A Call to Action
In the past, many progressives, myself included, have said that the ultimate exposure of Donald Trump as a con-man and a fraudulent non-patriot is going to have to be done within the Republican Party to have credibility with his followers. I was wrong. We have all been wrong to think so.
Why? Because Donald Trump is not a Republican. He is not a conservative. His followers are Trumpists first, foremost, and last, looking for a leader, a strongman to make their fever dreams of a return to the “good old days” come true—whether that is the materialistic and anachronistically carefree 1950s (except for that pesky Cold War, the Korean War, and the beginnings of the Vietnam War…er, Police Actions), or the Christian Nationalist vision of a white Christian theocracy (hence, the Putin worship and turnaround on Russia as an ideological model), or the apocalyptic imaginings of evangelicals yearning for the Second Coming and God’s destruction of the sin-ravaged earth (can you see how in this scenario the climate crisis becomes a feature, not a bug?).
Why won’t prominent Republicans speak up against Donald Trump? Because they fear his wrath on social media. They fear his ability to direct his heavily armed followers to their doorsteps and to the ballot box. They approve of his Federalist Society-guided achievements even as they bemoan the loss of decorum, social norms, and the rule of law. Actually, they aren’t that bothered by the loss of the rule of law, having spent generations trying to subvert it themselves.
No, taking our country beyond the walking nightmare of Donald Trump’s giant alternate reality show comes down to us: Progressives, with fresh policy ideas like Medicare For All, the Green New Deal, the 21st-Century Economic Bill of Rights, and the 21st-Century Rural New Deal.
We have to engage those who would destroy our country and world on several fronts:
- Talk to people about these policies that can and will make their lives easier and more fulfilling;
- Get as many people as possible to participate in elections by voting, canvassing, phonebanking, and working as election judges and poll workers;
- Recruit and support solid progressive candidates who will help enact these policies into law;
- Hold elected officials accountable, but more importantly, educate them on the need for and the short- and long-term benefits of these policies;
- Use the power and position of the Democratic Party, however flawed, as a bulwark to stem the tide of authoritarianism and neo-fascism that the Republican Party has become (that means, Folks, voting for less than optimal Democrats over Republicans to prevent Republicans from erasing meager steps forward we have taken).
It’s down to us. We can do this. We must do this. Progressive Democrats of America works day-in and day-out on these goals. Ain’t nobody gonna do it for us—we have to hold the line on democracy and move the Overton Window on policy.
Debra Schrishuhn for the PDA National Team