Wednesday, December 14, 2016
SO WHERE IS THE OPPOSITION?
As President elect Trump continues to compile a list of anti environment crazies for his cabinet, (including Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil's chief executive, as Secretary of State), a question arises: where the heck are the Democrats?
Let's examine the chain of events that lead America to the scary unknown waters we are about to wade in: Trump won the election while losing the popular vote by almost three million; in the history of our country there have five presidents who have won the electoral college and lost the popular vote, and Trump's loss was by far the biggest. Throw in the fact that James Comey of the FBI gave Trump a big boost by announcing less than two weeks before the election that he still had Hillary Clinton emails to investigate (even though he found nothing), plus the fact the CIA has declared that Russia definitely hacked into the emails of the Democratic National Committee in an attempt to sway the election to Trump, and you have a formula for a weakened presidency, one that even could be overturned by dissenting members of the Electoral College, who don't officially vote until the 19th. of this month.
And yet, where is the outrage from the Democrats? Why aren't they speaking out against the many obvious conflicts of interest Trump will have as president? Why aren't they mounting court challenges against his tainted victory? When Green Party candidate Jill Stein called for a recount in several states, the Democrats barely supported it. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders (who isn't even technically a Democrat) have spoken out, but otherwise, there's been little reaction from the so called opposition. Instead of uniting against an potentially wildly unpopular president, the party is licking its wounds and looking for a leader.
This, sadly, may be part of the fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats; liberals are just too darn nice. The Republican party has become the domain of the aggressive, alpha male type (who sometimes is a woman), with leaders who march with macho swagger, and exude the air of certainty, and who demonize liberals with over the top arguments that they never apologize for. The Democrats are the party of compromise and reason, they're open to negotiation. And so they get killed. Remember how during the campaign, Hillary Clinton got in trouble for referring to half of Trump voters as a "basket of deplorables"? And how she had to quickly issue an apology afterwards? While she was doing that, Trump was referring to her and President Barack Obama as "traitors" and the "co-founders of Isis". And there was never any mea culpa given for his literally saying that the president helped start a terrorist organization! And this didn't just start with Trump; for years conservative media has hyped a world view that sees the world simply in black and white terms, and with liberals in league with Satan.
One of the problems liberals have is that we look at the changing demographics of the country that seem to favor us, and the polls that show that most Americans agree with us on issues like gay marriage and abortion, and we think we will win. But we often fail to see the passion and sense of moral certitude on the other side that can bring more voters to the polls; conservatives just seem to want power more.
Now, as a passive liberal who hates to raise his voice in anger and likes musicals more than action films, I can relate to the problems of the left. But now is not the time for complacency! We have to take a page from the Republican play book; in 2008, when Obama won the White House and the Democrats made big gains in congress, did they decide to start compromising? No, they filibustered everything they could in the Senate, and they stood united against everything Obama said and did. They proudly became the party of NO. And they were rewarded by retaking congress and grid locking the government in Obama's second term. Well, if the Republicans can stall a president who won the popular vote twice, certainly the Democrats should be able to stall a president who lost the popular vote by a wide margin. So come on Democrats, do you really just want to let Trump dismantle everything Obama has done in the past eight years, from rolling back environmental regulations to throwing millions of people off of health care? If not, get out there and fight. There can always be more than one party of NO.