May 16, 2019
How To Beat Trump In 2020: A Letter to the Democratic Party
By Sarah Warden
Grow up. The football has been greased and we're getting nowhere until we clean it off. So, stop running at the disappearing football, stop playing the game by the Republicans rules, and go back to playing by the rules of democracy itself. But first we've got to de-grease the football, flip over the game table, shuffle and then cut the deck""whatever metaphor you'd like""but we absolutely must stop going high when they go low.
We should be on the cusp of an unparalleled period of equality and prosperity in American history. We have a national majority in support of the right to health care, a national majority in support of gay marriage, a national majority in support of the right to an abortion, and racism is (supposedly) no longer tolerated (though the police department and various BBQ Becky's appear not to have noticed).
But the Democrats are an infuriating bunch who, it seems, are almost destined to have the rug of history yanked out from under their unsuspecting feet.
Since the risen political ghost of Richard Nixon committed treason in order to defeat Hubert Humphrey in 1968, the party of Trump has engaged in a series of predictable dirty tricks to win elections, while the Democrats have stood by""alternately shocked, shocked I say, that there is the proverbial gambling going on in the establishment, then determined that only total compromise can stop the obstructionism of the other side, then finally a retreat to their pristine corner to lick their wounds and take two years to loudly proclaim their leftist values, and then mosey on back to the center just in time for election season " and another certain defeat.
As entertaining as it is to watch the party of Trump play Lucy to the Democrats Charlie Brown, as amusing as it is to watch the Democrats run full speed toward certain victory only to have the football yanked away at the last second, it's just not as funny as it used to be.
Michael Dukakis in a tank? That was funny.
John Kerry (he of the Bronze Stars) being defeated on the basis of national security by the "draft dodger Bush" that was markedly less funny, given the lives being lost in Iraq.
But Hillary Clinton being defeated by Donald Trump? Donald Trump who is ripping children away from their parents at the border, who specializes in making excuses for Vladimir Putin's cyber attacks on our 2016 election, who gives a wink and a nod to the Nazis in Charlottesville, who is on the verge of appointing two anti-abortion and anti-gay judges to the Supreme Court, who pulled the US out of the Paris Accords on Climate Change, who has spent the first half of his administration attacking the freedom of the press and, it appears, intends to spend the last half of his (hopefully only) term in office destroying the Western Alliance and NATO; well, that is no longer funny.
This is not a reality show that either I or the rest of the world wants to watch, waiting to see how the Democrats will grab defeat from the jaws of victory this time.
It's not too entertaining when there might not be a next time.
This is the finale, folks. We don't get to play our little, "I'm more left wing than you"/"I can win elections and you can't" games any more.
Our lives are on the line. Our democracy is on the line.
If a majority of American citizens support the right to an abortion, support the right of gay people to be married, and think insurance companies should have to cover people with preexisting conditions, why are all of those rights currently in extreme danger?
The views of the majority of Americans are not represented in Congress in proportion to their weight in our population because of gerrymandering. In the elections of 2000 and 2016, the White House went to the candidate who lost the popular vote.
Do we really expect the party who is benefiting electorally to do something to change this? Do we really expect our democracy to be protected by a party that can only win elections via gerrymandering, or a gift from the Supreme Court, or by (yup, gonna say it) collusion with a foreign adversary?
Grow up. The football has been greased and we're getting nowhere until we clean it off. So, stop running at the disappearing football, stop playing the game by the Republicans rules, and go back to playing by the rules of democracy itself. But first we've got to de-grease the football, flip over the game table, shuffle and then cut the deck""whatever metaphor you'd like; but we absolutely must stop going high when they go low. Our democracy is depending on us.
They are laughing at us, my fellow snowflakes. A very, very small percentage of the American population is laughing at the overwhelming majority of us that want universal health care, a living wage, an end to police attacks on the black community, young adults not to be saddled with college debt, and an end to the destruction of our environment. And yet, we are scared. We are in the majority, but we are scared. All of us are scared of this wave of hate, but in our fear we are senselessly attacking each other.
Charlottesville, Virginia 2017 (By Anthony Crider; cropped by Beyond My Ken (talk) 20:37, 9 April 2018 (UTC)""Charlottesville "Unite the Right" Rally, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68193094)
"Bernie Sanders could've defeated Trump if he'd been allowed to win the nomination."
"(Insert name of 2020 Democratic hopeful here) is good on x, but I don't really like her position on y."
"He is too establishment Democrat for me."
"She is too left wing to challenge Trump in the heartland."
Blah, blah, blah.
ROME IS BURNING.
Put down the perfectly tuned violins and pick up a fire hose.
I, and millions of others, have some quite significant skin in this fight. I came out as a lesbian in 1990 and yes, it gets better; it got better. The United States now is a completely different country to be gay in then it was when I was in high school and that is due not to the long-delayed efforts of elected officials or to the belated benevolent wisdom of the Supreme Court, but rather it became unacceptable to be anti-gay because of a social movement. We were no longer arguing for our right to have a drink in a bar that wouldn't be raided or even for our own fundamental right to marry, we were arguing for our right to simply be alive.
