The mid term elections are speeding towards America and there will be a collision. On November 6th, either the will of the majority will plow into Donald Trump’s unchallenged rule or the Trump-worshipping GOP will smash through most of the remaining barriers of American democracy.
It’s unfortunately a cliche to say, “This is the most important election of our lives.” The urgency of that phrase has been expressed in previous elections and at those other times, it may have been earnest. However, as we’ve witnessed the steamrolling of critical precedents and many pillars of our democracy by Trump and the GOP, even those most reserved about hyperbole may be hard pressed to deny that this year’s election is the most important one in our lifetimes.
After Trump was declared the winner of the 2016 election, many Americans seemed shellshocked, depressed and demoralized. By Inauguration Day, the clouds began clearing in the minds of many and the new era of activism and protest was launched by the record-breaking Women’s March.
As Trump’s election was inconceivable for many, the idea that he could operate day after day as a compulsive liar, openly racist and cuddling up with the worst dictators around the world seemed hard to believe. How could Trump take a wrecking ball to law enforcement, our intelligence agencies and our press without it swinging back to flatten him?
We’ve taken far too much for granted. The primary check and balance on an out-of-control sociopath occupying the White House is Congress. We know how averse Republicans are to putting country before party but we wrongly assumed that if there was an existential threat to our democracy, even they couldn’t go along with it.
Last week, on display for all to see in the hearing where Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Beer Kavanaugh…er…Bret…testified to Senators (and in the case of Beer…er…case of Bret Kavanaugh, ranted, cried and lied as a “dry drunk”), Republicans shamelessly demonstrated how completely corrupt and anti-democratic they are.
Right now, there are no congressional brakes on the Trump Crazy Train. It jumped the tracks from the start and continues crashing through the lives of women, children, people of color, immigrants and anyone else who breathes air and drinks water. Not to mention democracy.
If Democrats don’t win control of at least one house of Congress, five Tuesdays from today, Trump will be emboldened to throw his crazy train into even higher gear. The damage to the country and most Americans will become exponentially disastrous and Republicans in Congress, seeing that there is no price to pay for sacrificing our democracy for power, could only feel empowered to do more of the horrible things they’ve only dreamed of.
Killing the ACA, privatizing and slashing Social Security and Medicare, freeing corporations to pollute and poison water, air and land while showering them with taxcuts and taxpayer money, chopping down the rights of citizens and further pushing of Americans to be at the throats of each other.
This isn’t doom and gloom, it’s openly discussed GOP policy. This is what awaits our beseiged country if Democrats don’t win back a house of Congress.
Thankfully, polling seems to support that Democrats are strongly favored to win back at least The House of Representatives and there’s a viable but challenging scenario for Dems to take back The Senate.
What should be fresh in voters’ minds though is that most of what was taken for granted, before and since the 2016 election, has proven to be mistaken.
There’s advice given to runners when running a race, you don’t slow down until after you’ve passed the finish line. Voters in America would be wise to take this advice to heart. No one should take the polls for granted (again!), no one should assume that others will vote in enough numbers that their vote won’t be needed. No one should believe that their efforts in helping get out the vote aren’t necessary. Run through the finish line and don’t slow down until the race is won.
This upcoming election is going to be a turning point, one way or another. Either it will steer the nation more abruptly towards an increasingly cruel, dishonest, oppressive and undemocratic rule or back towards a democracy where checks and balances between the branches of government protect the people and their country.
The countdown is on. Just five Tuesdays left and counting. The United States of America needs your vote and your help to get others out to vote. The stakes couldn’t be higher. The days of taking things for granted are over. The day for taking our future back into our hands is coming very soon.