Crowd of Trump supporters marching on the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, ultimately leading to the building being breached and several deaths.
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Crowd of Trump supporters marching on the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, ultimately leading to the building being breached and several deaths.

Trump is too dangerous for his opponents to play nice

This current crop of Republicans use an array of dirty tricks to ensure long-term electoral power, and they dream of permanent minority rule

Nancy Braus, until recently an independent bookseller, is a longtime activist who contributes often to these pages.

Kudos to Shenna Bellows! The secretary of state in Maine has done what every Republican would have done in the current situation, were the shoe on the other foot. If the Republicans had the opportunity to disqualify a candidate they consider an immediate threat to the survival of the world, there would be no restraint.

When Bellows used her power to disqualify Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot in Maine, she set an example that hopefully will wake up other Democrats.

She runs the elections in Maine. Will she have the guts to stand up to a Trump-appointed judge should they overturn her decision? Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution is crystal clear: Donald Trump is not qualified to run for or hold office in the United States. The language is very specific, and if we lived in a nation where fairness were valued, this would not even be a question.

The situation we face now is that the Trump cult is ready, willing, and able to cheat in any and every way to take over power in the United States.

It is way past time for the center and the left to use every tool we have available. The hand-wringing and self-recrimination over how prosecuting Trump for his many crimes has got to end.

Trump is too dangerous to the future of the planet for us to play nice with people who never, ever play nice.

* * *

This current crop of Republicans is already guilty of an amazing array of dirty tricks in order to ensure long-term electoral power, and they dream of permanent minority rule over all of us.

It was not too long ago that the Republicans stole at least one - and, some of us believe, two - seats on the Supreme Court in a completely immoral, unprecedented, and barely legal manner.

This corrupt Supreme Court has stolen voting rights from Black voters by gutting the Voting Rights Act. The right-wing majority has permitted what would be considered outrageous gerrymanders in swing states and pure red states to limit the representation - and, ultimately, the voting rights - of Black citizens.

With no legal remedy to demand more opportunities to vote when cities with a large Black population are stripped of polling sites, voters have to stand in line, sometimes for up to 10 hours. Those of us in small towns and suburbs can waltz into the voting site, say howdy to our town clerk, vote, and leave in 10 minutes or less.

In Florida, nearly 65% of the citizens voted in a referendum to restore voting rights to those with past convictions who had fulfilled their debt to society. The state has undermined this law, with support from Trump-appointed criminals (a.k.a federal judges), by creating a new category of "court fees" that these mostly poor and mostly non-white people are forced to pay in order to vote.

The dirty tricks abound. When will we again see the demand that Black voters cite the number of jelly beans in a jar in order to earn the right to the franchise?

* * *

As 2024 begins, the coalition of those who understand the peril of another Trump term should be organizing poll watchers for every site with non-white voters. Lawyers, or those trained by lawyers, need to be available on call to assist those who are being denied the right to register or to vote.

As terrible as this sounds, we need to be more like our opposition - but in a smart way.

As Trump invents stupid names for his opponents, in contrast, we need to begin inventing creative ways to call out these guys for who they are.

Every day, we need to make public Trump's most vile and violent insults. The corporate media and the court system have given this guy a pass - almost anyone else would be serving time in prison for the constant death threats to those he dislikes.

The press, without a direct challenge, allows the lifelong racist Trump to call strong Black women like Fulton County (Georgia) District Attorney Fani Willis and New York Attorney General Letitia James racists.

That use of the term that is totally bogus, as true racism is part of a system of oppression of the powerless by the powerful. Whenever Trump's nonsense comes out of his hateful mouth, it needs to be countered with tough talk about real racism.

The fascist movement in the United States has come a very long way in the past 10 years. It is clear that the Koch family and the other oil/gas/and chemical barons have been planning this takeover for a long time - The Federalist Society, The Heritage Foundation, and lots of other secretive organizations have plowed the ground for a cruel, hateful, and corrupt Donald Trump.

Large corporations have basically decided to go along with Trump in exchange for eliminating regulations and taxes. And these corporations largely own the media.

So we - every one of us who is committed to protecting our ability to speak freely, to welcome immigrants into our country, who believe in a multi-cultural democracy - had better get out and get voters to oppose Trump. We might never get another chance.

This Voices Viewpoint was submitted to The Commons.

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