The pre-Trump normal is the last thing we want
Sen. Ted Cruz reads <i>Green Eggs and Ham</i> on the Senate floor amid a 2013 speech on de-funding the Affordable Care Act.

The pre-Trump normal is the last thing we want

Republicans want to undermine society’s faith in government. They have a good chance of succeeding if the Democrats make the same political mistakes that have served them so disastrously.

NEWFANE — Despite the pathetic and dangerous antics of the Sore Loser, the United States will soon have a President Biden. As the false and damaging obstacles laid in the path of this election are falling one by one, many Americans seem to be looking forward to it “just being normal.”

But if “normal” means returning to pre-Trump norms and outcomes, then this is the last thing we want.

It's easy to forget that four years ago, even under a relatively moral and decent president, the federal government of this country was a dismal failure.

It was the very picture of a dysfunctional, factionalized body that we have seen before in emerging democracies fresh from under strongman dominance or about to revert back into autocracy.

* * *

We witnessed Mitch McConnell singlehandedly block scores of Obama federal judge appointees from having even a hearing, let alone confirmation. Ignoring his duties, Mitch managed to corral an extra 105 judge positions into the Republican pen, waiting for Trump to come along and fill them.

Not to mention McConnell's lone victory in blocking Merrick Garland's appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, leaving the seat vacant for close to a year, including during the post-election vote-counting season of 2016, something that he said would be reckless if he were to do the same in 2020.

We watched how Democrats, even flush with Obama's first victory and controlling both houses of the Congress, managed to spend most of their first two years trying to compromise with Republicans, whose only goal was “to make Obama a one-term president.”

The result: a muddled health insurance subsidy scheme that was complicated, onerous to comply with, poorly designed and rolled out, and which was passed only by bribing a Democratic Senator with extra money for Nebraska. (The dysfunction is deep and crosses both sides of the aisle.)

As for single-payer health, it didn't even make it out of the starting gate; that was a “gift” to the Republicans, who took it and said, “I want more.”

Everyone who had hoped that Obama would try to promote an agenda which addressed the needs of those usually left behind had their hopes (hopes that were not based in any Obama promises) dashed as soon as he tapped Rahm Emanuel, Tom Vilsack, and all the other establishment let's-keep-feeding-the-corporate-class-all-they-want crowd to be his good old boys at the White House.

A racist backlash to our first Black president led to Tea Party and other astroturf activism and, making good use of the lackluster results of two years of “compromise,” the Republicans won back the House.

The resulting divided government governed not - a disgrace to us all as they wrangled and argued and read Dr. Seuss on the Senate floor.

* * *

So it was little wonder that voters were willing to try Trump when he came along.

Too bad for the rest of us, the Democrats chose to block Bernie Sanders, the only candidate who could have taken away Trump's thunder (because he already owned the issues that Trump was trying to claim) and defeat him.

Instead, they showed us once again that the muddle-of-the-road Democratic party establishment would never veer from its tired and outmoded ideology, and shoved Hillary Clinton over the finish line so that she could use her remarkable condescension and entitlement skills to lose and make Trump the president.

Four years of Trump was enough for many folks to step up and do what they could to make sure he goes away. They turned to the Dems to be the cavalry, but then instead watched F Troop as all the candidates with any vibrancy, energy, or ideas rose and fell.

Until, not so much rising out of the mud as being dragged up, Joe Biden - the plagiarizing, crime-bill-writing belittler of Anita Hill, was anointed the appropriate old white guy to save the day.

And they can't understand why Biden's coattails didn't bring down-ballot victories? Do they really think that we want to go back to corporate governance in the guise of democracy, organized and run by one party veering ever-closer to fascism, as the other party is fully mired and controlled by corporate capitalism?

The only thing Biden and the Dems have going for them is that they are not Trump and the Republicans.

The only real hope for change is with the newer congressional members who are promoting good ideas that have meaning, addressing the needs of people in the country. But, because of Nancy Pelosi and the party establishments, these members will have little to no chance of having their initiatives passed.

* * *

The Dems don't realize that if nothing happens to benefit the Americans who are sucking wind right now, the party will take the blame. In two years, the Republicans will be swept back into Congressional power.

As exhibited by the number of its politicians who sedititously called to overturn the votes of millions of Americans, the Republican party is willing to sabotage working government, preferring to make it fail. They think that they will pick up the pieces in two years.

The Dems will have to work by themselves to pass meaningful legislation that actually has an impact on people and that makes use of the enormous windfall of trillions of dollars that have flowed into the coffers of the richest in the last few decades to pay for it.

They will be rewarded with greater numbers in the House and Senate in two years - if they take action to create jobs that benefit the environment and pay livable wages.

If they invest in humanizing and de-traumatizing our “justice” system and invest in those whom we have previously chosen to imprison.

If they stop being cowed by the power of money and tax those who have it at rates that are appropriate, just as we did in the “golden” days of Eisenhower.

And if they don't, we all may be doomed.

* * *

Because as long as Republican ideology has the upper hand, the rich will continue to get richer and the poor will continue to get poorer.

This is an untenable condition, and at some point, it will erupt, whether as severe economic collapse or civil unrest due to rising inequity. There will be violent intolerance and division leading to a general breakdown of civil life.

We are starting to experience this at the moment, courtesy of the Sore Loser and his desperate minions who see the writing on the wall about the future viability of their political power. They will hold power only by increasing their autocratic and fascist tendencies. And they are not willing to lose power.

We are beating them in their first big game - trying to steal this election. But it is clear that they will not stop. They want to undermine society's faith in government.

How better to do so than to work to make sure that nothing works? They predicted that mail ballots will be a fraud because they won't get counted until after the election, while at the same time legislating that mail ballots cannot be counted before the end of the election (Pennsylvania). Discrediting government is their self-fulfilling prophecy.

They have a good chance of succeeding if the Dems insist on making the same political mistakes that have served them so disastrously in the past.

* * *

Here is some information, Democrats.

Black lives matter, but they are being treated as though they don't.

Native American lives matter.

Impoverished persons' lives matter.

LGBTQ lives matter.

Many other people are living marginalized lives - their lives matter.

People in other countries matter.

The Earth and its living flora and fauna matter.

Affluent white people have always been treated as if they matter - they don't need your attention right now. Taxing the rich to start equalizing opportunity matters.

Now, here's what doesn't matter.

Will you get a campaign donation from a corporation or anyone else? Doesn't matter. Will you be ridiculed on the media? Doesn't matter. Will you be spending too much political capital? Doesn't matter.

Will it be hard? Doesn't matter.

Can you come up with a good Twitter retort? Definitely doesn't matter.

If you have as much faith in the system as you are always claiming to have, then you should be willing to work to do what is right for the people and trust the system to sort itself out in response.

You have lost our faith. It's time to rebuild it.

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