By Ed Raymond
The Only Way to Defeat Trumpistan Is to Pass the Democratic Party’s Platform
Since 2013, when Chief Justice John Roberts declared the election of Barack Obama had proven that racial discrimination no longer existed in the United States, the Republicans have closed 1,688 polling places.
Texas alone has closed 750 while Arizona and Georgia have closed hundreds in counties where there are lots of colored people. In Texas counties that had gained the most colored voters between 2012 and 2018, the state closed 542 voting places. In Atlanta, Georgia the Republican legislature closed 80 polling places, forcing one black precinct to handle 16,000 voters. Georgia election officials threw out 53,000 mostly black voter registrations. Some Black Georgians waited in line for as long as eleven hours to vote! This kind of crap happened in many Republican states in the South and Midwest. Why?
Because in 2013, that third political party, the Supreme Court of the United States in the Shelby County v. Holder case, voted 5-4 to gut the 1965 Voting Rights Act that had prevented many Southern states from passing voter suppression laws. The minute Roberts and his cohorts declared that such racial discrimination did not exist in “those shining cities on all those hills,” the “Lost Cause” ex-slave states immediately passed hundreds of voting laws to keep those second-class citizens from voting. Isn’t it absolutely wonderful to live in a country where everyone is created equal and is treated as equals?
By 2020 the Republican Party, dominated by Southern racists and funded by white billionaires, adopted Trumpism because it was the only route to power and low taxes, the two issues in its platform. The only way to maintain power is to keep non-white poor people from voting by the millions and to uphold a Constitution that no longer serves a majority. How will the fascists of Trumpistan maintain power if it loses the popular vote by seven million votes but loses the presidency by only 43,000 votes in three states? Can they do it by insisting the “Founding Fathers” knew what they were doing 244 years ago when the 13 colonies had only 2.5 million people? Now we have 350 million people in 50 states and numerous territories scattered over planet Earth. We have moved from the midnight ride of Paul Revere yelling “The British Are Coming!” to waiting for radio signals from Mars for 11 minutes. Voting is a little different and demands a new look. Astronauts voted from the International Space Station. That’s a real absentee ballot.
Final Score in 2020 Game Is Democrats 195,780,000, Republicans 154,320,000
President Joe Biden, Congressional Democrats, and the Democratic National Committee with the inept Tom Perez as chairman had better realize that if they don’t pass the Democratic platform in the next 15 months, fascists from Trumpistan will clean your clock in 2022. Unity and bipartisanship from TrumpliQAnons? BS. You are on Mars with Musk and Bezos. Mitch McConnell will filibuster you back to a regular job.
If you don’t pass the John Lewis voting rights act the Republicans will pass 253 voter suppression laws by the next quarter. You will lose in 2022. Read the riot act to Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema about the filibuster. Do an LBJ arm twist on them. Break, if necessary.
Last Sunday Manchin still claimed the U.S. Senate was the “most important, deliberative body in the world.” What the hell has the Senate done for the “common good” and the poor and the middle-class in the last decade? It’s made the rich richer, the poor poorer, and created the country with the most income inequality on Earth where half the families can’t come up with 400 bucks to buy a set of tires. And they didn’t care how many people they killed with the virus while turning the mask and distance rules into political symbolism.
Over 230 years ago, Virginia had 12 times the population of the smallest state, Delaware. In 2021 California has 70 times the population of Wyoming. Each has two senators. Estimates are that by 2040 70% of Americans represented by 30 senators will live in 15 states while 30% represented by 70 senators will live in whiter, older, and more rural states. In 2021, 15 small states with 38 million people have elected 30 Republican senators while California with 40 million people have elected two Democrats.
In the present Senate, the 50 Democrats represent 195.780,000 people while the 50 Republicans represent 154,320,000, a difference of 41,460,000. The Republican candidate for president has lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight elections but has been in the Oval Office for 14 of the years.
In four disastrous years, the “The Chosen One” appointed three “conservatives” to the Supreme Court and 234 “conservative” judges to federal courts. At the present time Biden has only 25 judge vacancies to fill. The only important bill passed by the Trump administration was the $1.7 trillion tax cuts for the wealthy. All other legislation for the “common good” ended up in Mitch’s graveyard. These Senate numbers destroy democracy and create fascism. In the last two months death threats against Congress members have gone up 90%. We should do unto Mitch what he has done to us.
Let’s take a break from all these stats. An explorer on the Amazon River pulled his canoe up to a shore restaurant and checked the menu--which told him he was in cannibal country.
The menu: Explorers $5.25
Members of Congress $49.95
Puzzled at the high price of congressmen, he asked the maitre d’: “Why are congressmen so expensive?” The maitre d’, taken aback, said: “Ever tried cleaning one of them things?”
