Remember the pigs in Animal Farm? They start out as the party of the people but end of the party of the powerful. Among their famous quotes: “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.”Seems that is the current thinking of the GOP in regard to voting. They call it “voter quality.” Republican John Kavanagh and others purport that not everyone should vote. Quantity is important but so is quality, they contend, sounding much like the pigs in power who claim “we would be happy to let you make decisions for yourselves but you may make the wrong decisions and then where would we be?” To assure voter quality, a GOP ballot registration form might assess a voter not just with name, address, etc. but include:
· Organizations of which you are a member;
· Citizenship Status, attach documents;
· Who you voted for in last election;
· Reading Level.Are we doomed to end as Animal Farm with a belief that there is innate corruption in government and no hope for equality? NO. Fight voter suppression. Restore “one person one vote” as a fundamental right. Restore democracy.
Here are their solutions. ·
Stop supplying food or water to voters in line. Go out for a meal, voters.·
Shorten early voting and reduce ballot by mail. Vote on Election Day like everyone used to.·
Don’t worry about public transport. No one rides the bus to vote. ·
Shorten polling hours. Voters can take off work early.· Forget the homeless. They have no stake in the outcome.·
No voting rights for ex-felons. Once a felon always a felon.·
“Souls to the Polls”? Sacrilege.· Lines too long? Go midday. ·
Confusing signature requirements? Can’t you read?·
Voter ID costs money and takes time? Quit griping.
If you can’t figure out how these initiatives enhance election integrity, attend Republican town halls or write letters to legislators for an explanation, their rationale. Or use your common sense and see that this is:
A minimum wage law
· Gun control laws (ban assault weapons)
· A jobs bill with infrastructure
· The American Dream Act
· The Voting Rights Act.
WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW We will never get any of this unless we rid Congress of the filibuster, something I have been against UNTIL NOW. It is the only way. Anything less is nothing. Then, we get as many laws enacted as quickly as we can. Yes, we risk a Republican “scorched earth” policy should they return to power, but do we anything less right now?Once in place, these newly enacted laws would be hard to overturn.
Can you see the GOP overturning a very popular federal minimum wage?
Dreamers would finally be citizens. Would the GOP take that away?
How well would that stand up to the will of the people? All of these initiatives are extremely popular. Republicans could reverse them if they regain control but the truth is that many GOP Senators support such ideas yet appear unwilling to go against the party.It means majority vote would rule. What a concept. Constitutional democracy is based upon majority rule. It means those who support this agenda have to work very hard to maintain the majority. Strong candidates. Money. Well thought out policies. Grass roots. Voting rights so that every voice is counted.What do we want? A functioning democracy. When do we want it? TODAY. Call your Representative in the House and both Senators and demand that they abandon the filibuster. Nothing short of that will do.
Trump’s failure of leadership spawned America’s reckoning.Our country had been lulled into a complacency that set the stage for an incompetent like Trump to be elected.
Trump’s fitness for office was glaringly absent when most needed. Hence came the accounting and the action.· We realized that government is not always the problem. Often, government is the only solution. · We removed Trump with dispatch.
· We elected Democrats to Congress and the Executive.
· We said “no more” to the games Republicans play.· We said no to racism and inequality; and, yes, to climate change, immigration reform, and voting rights.· We protested police misconduct and have begun the long road to change.· We refused to accept voter suppression.· We marched to the ballot boxes.· We demanded accountability for sexual misconduct.· We settled in with our kids.
· By slowing down, we rediscovered the joy of parenting.· We were reminded how much we need our parents and grandparents, our network, our family. · We sighed with relief as our leaders spoke with knowledge, empathy and kindness. Moments of truth. Thank you, Mr. Trump. We remembered what life must include: service and compassion, community and family, respect and integrity, dignity and DEMOCRACY.It cost us dearly for that clarion call. Let’s never forget the price so many paid for our reckoning.
