until 2016, I was pretty complacent about our politics, paying some attention to what was on the local and national news but not expending any extra effort to get involved in anything remotely political. When Trump won the Republican nomination, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it – why would ANYONE vote for this asshole? It seemed obvious he was unfit for the job – he had a big mouth, but all that came out of it was lies, bullshit and right-wing media conspiracy theories. It was then that my blood pressure, which had been fine until that point, started to go up, and I was started on an antihypertensive to help reduce it to a normal range.
When Trump won, I did something I’d never done after an election – I burst into tears. I cried for the loss of Hillary as the first female president, and for the Trump presidency that promised even then to be a huge threat to our democracy and the rule of law. I had no idea then what an unmitigated disaster Trump’s time in office would be, or how fully the Republicans would participate with the hollowing out of vast swaths of the federal government writ large. In fact, I had no idea how much damage the Republicans had already done, how their unrelenting desire to remain in power despite representing a minority of the population was driving their continued efforts to take over the judiciary and suppress the votes of the majority.
The past three years have opened my eyes. I am no longer able to just sit by and do nothing while our country is being overtaken by a cabal of power-hungry old white men who cannot accept that their time is over. The Republicans have taken control of key aspects of our state, local and federal government by lying about almost everything. They lie about being “fiscally conservative”, because they are only worried about doing whatever makes their donors happy, not what is best for the voters who actually put them in office. They lie when they say that the only way to reduce federal spending is to cut benefits for Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare and other social programs while they continue to increase military spending and fund Trump’s border war year after year. They lie when they claim to believe in the Constitution but refuse to honor their oath to “uphold and protect” it from all enemies, foreign and domestic. They lie about voter fraud, because what they really want is to prevent liberals from voting.
The Republicans refusal to hold Trump accountable has indeed taught him a lesson – that he can do whatever he wants without fear of being held accountable. Trump is now convinced by the Republicans spinelessness that he can commit his crimes boldly, in public and on television – and he’s right. The Republicans have made it their personal crusade to keep Trump in the White House because they want more unqualified, incompetent, life-time appointed right-wing nut jobs in the judiciary to make sure that their agendas carry on even if they somehow lose their next elections. They do not care at all about the damage being done to the reputation of the presidency and the country throughout the world, nor do they concern themselves with the way their regressive policies are hurting millions of Americans. They are concerned with only one thing – keeping their donors happy by any means necessary in order to remain in power.
There are millions of Americans who are eligible to vote but don’t because they think that their votes don’t matter. We have to do whatever we can to get those non-voters to see that their lack of participation in the franchise is no longer tenable. If they cannot be convinced to perform their civic duty in this most consequential election, then there is a frightening chance that Trump will be re-elected for another term. Everyone knows someone who doesn’t bother to vote, and it is up to each and every one of us to connect with those folks to get them involved and registered, then drive them to the polls to get their votes counted.
We vote with our hearts in primary elections, for whichever of the candidates we most believe will address the issues we find most pertinent to our lives. Once a candidate has been chosen, we must unite behind that candidate to win. Trump must be defeated in November, or his lawlessness, narcissism, incompetence, bigotry and misogyny will destroy the country as we know it, leaving our children and grandchildren to pick up the pieces. Trump’s inability to acknowledge that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, or to accept that there are experts who do know, has decimated our science-based system of understanding the world around us, and his refusal to agree to the facts as accepted by the majority of the world reveals his complete lack of capacity to perform the duties he’s required to do as president. He insists that his “beliefs” are all that matter, and the complicity of those around him to support his disordered and deranged opinions must be stopped. He is a useless idiot.
The Republicans have managed to convince their base to vote against their own best interests with the help of the pundits on Fox ‘News’, Brietbart, Sinclair, and other right-wing, opinion-based outlets. These outlets are intent on flooding their airwaves with the Russian propaganda that was so successful in getting Trump and his cronies into the White House in the first place. They are destroying the regulations put into place to protect our environment, air, water and food supply to benefit themselves and their donors, and they will continue to do so unless they are removed permanently from power. There is no longer any options left that makes it acceptable to have Republicans in charge of anything. Period.
The climate is being destroyed by the continued spewing of massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but they refuse to publicly acknowledge that this has been caused by the burning of fossil fuels. They refuse to consider how their public denial of the science and facts is hurting their constituents, the country, and the world, and they are not able to admit what they know is true because they fear the tweeter in chief will say something nasty about them.
I would love to not have to fear what awful thing Trump is going to do today, or tomorrow, or next week, but Trump and his minions make that impossible. I want to have days go by without even thinking about what the president or his administration have been doing because whatever it is, it’s not illegal, immoral, or lining their own pockets using our money. I am unable to fathom how the people he has surrounded himself with can pretend what is happening is okay or normal. What I do know, however, is that it is up to each and every one of us to do what the Republicans in the House and the Senate refused to do.
We must remove Trump from office now – not in 2024. Our nation and the world will not be able to withstand another four years of Trump’s assaults on the rule of law, the international order, and the world as a whole. If we do not, we will have to look our children and grandchildren in the eyes and explain to them why their future didn’t matter more to us than tax cuts and judges did.