The following post, written by the Rev. Robert A. Franek, is a part of Politicus Policy Discussion, in which writers draw connections between real lives and public policy.
A blue wave sweeping across our country is not only necessary for the restoration of our democratic norms, it is a moral imperative for the common good of our global village and our shared planet.
However, even as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and dozens of others announce their retirements from Congress, it will not be sufficient to simply replace them with leaders who will serve their country and their constituents rather than their party and lobbied interests come hell or high water, treason and Trump.
Even as Special Counsel Robert Mueller is dogged in his determination to dig deep to discover the whole truth of the Russian attack on our 2016 election and President Donald Trump’s knowledge and involvement in such interference, the culmination of his investigation will not resolve the challenges our country faces going forward. And regardless of how Donald Trump and his cabinet of incompetence and thievery are eventually removed from their seats of power, the damage is done, and the cleanup will take decades.
A blue wave will certainly go a long way in washing away the stench from the ever-growing swamp. Yet, it will require a transformation in our politics, in the soul of our country and of each person to root out the problems that paved the way for Trump’s election in the first place.
Our democracy requires two healthy and robust parties working for the common good of the country and its citizenry, striving for peace among nations and people of the world, and endeavoring for the ecological well-being of our shared planet with all creation.
Currently one party, as it struggles with messaging and infighting, is fighting for the soul of our democracy. The other is a dumpster fire gas lighting the nation and enabling a president who poses a clear and present danger to our national security, civil rights, and planetary health.
As essential as it is for a blue wave to sweep new leaders into power who will restore our democratic norms; craft legislation that serves the people especially those who are vulnerable, oppressed, or discriminated against; and hold Trump and his sycophantic cabinet accountable to their oaths of office and systemic corruption, it is imperative for this blue wave to wash over the myths and media that foster false equivalencies, baseless fears, and fictional economics.
In order for our country not to return to the same old politics that ushered in Donald Trump new narratives are necessary.
It will take retiring the politics of trickle-down economics with Paul Ryan and all its other acolytes in Congress. And in place of this forty-year-old scam we need to focus on living wages, purchasing power, and pay equity. We need a politics that breaks the chains of systemic and structural poverty.
It will require giving up the myth that anyone with a gun can play hero in the event of a massacre in a school, place of worship, or shopping center. Instead of this myth built on toxic masculinity, we need a ban on assault style weapons, tough background checks, and limits on magazine size. But more so, we need give up the myth of redemptive violence and address the root causes that lead to gun violence.
It will mean putting to bed the politics of fearing immigrants and refugees and in its place a robust politics of welcome to those seeking safety and new life in this land. So long as xenophobia infects our policy the lamp of Lady Liberty is diminished. In the politics of the future we must turn walls into tables of reconciliation.
It will demand ending the debates about climate change and other scientific realities. It is destructive and dishonest to give equal time to perspectives that are not equally valid. Instead of asking the tired “both sides” false equivalency question, it is imperative to have conversations that will foster greater stewardship of the earth and its resources for the sake of the generations to come.
In addition to these starting points for policy that protects and serves the interests of the people, it will be vital to break down the systems and structures of that embed racism, sexism, and all forms of discrimination into our daily life.
A blue wave is coming. May it not only sweep in new and vigorous leadership into Congress, wash away the swamp of corruption, and deliver our democracy from the hands of corruption, but more may it wash over each of us with purifying light and hope providing a vision for the tough work the lies before us in restoring the promises our founders etched however imperfectly into this grand experiment of democracy. It will only be as good as the people who fight for it each day. We cannot wait for others to make it happen. We must be this blue wave of hope and promise for our country. Together we can make it happen. Together we will.