Republicans have introduced over 200 bills in dozens of states to restrict and suppress the vote. They are on a mission.Some of their tactics are to eliminate voting by mail, end automatic voter registration and even reduce pre-election day voting. Make it harder to vote.Republicans believe that the only way to win elections is not to expand the vote of their supporters; instead, their answer is to reduce the vote of their opponents. They believe that if all who wish to vote were able to, then Republicans would consistently lose. The GOP has been successful skewing the vote toward their party which results in their preventing popular initiatives, such as raising the minimum wage or gun control, from getting a hearing and a vote. We need to “stop the skew” and open up the ballot box to all who wish to participate.H.R. 1 For the People Act and The John Lewis Voting Rights Act protect all Americans’ right to vote”, outlawing discriminatory election practices and overriding state laws attempting to make it more difficult to vote; the bills provide for automatic and same day voter registration, and protect early voting and voting by mail. How do we get these bills through the Senate when we face the skewed representation by Republicans?Al Franken and Norm Ornstein have given us the answer. Change the filibuster rules, they say. “Flip the numbers. Instead of requiring 60 votes to end debate, require 41 to continue debate. Then, the majority leader could call votes any time the Senate was in session, and the minority would have to show up. Including for votes at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m., … Around the clock. Including 87-year-old Chuck Grassley and both 86-year-olds Richard Shelby and Jim Inhofe. And soon-to-be-79-year-old Mitch McConnell. No Mondays off while only the majority had to be there. Weekends in D.C., including for the 17 Republicans up for re-election in 2022, who want to be back home campaigning…”
Our framers warned us that democracy is fragile; to maintain it requires vigilance and participation; so, be a vigilante for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and For the People Act. Lobby your legislators. Demand they change filibuster rules.We have important work to do and there is no time to waste.
President Trump has been telling us this for years. Is Trump right?There are Americans who are a disgrace. He is one of them,
but, sadly. others are as well.Those who disparage reporters, judges, elected officials, women, gays, minorities, educators, the military, the media, the courts, foreigners, Democrats and Republicans.Those who cage kids. Those who lie and perpetuate the lies of others that diminish America’s values and institutions.Those who suppress the right to vote rather than expand it and do so
for all of the wrong reasons.Those who advance ideologies of hate and racial bias. United States Paul Gosar from Arizona, a Congressman who took an oath to uphold the Constitution, was keynote speaker at the America First Political Action Conference, a white supremacy organization, at which “the conference organizer, …called the Jan. 6 riots “awesome” and demanded elected leaders like Gosar enact protections for the country’s “white demographic core.”Those who become violent, who assault and even kill Asian Americans, blaming them for our pandemic or who murder gays because they aren’t “normal”, or who storm the Capitol to “stop the steal” harming Capitol police, killing one, injuring dozens and threatening to harm our elected representatives.Those who are defined by our FBI as domestic terrorists.Those who no longer root for the underdog, but instead root to “lock her up.” “Knock the crap out of him.” “Hang Mike Pence.”Those Americans ARE a disgrace. Most Americans say this is not who we are but it IS who we are unless we condemn and rebuke and ostracize such actions, words, and behavior. We said “NO” to Donald Trump. We must say “NO MORE” to those who disgrace America.
Senators swear to preserve, protect, and defend our country and our constitution. If the Republicans in our Senate acquit the President for inciting a riot and failing to protect our Capitol, they will betray their oath of office.Donald Trump also swore to preserve, protect, and defend the country and the Constitution. Yet, not accepting his loss in 2020, and using every means necessary to change that outcome, and after all election officials and judges found no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing, our president called upon his base to help him “Stop the Steal”. Stop the electoral college certification. His words and deeds incited a riot that became a full-fledged insurrection. He betrayed his oath of office.Nothing makes this more indisputable than his tweet, hours into the siege, where he announced that “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution…”. Trump’s message only fueled the mob’s rage. The rioters constructed a noose, chanting, “Hang Mike Pence…Hang Mike Pence.” Trump knew the danger Pence was facing and, yet, the Commander in Chief ordered no action against the mob, did not call in the National Guard or reinforcements for the besieged police. Others finally did.The police swear an oath too, and they lived up to it that day as they put their bodies and their lives, between the insurrectionists and the Capitol. When it was over, the carnage left one police officer stabbed with an American flag pole, another with a gouged-out eye, two with crushed spines, dozens beaten, and, five dead.The officers left standing were called upon to clean up the mess. Feces on the walls. Urine on the floors. Broken property. Desecrated offices. And the Republicans are going to acquit a President who did nothing to help them. Why? The Republican Senators cannot claim that the trial is unconstitutional. The Senate settled that question on Tuesday, voting, yes, it is.They cannot claim first amendment protection. Hundreds of first amendment scholars, many conservatives, called a first amendment defense “utterly frivolous” and “baseless.” No one can seriously argue that a president can engage in speech that leads people to attempt to overthrow the United States government.
