Donald Trump is under investigation for colluding with a foreign adversary to get elected president, his adoration of authoritarian leaders is a clear signal his presidential regime imperils democracy and his unhinged, reckless behavior, including his constant lying, shows he can’t be trusted on any level.
So what are the national Democrats doing about all this in these treacherous times? They’re advancing a boring platform and refighting the progressive/centrist war in relation to—get this, folks—the 2020 presidential election. We might not even have a Democracy or an iota of a chance for fair elections by then, but rest assured progressive and centrist Democrats will be fighting each other.
It seems obvious the left, at any cost, must embrace progressive ideas—for example, free college education, single-payer health care, guaranteed jobs or income for all—if they are to battle Trump on ideas and legislation. But more importantly, they must ensure the Russian collusion investigation goes on to force the constitutional crisis that will either end Trump’s presidency or draw more attention to his eccentric and corrupt behavior.
I’m not going rehash the Sanders/Clinton conflict, but I will talk about the lackluster platform rolled out recently by by U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, the leading Senate Democrat, and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader. It’s called “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future.” But it’s “A Real Dud” that contains nothing bold enough to attract our attention. Sure, there are ideas in it that most rational people would or should support, but it doesn’t address in meaningful ways income inequality, our broken health care system or growing student loan debt.
Writer Miles Kampf-Lassin had one of the best takes in an article on the web. Kampf-Lassin begins,”The story of the Democratic Party in 2017 has been one of timidity and stubborn resistance to real change.” He goes on:
There’s no shortage of ambitious programs waiting for the Democrats to embrace. The party could pledge to break up big banks, offer free public college, tax the wealthy and financial transactions, provide a universal basic income and fight for universal collective bargaining rights. Add these ideas to single-payer healthcare, a federal jobs guarantee and sweeping climate action and you have the makings of the kind of bold economic agenda that Schumer claims is key to the party reclaiming its mantel as an unabashed advocate for the working class.
I would only add to this list that besides a few individual Democratic leaders boldly speaking up against Trump and embracing what’s become known as the The Resistance, many have remained quiet as even noted scholars have starting talking about our country’s slide into authoritarianism. The prevailing wisdom is if people don’t act now in protest it might become too late as bit-by-bit the Trump regime destabilizes democratic governance. We cannot wait until the 2020 election.
On another front, Democrats are already getting into petty arguments over the presidential election in 2020. A recent article in The New York Times about U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California, deemed a rising star in the party, focused partially on what some leftists believe is her lack of progressive bonafides and thus disqualifies her as a presidential candidate. So the nitpicking has already begun.
If we want Kamala Harris, who has proven herself in hearings as a tough, articulate questioner in the Trump era, to be more progressive and push for, say, single-payer health care in California and elsewhere then we need to try to push her to do so. We need to create the political energy and space for that to happen because Democrats do need new, vibrant leaders.
This might seem to contradict my arguments about the platform, but, overall, people need to get on the street and push our Democratic leaders like Harris to truthful, better ideas. It’s not going to happen on Facebook and our unhinged leader owns Twitter right now, but relentless protesting is what we need right now.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is often credited with saying something along this lines, “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.” Later President Obama echoed that sentiment in a speech during his tenure. When people rise up, leaders must pay attention. It’s important to note that even the nation Republican leadership recently forced a petulant and Putin-adoring Trump to sign a sanctions bill against Russian.
Meanwhile, Trump’s ego and discombobulating frenzies dictate the daily news and democracy is imperiled. That’s the pressing issue right now, not the 2020 elections, not the progressive/centrist debate that apparently is not going away anytime soon. All Democrats and rational, logical people can unite against Trump. It has to be done before it’s too late.