HIV/AIDS was decimating our community and the government wasn't funding research because it was a "gay cancer". In the 1980's, we didn't ask someone who wanted to join us on the picket line what their position was on a myriad number of issues, and we didn't research them to see what position they used to hold. For that moment, on that picket line, you were our brother, you were our sister, simply because you thought that we should not die.
Make no mistake about it, that is where we are, again. But this time it's not about gay rights, or the right to unionize, or women's rights, or the struggle against racism and for equality, it's not about building a more perfect and equitable union, it is about preserving the union itself, it is about preserving the republic, and it is even about preservation of the whole damn planet.
No one is being chicken little, the sky actually is falling this time. The stakes couldn't be greater and one would be forgiven for wishing for a hero on horseback, a citizen soldier, a later-day Lincoln, in a Lei.
It turns out that she does exist and lives in and represents a literal paradise.
But I'm not supposed to support her because I'm gay.
Aloha (Hello and Goodbye).
Hui hu (Until we meet again.)
As a latte-drinking lesbian who traveled to Buffalo, NY, Minneapolis, MN, and Baton Rouge, LA in the 1990's to help keep abortion clinics open while Operation Rescue was trying to shut them down, I have read many articles defaming Representative Tulsi Gabbard and instructing me (and all of my fellow pro-choice gays) that Tulsi should not be supported because she used to oppose gay marriage and she used to oppose abortion rights.
Tulsi Gabbard meets all of our other criteria, she wants to take America in the same progressive direction as the rest of us, she is a female Bernie Sanders but 30 years younger and with a record of military service. She is the kind of politician that Steve Bannon speaks well of and that the wrinkled apricot himself invited to Trump Tower during the transition, sparking short-lived rumors that she was in consideration for Secretary of State. So, she obviously cannot be taken seriously as a potential Democratic candidate for the presidency in 2020. Some people in the party of Trump said some nice things about her, so she's got cooties now, and the undisputed master of the playground, Trump, walks away maniacally laughing at how easy we are to fool.
Tulsi Gabbard scares the living sh&* out of the party of Trump because she appeals to his base.
Let me say that again. She appeals to his base. The base that Trump knows is so small that he can't afford even the tiniest whiff of a sniffle of an idea that it could grow smaller.
Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Joe Biden, any of the establishment Democrats would absolutely annihilate Trump in the debates and maybe even win the popular vote, but they will absolutely not have a snowflake's chance in hell of splitting Trump's base. And, with Trump's base intact, the electoral college will be his again in 2020. That is why Donald Trump took notice of Tulsi Gabbard, not because he likes her but because he fears her.
There is a strong and angry populism at work in the United States; and for good reason. College is as unaffordable as it is no longer a guarantee of being middle class, health insurance is taking up almost as large of a percentage of income as rent, the idea of a secure retirement is a thing of the past, the growth of technology has led to fears of being automated right out of a job, and every day the news speaks of another police shooting of an unarmed black citizen, another school shooting, another workplace shooting, another death of someone we know from heroin or prescription drugs.
So many people are angry and so many people have a right to be angry. Donald Trump is taking advantage of that righteous anger and steering it into avenues of hate""and the Democratic Party is allowing him to do it.
We let him rile up that hate every time we choose the more electable candidate to nominate over the truth teller in the race. But we also let him rile up that hate when we split off into camps and inspect the previous views of all candidates to see if they checked off every single progressive box on our wish list. And then, even when they do, even when they are perfect and literally from paradise, we still have our doubts and wonder if our potential candidate means what they say.
Tulsi Gabbard scares Donald Trump because she could go into Nebraska or Missouri or Pennsylvania or Florida with hope and not with hate. Because she could tell Trump's base that they have every right to be angry, and that she has a program to fix it. A real program. She would tell them the truth; that immigrants aren't stealing their jobs, it's the greed of the corporations that has broken America and our government has allowed that to happen. She would talk about her service in Iraq and her determination to never allow someone from their hometown to be sent off to die senselessly. She would tell them that the deaths from the opioid epidemic are just as senseless and avoidable as the deaths that she witnessed in the Middle East. She would offer them hope and not hate""and they would believe her.
So should we.
(Article changed on May 16, 2019 at 19:02)
Submitter: Stephen Fox
Submitters Website: https://www.facebook.com/groups/592985284186083/
Early in the 2016 Primary campaign, I started a Facebook group: Bernie Sanders: Advice and Strategies to Help Him Win! As the primary season advanced, we shifted the focus to advancing Bernie's legislation in the Senate, particularly the most critical one, to protect Oak Flat, sacred to the San Carlos Apaches, in the Tonto National Forest, from John McCain's efforts to privatize this national forest and turn it over to Rio Tinto Mining, an Australian mining company whose record by comparison makes Monsanto look like altar boys, to be developed as North America's largest copper mine. This is monstrous and despicable, and yet only Bernie's Save Oak Flat Act (S2242) stands in the way of this diabolical plan.