They cannot claim that there is no evidence connecting Trump to the insurrection. Republican leaders themselves frantically called upon Trump to call off his supporters. They knew who had incited the mob and who had the power to turn them off.Why are these Republicans so blinded by Trump and his dereliction of duty? It boils down to raw politics, and these Republican Senators clinging to power. They know what Trump did, but to acquit him means to risk losing their 2022 election. What contempt they display for all of those who jeopardized their lives when Senate Republicans won’t even risk their seats of power.It is ignominious. It is disgraceful. It is shameful. It is embarrassing. It is inglorious.If they will not convict him, then we must convict them. We must declare those Senate Republicans guilty of a betrayal of their oath of office and remove them by voting them out of office in November, 2022
There is need for a Trump vaccine. Vaccines contain agents that eradicate a virus. The Trump injection would not go into the arm but into ears, eyes, brains and hearts and would include a panoply of agents in its formula.Those agents would attack misinformation, deception, duplicity, equivocation, corruption, lies and betrayal. Elected officials would uphold their oath of office and would tell us the truth regardless of party. The media would air its news with accuracy, honesty and validity. Teachers would prepare students to think critically, practice civil discourse and be well versed in the basics of American government. Clergy would follow the religious principles of their faith. Citizenry would speak up and speak out, reward truth and call out lies, abandon the politics of “us versus them” and, finally, and forever, STAMP OUT racism.If we could achieve the delivery of such a vaccine with all of those active agents, Americans would have the tools necessary to participate fully in the democratic institutions that bind us together. Treachery would be unable to compete. This is the vaccine we would name after Donald Trump.
We have a lot of weak Republicans in our Congress. We saw a number of them display their weakness last week when they signed onto a lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court by Texas that asked for millions of 2020 election ballots to be thrown out.Many of those GOP congressmen are lawyers and doctors and businessmen in these seats of high office. They should be well educated and able to think reasonably. Clearly, lawyers knew that the lawsuit was without merit and injudicious. Why then would they sign onto such a, dare I use the word, fraudulent lawsuit? Weak people don’t have the courage to think independently or stand alone amongst a crowd or call out a lie or take a risk in defense of a principle.
Weak people follow; they do not lead. We cannot afford to have weak people in our most influential avenues of power. They give in to their weaknesses and the country suffers.In signing on to the Texas lawsuit, those Republican Congresspersons and 17 Attorneys General became accomplices in perpetrating deceit and misinformation; they bore false witness.Trump feeds them with perks and prominence. They cater to Trump’s need for power and survival. We have successfully voted Trump out. Now we must vote out those in Congress who have abetted Trump in growing a malignancy in our democracy.We must restore our government to the strong, the thoughtful, the truthful and the principled.
My husband and I do not socialize, not even with family. We are in our 80s and extra cautious. We do curbside pick-up; if forced to go to a store, we know what we need and get in and out within a few minutes. We haven’t been to a café, restaurant, movie, or gathering, and even avoid our neighbors. While lonely, we feel lucky to have a roof over our heads and money to buy what we need.We have been following this protocol since early March, awaiting the promise of a vaccine. No whining. No tears. Just a steadfast determination to do our part and get through this. And then yesterday happened. We learned that Trump was offered millions of additional doses of vaccine and declined the offer. Millions of Americans now have to wait many more months for the injection. Some will die waiting.We knew he was incompetent. But this? This is monstrous.And now, in the wake of his losing re-election, he has abandoned his post. He is like the Italian captain of the Costa Concordia who abandoned ship when it began to sink. The captain left his post while 32 people died and scores were injured. He was convicted of manslaughter. A similar fate should await Mr. Trump. He is responsible for the deaths of 284,000 and counting. He has caused the closure of 100,000 businesses. Suicides are on the rise. Children are failing in school. There had been hope and anticipation, now both dimmed and delayed.
This was a cruel decision that makes no sense.
For the first time. I cried. I couldn’t help it.