Thoughts on Protecting Democracy

Yesterday I read what I consider to be the best editorial that I have seen since at least November 8th, probably longer. It was put together by the editorial board at The Washington Post.    It begins with the fact that Trump won the electoral vote, it is a done deal, and rather than keep arguing about how unfit he is for the job, we need to turn our efforts toward more positive courses of action. I share a few of the more relevant snippets:

“Above all, the task for those who opposed Mr. Trump will be to stand up for the democratic norms that he seemed to threaten during his campaign.

He continues to conceal his tax returns and other business information; he has not held a news conference since July; he has proposed no plan to disentangle his government responsibilities from his family business.

He threatened to take citizenship away from anyone who burned an American flag, a constitutionally protected act of protest. His frequent insults to the media, the Clintons, the casts of “Hamilton” and “Saturday Night Live,” Vanity Fair and so on seem beneath the dignity of the office he will soon inherit. For weeks he seemed mostly unperturbed by a rise in hate crimes since his election. And then there is his disturbing belittling of possible Russian interference in the election.

Those who opposed Mr. Trump should continue to call attention to these things — not to claim vindication, but to press for a different approach. The goal should be accountability, not automatic opposition. We do not root for Mr. Trump to fail; we root for the nation to succeed and prosper.” 

I agree.  The time for ranting and trying to convince his supporters that he is not qualified for the office, that he is a bigoted narcissist, and that the policies they voted for were just smoke and mirrors, more lies, is over.  Not because it isn’t true … it is.  But because it isn’t productive, and has proven to accomplish nothing in this world of post-truth.  I thought long and hard about this, and realized that it is time to subtly alter my goals toward staying on top of the things the Trump regime does that infringe upon our constitutional rights, and writing about those things, making the public aware.

Along those same lines, another editorial by Washington Post writer, E.J. Dionne, caught my eye  .  He starts out with …

“The most important political task of 2017 transcends the normal run of issues and controversies. Our greatest obligation will be to defend democracy itself, along with republican norms for governing and the openness that free societies require.

Preserving the gains in health insurance coverage achieved by the Affordable Care Act should be a high priority. So should preventing a shredding of the social safety net and stopping budget-busting tax cuts for the best-off Americans.

But even these vital matters are secondary to preventing a rollback of democratic values and a weakening of the institutions of self-rule, at home and around the world.

“A right-wing demagogue in charge of the world’s most influential repository of democratic values,” wrote Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf, “is a devastating fact.”

In 2017, supporters of democracy need to stand up resolutely in its defense. They must also be vigilant against violations of the democratic rules of the game, especially here in the United States. Keeping America great means protecting the institutions that have made our greatness possible.” 

I have seen a couple of studies that indicate citizens in western democracies are less interested these days in maintaining the democracies, which I find greatly disturbing. But that is a topic for another day.

Last week, Attorney General Loretta Lynch gave a speech, in which she said …

“There is nothing foreordained about our march toward a more just and peaceful future. Our centuries-long project of creating a more perfect union was not the product of fate or destiny. It was the result of countless individuals making the choice to stand up, to demand recognition, to refuse to rest until they knew that their children were inheriting a nation that was more tolerant, more inclusive and more equal. The way we achieved voting equality in this country was always from the community level up. It was the leaders on the ground who raised these issues, who had people out there on the streets, who had people out registering people to vote.”

If the senate confirms racist Jeff Sessions as Attorney General later this month, as they are likely to do, it is a given that he will not be as staunch an advocate for civil rights as Ms. Lynch has been, or others before her.  It is up to us all, then, to speak out when we become aware of moves that are designed to infringe on the rights of groups of people based on ethnicity, skin colour, religion, gender, or gender identity.  If the mainstream media, along with those of us whose words reach only a few hundred, all speak loudly and without letting emotions get in the way, without bias based on other issues, I think … I hope … we can keep our country from going back 50 or 100 years in time. For my part, I shall try to tone down my snarkiness … though, since it is a part of who I am, don’t look for it to go away completely.  I do, however, want my words to count for something, rather than being discounted as just the ravings of an angry Filosofa.

8 thoughts on “Thoughts on Protecting Democracy

  1. My one hope is that after the dust settles Trump’s election will stir up the electorate and energize us all to take more of an interest and play a bigger part in what is going on in this country. But, as you say, it is time to bite the bullet and move on.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Jill,
    I couldn’t agree more. Paul Ryan is out there preparing to do the republican’s wish list which did not include infrastructure spending. This means holding their plans to close scrutiny and resistance because they do not match DT’S promises like replacing Obamacare with something better; keeping social security and medicare in its current form etc. There should be a focus on republican’s plans and actions.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Washington Post editorials speak sense. The Attorney General is quite right in her assessment.
    Your words will certainly count for something Jill, to your followers and hopefully to those we pass those words on to. What worries me is whether there are ears prepared to listen at the higher levels of Government right up to the President himself since they all seem set on an ideology which is not shared by the majority.
    Happy New Year Dear One.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, whether people will actually hear our words is the question. As I am fond of quoting, “There are none so deaf as those who will not hear, and none so blind as those who will not see.” What I fear most, I think, is that Trump and his minions have not toned down their hate rhetoric, and now they have yet another target … those of us who do not want Trump, do not trust him, and are questioning his actions. But, eventually, his supporters must surely see what a mess they have created. At least … that is my hope. Hugs … and many thanks for always having kind words and for sharing my work! I appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

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