Our Democracy In Peril

As this Donald Trump theater of the absurd comes to its predictable demise, we can see behind the curtain of an epic act which was required to make Hillary Clinton president. 

Any other opponent, even a parasite like Mitt Romney, or a wrongheaded career politician like John McCain, would have won this election in a landslide. For somebody as anti-progressive as Hillary Clinton to be elected President on a liberal ticket required a hateful, cartoonish, truly epic buffoon for an opponent in this weird drama we call the presidential election.

That an entitled clown, a boorish nonsensical reality TV star ran an even mildly competitive contest against Clinton, arguably the most qualified presidential candidate of our time, demonstrates the underlying poisonous cancer that is another Clinton presidency.

Sure she'll win. Trump bragging about committing sexual assault on Access Hollywood is just one of dozens of instances of his predatory behavior. There is talk that he’s used racial slurs on film, there are women stepping forward with information of his long history of sexual assault; there will be more blood in this water before it’s over.  

But what do we get for this nonsensical circus? Trump is a bad guy and his demise is good and entertaining. But what else do we get?

We get nothing. 

Or: We get the continuation of the status quo - and the status quo is very bad.

We’re talking about a status quo which is against 99.99% of Americans, which pushes fracking, which bails out big bankers, which lets corporations get away with murder, which industrializes imprisonment, which attacks our public school system, which erodes our democracy in favor of those with wealth and power, which wages a vicious and perpetual war on humanity around the world.

Even after Trump is gone, we will still have this unbearable status quo.

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The biggest tragedy of the Trump clown car: millions of Americans refused to make demands of Clinton in exchange for their vote. The Democratic power elite have so rarely stood up for the American people and with the Trump circus in town, the American people, out of fear, declined to make any demands.

We should've demanded some progressive resolutions from Clinton. But we didn't.

We should've demanded some assurances for the end to this perpetual war. But we didn't.

We should've insisted that Clinton at least promise to pursue some form of regulation of the big banks and some form of criminal charges against the corporations that destroy our nation. But we didn't.

We should’ve demanded that the next president work hard to end fracking, improve oversight of our law enforcement, end the privatization of our public schools, establish $15 minimum wage and create a single-payer health care system. But we didn’t.

Instead we required nothing of Clinton out of fear of that troll Trump.

And we will get nothing in return. The spoils of this war will go to Clinton’s wealthy and powerful friends at our expense.

 

But remember: There are thousands of elections on November 8th. There are Congressional races, ballot measures, state legislators to elect, propositions to decide, judges, municipal leadership, we have many things on which to cast our vote. And if we gave up too easily and too quickly in the face of the nightmare of Trump, we can hold our ground on November 8th in the places that it matters. Vote independent, vote progressive, vote against corruption! (San Francisco Voters: Check Here and Here for two great voting guides.)

And in two years we can vote again, to kick out the Republicans and Democrats who do such bad things to our nation. Two years later and we can kick out even more. In the next 5 elections we might be able to replace enough of the party elites to have a democracy again.  

All the while, in the coming decade the Democrats and Republicans in power are sure to do many bad things to the people of these United States, and in these next ten years the people, the vast majority of Americans with whom we live and work, will be ready to take a big step in our march toward a real political revolution. We must be ready. 

Let us continue down our path. Let us regain our capacity to continue this fight. For after every disappointment we must remember: giving up is the same thing as dying, and it is not yet our time to perish from this earth.

Onward.