People! People! Get a grip! Donald Trump is NOT the face of a new America!
Just because he is in our faces 24/7 and cunningly commands our attention as no President ever before in history, that does NOT mean he is who most Americans want as our President or is doing the things most Americans want our President to be doing. He and his supporters are really really noisy, but they are simply the loudest noise—not the truest reflection of our soul as a country. We must stop lamenting as though maybe they are.
Consider: Donald Trump was beaten by a margin of 10,000,000 American voters who wanted someone else to be President (+3.000, 000 for Clinton, another +7,000,000 for Stein and others). He is an accidental freak of the electoral-college structure, James Comey’s insanely wrong poisoning the pot just before election day, the Russians’ manipulation of Americans’ impressions of candidates, and Bernie Sanders’ despicably churlish unwillingness to rededicate his followers to the winning nominee of the party he borrowed for his megaphone. Were it not for about 77,000 votes that fell Trump’s way in a handful of electoral niches, the nightmare of his divisive demolition derby would never have happened.
And nothing about us has changed since America voted on November 8, 2016. Most of us still do not want him to be President and still do not want him to be doing the things he is doing. We are better than that. We are better than him as President. That’s why polls consistently show that a clear double-digit majority of Americans disapprove of his “performance” (so fitting a term for this shallow showman).
NB: This is not to say that the minority of Americans who did vote for him had no reason for doing so. Some were lashing out in the only way that felt right to them to express their contempt for business-as-usual in Washington. Some really wanted relief from what seemed overly aggressive regulations. Some hoped to protect the unborn. Some were resisting another Clinton. Some were attracted to his billions, bluster, bravado and celebrity. Some were turned on by his macho misogyny and proudly boasted sexual appetites.
But most of us—by that whopping 10,000,000-vote margin—thought he was just who he has turned out to be: an ignorant, mean-spirited, vindictive, corrupt narcissist who has declared war on democracy as we know it. He is determined to act as autocratically as he can in sabotaging some of the most important functions and cherished practices of our democracy. In the process, his hostile behavior is revealing that our democracy is far more vulnerable to such sabotage than any of us ever imagined and therefore in need of a far more vigorous defense than we ever imagined.
So enough already with the fretful navel-gazing about whether America has turned into Donald Trump. No, we haven’t. In fact, America will be reasserting its decency by turning Donald Trump out of office in 2020. And well before then we will restore a direly needed balance-of-power in Washington by electing a Democrat majority in Congress this November. We have seen what happens when one party has unfettered control over the agendas of all three branches of government, and it’s a repulsive picture we must wipe out.
We Americans who want an end to the staining of America by Donald Trump must now go way beyond our usual laid-back, take-it-for-granted approach to an upcoming election and throw ourselves totally into this one. Now is truly the time for all good citizens to come to the aid of our country. Beyond opening our wallets as never before, we’ve got to become actual campaign volunteers—going down to our Democratic party candidate’s office and signing up for duty or, if that’s a safe district, head over to the Democratic candidate’s office in a nearby Republican district to help out there. (In either case, remember: you don’t have to adore the candidate; you just have to want an end to the way things are now.)
Most of us have never ever done this before. No problem. People there will show us how we can seriously help. Maybe it’s making calls or knocking on doors (yes, I know—some of us get queasy at the prospect of engaging voters by phone or front door and just won’t do it). But there are many other things we can do as active volunteers as well, like putting out materials and organizing gatherings—whatever you’re best at and feel good about. And give money to candidates who can flip seats in Congress. Give lots of it. Pick a number that works for you—then double it. How about giving at least the equivalent of a day’s income for your household?
Just think how differently we’ll feel when the polls close on November 8 this year with a Democratic Congress on its way to Washington to provide honest checks-and-balances, and we can claim with pride that we, personally, had something to do with restraining a reckless demagogue and restoring our precious balance of power.
(And just think how sick you’ll feel if you sat on your hands and then had to watch two more years of a cowardly Republican Congress looking the other way while our accidental President continues his trampling of so much that we hold holy.)
Today would be a very good day to sign up. I will. Will you?