The immediate response from the left to Trump firing FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday was expected. "Surely now something will be done about this," the left exclaimed. "Even Republicans will see this as obstruction of the Trump-Russia investigation," we all tweeted. And so many Democrats went to bed hoping that Republicans and their echo machines would do just that.
But that was Tuesday, and Tuesday is gone.
By Wednesday morning, they all were whipped back in line. Vice President Mike Pence said it was "the right decision." Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stated, "...I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well." Senator Mitch McConnel (R-KY) put his foot down and insisted there would be no new investigation. "Suck it up and move on," grumbled Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
Liberals and even some conservatives were aghast. How could this be? How can Republicans allow this orange menace to destroy our democratic institutions? What will it take for them to see the truth?
Are you kidding me?
The only shocking thing about any of this is that people are still shocked. This concept that somehow Trump is separate from the GOP or that they don't agree with him is ludicrous and naive. The GOP created this monkey. Trump is merely the end result of thirty years of work by the conservative movement. He is not a phenomena like he pretends to be. He does not manipulate or control the Republican party. This is all standard GOP behavior. None of this is new.
Trump is the manifestation of the conservative agenda to turn this country into a Christian, God fearing, gun loving, white male dominated nation. The Trump administration could not have occurred without this foundation that took decades to create. Too many years of allowing conservatives to slowly chip away at our democracy have incurred this beast of a president, and you can expect it to continue.
Republicans aren't worried about any of this. They can take away your healthcare and women's rights to control their own bodies. They can and will continue to attack the judicial system and turn the education system into a Christian training program bent on teaching creationism as science and denying climate change. They don't concern themselves with the protests in the streets and at the town halls for minority and immigrant rights.
No, they have not a care in the world. And they certainly will continue to obstruct the Trump-Russia investigation. Republicans will maintain their seats of power because they have rigged the system. They have more money than their god to buy elections, and their vote is secure because of the gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement they have legislated.
If Democrats want change, they have to start acting instead of just reacting. They must win back the congress. In districts where the GOP used Crosscheck and voter suppression to disenfranchise voters, the Democratic party has to file lawsuits. Protesting about Trump's taxes or workers' rights is important, but nothing will come of it if Democrats can't take back congress. Supporters need to actively protest locally for voter rights to be returned. It is a moral imperative to begin protesting against your state legislators to demand equal access and fair voting. If this cannot be achieved before the 2018 election, Democrats and voters must demand paper ballots.
Once this is accomplished, the left can start fixing the mess created by the GOP. Long term thinking and planning is required. These goals are fundamental to the concept of freedom and justice for all:
- Campaign Finance - all business and dark money contributions have to be banned.
- Judicial Elections - Republicans have been pouring money into judicial elections for decades. Some states like Michigan even allow judges to accept contributions and then decide cases involving those donors without having to disclose this conflict of interest to the opposition.
- Education - There is no need for kids in Oregon to have a different education system than those in Alabama. No for-profit charter programs. Religion is not a science.
- Separation of church and state - no religion in schools, courts or any publicly funded institutions.
- Press reliability - just as you cannot yell fire in a theater, one cannot call propaganda news. Republicans have gutted any protections against propaganda from the FCC. This has enabled groups like Fox News and Breitbart to come about. Also, limits on the amount of media one person or company can own should be reinstated.
- Women's rights - constitutional amendment regarding women as equal to men is mandatory. Roe v. Wade is the law of the United States.
- Limit states' rights concept - Republicans use this excuse when it benefits them. States' rights should only be allowed when considering local laws that only relate to that specific area's needs.
- Legislative independence - bills cannot be written by business interests. Currently the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) writes the majority of bills for Republicans. This is a conservative action group made up of big business representatives and big donors like the DeVos, Koch and Walton families.
- End private prisons - prisons should only be run by the government. The fact that private prisons make their money from incarcerating citizens, are paid for by taxpayer dollars and then donate to candidates is reprehensible. The fact that Jeff Sessions owns stock in these prisons is even worse.
- Lobbying - end the revolving door of government employees becoming lobbyists and establish limits to lobbying.
- Independent investigation Into the 2016 election
That's a start at least.
Democrats need to stop hoping the GOP will do something about Trump. He is exactly who Republican Grover Norquist said they wanted: "...a Republican with enough digits to handle a pen." They are not going to impeach him or hold him accountable as long as he continues to sign everything they put in front of him.
The left is stuck in a reactionary position. We need to fight, to be proactive. Let Trump and the GOP do whatever it is they are going to do. Don't waste time arguing with them. Democrats have to organize and develop strategies to win back the congress, undo what they have done and think of long term solutions for returning the judicial, legislative and education systems back to the people. Everything else is just a waste of time.