Today we decide what we are as a nation. Actually, many of us have already decided, but today is the official day of decision.
The reasons why and how we’ve gotten to this point are numerous. At some point, I plan to write a breakdown of the recent history of asymmetric political polarization, as well as the history of the Reagan Era of American politics. But for the moment, it’s sufficient to say that we have reached what can be a turning point in our history. Do we turn toward fear, and anger, and authoritarianism? Or do we reject those traits, and focus on rebuilding our institutions, and reforming what’s broken?
Writing a comprehensive accounting of Donald Trump’s misdeeds over the past four years would be… daunting. Although others have kept a running tally. Going into the 2016 election, I wrote more than 8,000 words cataloging all the reasons I believed Trump should not be elected. I stand by what I wrote, even if it was eventually futile. Even simply recalling and recording history can help provide a guide for the future.
So with that in mind, I want to provide, for the record, a few of the reasons why we need to remove Donald Trump and the Senate Republican majority. I sometimes see Trump defenders demand to be given examples of malfeasance and criminality. Of course, when these are provided, the usual response is “fake news,” or some such blanket denial. But there are those who may be impacted by such a list, especially people who aren’t politically aware, or who might be unsure about the alternative. I think it’s still worthwhile, even if it’s, as I just noted, merely for the record.
It’s also worth noting that everything I list here would be noticeably better under a Joe Biden administration, and in many cases, wouldn’t be an issue at all. Will Biden be some sort of Lincolnesque, transformational hero? Probably not. But we can’t turn things around under the current course, and Biden clearly understands that. I choose to not let perfect be the enemy of… tolerable, or even the pretty good. Pushing Biden in more progressive directions is great, but it’s step two. We need to get through step one, first. Biden is the viable alternative, and that’s that. Accelerationists can suck it.
So, why precisely do I want Trump and the Republicans voted out of office? Let me count the ways:
A vote for Republicans is a vote for the person who told the nation not to worry about the coronavirus, but privately admitted that it’s far more dangerous than many knew.
Voting for Trump is acknowledging that he did virtually nothing to control the virus, and is responsible for a significant percentage of the nearly quarter million American deaths (as of Election Day 2020), and hundreds of thousands of ill people – many of whom will suffer long-term effects.
He lies about everything. Yeah, politicians lie, we’re told. This is a bit exaggerated, but fine, I get why that’s largely shrugged at. But Trump lies in ways that would make Nixon blush. In terms of public statements, we may never have had such an untrustworthy president. I shouldn’t have to explain what’s wrong with that.
Voting for Trump means dissent is in danger. He genuinely believes those who oppose him should be punished for that opposition. With a second term, don’t be surprised if he removes all checks on his authoritarian impulses, and actually starts arresting political opponents. He definitely thinks he can.
He got himself impeached by trying to extort another country into helping him attack a political rival. And then, even after being impeached for this crime, he sent his lackeys out to do it again during the final stretch of the election!
Trump and his party have repeatedly tried to end the first serious attempt at universal health care in America, and have offered zero replacement. If he succeeds in a second term, millions of Americans will find themselves without any healthcare.
The Trump businesses and family have worked to enrich themselves using the powers of the office. They have made money at the taxpayer’s expense, have used the foreign policy apparatus to make deals, and have violated plenty of anti-corruption laws.
A vote for Trump means supporting the man who sent federal troops to a city where they attacked and arrested random people on the street. It means supporting the man who had protesters tear-gassed so he could have a brief photo-op in front of a church.
Supporting Trump means supporting a man who ordered his closest advisor into committing campaign finance crimes that sent him to prison.
A vote for Trump is a vote for the man who couldn’t bring himself to explicitly denounce white supremacists whenever they committed atrocities.
Voting Trump means voting for at least 10 counts of obstruction of justice while attempting to stymie the investigation into potential conspiracy with Russia over illegally manipulating the 2016 election.
Oh yeah, and unredacted memos point to “collusion” actually having occurred. So, a vote for Trump basically is a vote for Vladimir Putin. Cool, cool, cool…
A vote for Trump is a vote for incompetence. Many positions required to actually run a government have remained unfilled, and most of those that have been filled were by his friends and family, almost all of whom were grossly unqualified.
Voting for Trump means voting to repeal SNAP food assistance for millions of Americans.
Voting for Trump means supporting significant cuts to national parks and monuments, many of which are being opened up for mining and oil exploration.
Trump support is support for giving up on combating climate change, which is certainly real, and certainly going to drastically harm our lives, and the lives of our children and grandchildren if left unchecked.
There’s so much more to list, but this is a good start. If you look through all this and think, “this isn’t so bad,” then I guess you should vote for Trump. But if you have a shred of empathy for your fellow humans, and you want to live in a world that doesn’t resemble Mad Max, I would highly recommend supporting Joe Biden. It’s not that Joe is that great, it’s that Trump is that bad.
Biden will be better than progressives believe, and Democratic policies will help all Americans, including those that didn’t support him.