Freedom House Says the World Is Going Through a Democracy Recession
In fact, it claims it is the worst democracy recession in history. The non-governmental organization (NGO) Freedom House has been funded by us since 1941 to check on how democracy is prospering and growing around the world. It surveys the political freedoms and civil liberties of 195 countries and 15 non-state territories. Only 20% of the world’s population lives in a liberal democracy. The latest findings in the Freedom in the World report reveal an unprecedented decline in the health of democracies.
In truth, democracy has been declining in the world for 15 years. China, India, Brazil, and Russia are making things much worse—and we are also declining. Over 150 experts from around the world question countries and examine democratic “signs.” Perfect democracies are given a 100, perfect dictatorships are given a 0. In 2005 we were one of the best-ranking countries in the world with a 94. By 2020 we slipped to an 83. Now Germany and France are way ahead of us. Freedom House ranked us lower because of partisan infighting, very high virus death rates, police violence against protesters, the shooting deaths of blacks by police and civilians, and the debilitating leadership of Trump. Just wait until the January 6 Capitol riot is included in the evaluation this year. We are going to lose many points. Freedom House estimates that 1.7 billion people have “eroded” out of democracy in 2020 alone.
How Can the Democrats Win in 2022?
If Democrats do not restore the Voting Rights Act they will lose in 2022. In 2020 the Democrats won three swing states by a total of 43,000 votes while scoring some seven million votes more than Trump in the regular game. With those scores they still lost House seats and squeaked by with two Democratic senators in Georgia to reach 50.
Democrats have to win the votes of the 85 million American registered voters who didn’t vote in 2020 by closing down COVID-19, opening up the economy, and passing concrete measures that improve the welfare and well-being of the 120 million working people whose lives have been getting worse for four decades. They have been neglected by both parties.
Democrats must perform the following to escape disaster in 2022:
1. Invest in job creation.
2. Eliminate most or all student debt and tuition for four and two-year colleges.
3. Create a wealth tax that covers the above cost.
4. Eliminate the loopholes and tax havens and fund the IRS to audit 30% of the top Ten Percent every year.
5. Pass the Equality Act that covers the LBGTQ* community (particularly transgenders) and approve the Equal Rights for Women legislation.
6. Pass maternity, parental, and sick leave legislation, and increase support for WIC, SNAP, and Head Start.
7. Pass universal single-payer health care and eliminate profits and the 20% health care administrative costs. Let’s spend money on health care instead of paper, postage, and insurance deniers.
8. Pass a living-wage minimum wage bill and try to figure out how Denmark pays McDonald’s hamburger flippers $22 an hour with benefits. It’s not difficult.
9. Develop and pass climate change legislation that will meet prescribed goals by 2040.
10. Increase funding for pre-school, K-12, and higher education.
11. Defend pro-choice and Roe v. Wade.
12. Pass gun controls: background checks, magazine size, ammo sales, ban bump stocks, ban assault-style weapons, and eliminate the gun culture that is creating OK Corrals in every county of the country. We have firearms settling differences every day in the metro area because of 425 million firearms flooding the country. It’s a firearm pandemic of gunslingers.
What Is the Current Political Opposition to the Twelve Issues Above?
Democrats have to battle three groups to pass the above legislation:
1. We have a few real Republicans in the Senate and perhaps three dozen House members who might support a couple of the above issues if they wake up with a spine.
2. There’s a “bigly” group of congresspersons who belong to the TrumpliQAnon cult. That group, with the addition of kooks, nutcases, and Fox News addicts, has created the white supremacist fascist state of Trumpistan within the United States.
3. The third group is made up of Bible thumpers and conservative Roman Catholics who have managed to drive millions of millennials and women away from their religions. A recent poll indicated that only half of “evangelical Christians” even attend church!
In 1970 the USA Roman Catholic church had 160,000 nuns who staffed schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. In 2020 there are only 40,000 and the average age is eighty. In 1970 the Vatican had 60,000 priests in the USA. By 2021 there are 35,000 left. The Vatican, confused, bewildered, and bedazzled by sex for over 2,000 years, has managed to keep women out of the pulpit as if they never had mothers. Catholic bishops still insist gays are “intrinsically disordered” but the possibility exists that at least two of the apostles were gay. We would all do better if they joined us in the 21st Century. Let’s remember, however, that when churchgoing was a national habit, things were still terrible for the poor and racial and ethnic minorities.
A reminder: In 2020 the Afghan Taliban endorsed the infallible Pope Donald, who “could kill someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and get away with it,” for president. So did the American Taliban.
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