The deeper we fall into the hell of Donald Trump’s presidency, the harder it is to keep hope alive. I’ve been trying to channel my mother for answers – and I don’t believe in channeling.
So it comes as no surprise to me at all that a Quinnipac poll shows Joe Biden lost 22% of his support among black voters, with Michael Bloomberg as the chief beneficiary, with a gain of 15% support among black voters.
Of course, Amy Klobuchar is having a moment among more conservative-minded Democrats. The top two contenders are Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, with Elizabeth Warren losing ground.
America is divided, which was the whole point of Putin’s interference to help Donald Trump. Anyone who saw Trump’s announcement in 2016 knew that unity is not his thing. I doubt Trump read Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, but you don’t need to be formally educated in divisiveness to know how to divide people. Just as you don’t need to know what fascism is to be a fascist.
From a selfish perspective, I found some comfort in that poll. Unlike back in 2016, there is a quantifiable measure of divisions among Trump’s opposition.
We could not see then the unquantified things that allowed him to prevail. Today we can see the divisions, but we also see they can shift. We also see that some shifts matter more than others, such as the shift black voters’ support.
And until now, even admitting to being afraid was something I never did in public because it looks weak. But there it is. I’m terrified of Trump getting a second term, because America won’t survive it.
It won’t survive the Trump family’s lavish spending, their even more lavish gifts to their friends in the maga swamp and the structural damage to the aspects of the economy that affect people who work for a living.
America won’t survive the divisiveness. Trump is feeding his most dedicated loyalists with rhetoric so toxic that they will turn on a conservative Republican like John Bolton the second Trump issues the order.
The poisonous mix of fake news from Russia and bullying tactics by a faction in the Bernie camp is a dictator’s sweet spot. It can only further complicate an environment that can be deadly to democracy.
I fear that American won’t survive the corruption of justice, corruption that is reminiscent of the Soviet Union. Rudy is gathering “evidence”, meaning manufactured information on the Bidens, because Trump’s idea of campaigning is criminalizing opponents and opposition in general. That may be something he learned from Putin, Melania or someone else.
While Nancy Pelosi’s House of Representatives continues to fight for oversight by co-equal branches of government, Moscow Mitch continues to play Grim Reaper. Over four hundred bills continue to languish while Senators confirm unqualified people to the courts in a process that looks more like speed dating than actual confirmation.
And just a reminder, this is what McConnell had in mind when he refused to consider Obama nominees to the bench and, for that matter, in diplomacy too. He was keeping these positions open for a bunch of party hacks. No other reason.
While I’m white, I’m still a Jewish immigrant who has been critical of Donald Trump since the day he arrived on the scene. So I can relate to the willingness to give up things in the name of getting rid of Donald Trump and the Republicans who enabled him.
And while we’re at it, yes, I support Nancy Pelosi. She, even more than Chuck Schumer, has shown a capacity to manage Trump and get under his skin unlike anyone else. She’s to Trump what Hillary Clinton was the Vladimir Putin.
Of all times in American history, we need a Speaker who understands that preserving the good about the old rules means defeating Trump under existing rules we don’t like. But she should also know how to employ new rules. We saw Speaker Pelosi using a new rule when she tore up Trump’s speech.
Sure, we heard about how somehow it was undignified for the Speaker to tear up the speech, this from a man who turned the State of the Union Address into a spoof of its former dignified self. But come on, she spoke for every one of us without saying a word.
Yes, it broke existing protocol, but then so did Trump’s invitation to foreign adversaries to interfere in our elections. Honestly, I have to say that the Speaker tearing up that speech was the smaller faux pas.
We need a candidate who can defeat Trump, and we will have to sacrifice something to do it. But that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice what’s left of our increasingly fragile democracy. It means that even if Bloomberg and Steyer don’t need a foreign adversary to buy their way into the office, we need to make sure we aren’t jumping from a deep fryer to a boiling pot.
Bloomberg, especially, opted to use his money to meet financial requirements while skipping interacting with voters. He’ll have to show his hand in a debate. Can Bloomberg himself take Trump on in an unrehearsed setting? If so, does he understand that being accountable to himself alone is not good enough? We already have that.
The other candidates have to look at themselves and their policies to figure out what’s missing. What is it about them that has yet to win the confidence of people who have the biggest stake in making Donald Trump a one-term president?
The candidate Democrats choose will carry an incomprehensible burden of responsibility to Americans, the nations of the world, and to the sustainability of the planet itself. They won’t be able to do everything within five minutes or even five months of getting into office because, thanks to Trump and the Republicans, our institutions are damaged, as are relationships that affect our national security.
We may need to sacrifice getting the candidate we love to get the one who can beat Trump, even if it’s in the eyes of Americans who think and vote differently than we do. Just barely winning isn’t enough. This election has to be a resounding defeat of Trump, his Republican party, and the authoritarian corporate socialism they represent.
When we show up, we do win. Voters showed that even when Republicans found new ways to damage the structures of our election system and just plain cheat. The people who are America’s heart and soul still won in 2008, 2012, and 2018. We can do it again. In the name of saving America democracy, we may have to reunite with compromise. Otherwise, we will have to live with the consequences.
Ms. Woodbury has a graduate degree in political science, with a minor in law. She is a qualified expert on political theory with a specific interest in the nexus between political theories and models and human rights.
Based on her interest in human rights and the threats that authoritarian regimes are to them, Ms. Woodbury’s masters thesis examined the influence of politics on the enforcement of international criminal law was cited in several academic studies.
Published work includes case summaries for the War Crimes Research Office.
She has an extensive background doing legal research in international and domestic law.
Ms. Woodbury’s work for politicusUSA includes articles on voting rights, the right to asylum and other civil/human rights.