Republicans with their relentless gumption stole the 2000 election. Democrats put their tails between their legs and then accepted it. Trump’s election is even a bigger dereliction of duty to the American constituency because Democrats continue to fail pre and post election.
Democrats should be ashamed of the Democratic establishment for their tepid reaction to Donald Trump’s electoral college Russian-assisted victory. Is there any wonder many Americans perceive Democrats as weak?
This morning I was pleasantly surprised by a New York times op-ed by Dahlia Lithwick and Davis S. Cohen titled “Buck up, Democrats, and Fight Like Republicans” that hits the nail on the head. They pointed out that Democrats are virtually absent in contesting the election result. They pointed out the obvious to many of us.
Contrast the Democrats’ do-nothingness to what we know the Republicans would have done. If Mr. Trump had lost the Electoral College while winning the popular vote, an army of Republican lawyers would have descended on the courts and local election officials. The best of the Republican establishment would have been filing lawsuits and infusing every public statement with a clear pronouncement that Donald Trump was the real winner. And they would have started on the morning of Nov. 9, using the rhetoric of patriotism and courage.
How can we be so certain? This is what happened in 2000. When Florida was still undecided after election night, the Republicans didn’t leave their fate in the hands of individuals or third-party candidates. No, they recruited former Secretary of State James A. Baker III to direct efforts on behalf of George W. Bush. They framed their project as protecting Mr. Bush’s victory rather than counting votes. They were clear, consistent and forceful, with the biggest names in Republican politics working the process.
The authors then castigated Democrats for their negligence.
They are leaving the fight to academics and local organizers who seem more horrified by a Trump presidency than Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. The Republicans in 2000 threw everything they could muster against the wall to see if it stuck, with no concern about potential blowback; the Democrats in 2016 are apparently too worried about being called sore losers. Instead of weathering the criticism that comes with fighting an uphill, yet historically important battle, the party is still trying to magic up a plan.
Here is the deal. President-Elect Donald Trump is an illegitimate president, and it is imperative that all Americans treat him as such. This stance isn’t sour grapes. Let me explain.
- It is clear that Trump both encouraged the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s campaign and that the Russians fed information to WikiLeaks to aid the Donald.
- Hillary Clinton won 3 million more votes than Trump did and as such he has no mandate for the destruction of our social safety net. Most people voted for the policies supported by Hillary Clinton.
- We cannot allow Trump to govern without a vigorous opposition lest it encourages future candidates to use the evilest seeds still residing in many to attain a hollow victory. Trump used racism, misogyny, xenophobia, sexism, and all the negative isms in between to eke out an electoral majority.
Donald Trump and his allies continue to lie when they claim that Trump won by an electoral landslide let alone won the election fairly. Any statements that claim Trump had a landslide win is patently false. They need that narrative because they want to justify the massive changes to policy. Otherwise, there is no legitimacy for privatizing and cutting Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
President Obama and the Democratic establishment was well aware of the Russian involvement in our election. Instead of telling the American people about it, they acquiesced, they cowered to Republicans, specifically Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who called it partisan. Had the roles been reversed, Republicans would not even give Democrats the option. They would be shouting Russian involvement from day one proven or not.
It is time for the Democratic Party to evolve. It is time for Americans to see them as fighters. Americans do not like Republican policies, but they sure do like to see someone they think is fighting for them. Democrats all over the country must see that. Democrats need leadership that is willing to get dirty. The best defense for the poor and the middle-class is a potent offense, a strong promotion, and defense of poor and middle-class centric policies. That is why one hopes Democrats elect a fighter like Keith Ellison to run the Democratic National Committee instead of another weak, complacent actor schooled in platitudes.