Despite the daily chaos, cruelty, uncertainty and anxiety Donald Trump inflicts upon America, his supporters remain remorseless and unashamed.
Which raises obvious questions for opponents of government by mayhem:
What’s the plan for the 2018 midterms? What’s the new pitch for the majority of voters who oppose Trumpism? (“Trump bad – vote Democrat!” won’t cut it.)
Who should Democrats engage to retake Congress? Disaffected third-party voters? The 40 percent of voters who sat out 2016? Russia?
Can Democrats convince Trump voters to switch teams? Should Democrats even bother?
Selective and irrational indignation being their lodestar, Trumplings today rail against a Hollywood mogul’s sexual perfidies, yet ignore Trump’s “grab them-by-the-p___y” repugnance.
They hyperventilate about four Americans killed in Benghazi, yet breathe easy regarding four unexplained military deaths in Niger.
They’re unfazed by Russian espionage, even though this hostile foreign state – historically loathed by Republicans – fooled enough social media users in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to eke out Trump’s Electoral College win. A mere 79,646 votes total – 0.2, 0.7 and 0.8 percentage points, respectively – in those three states did the trick.
They cheer Trump’s attack on Obamacare even as it spikes health insurance costs for many in their flock.
They’re unconcerned about his constant war drumming. In fact, nearly half of Republicans support a pre-emptive nuclear strike against North Korea.
The left must stop asking why Trumplings sustain him and accept that they refuse to see their Dear Leader as an obstreperous madman.
They simply don’t care. Last week alone, they dismissed as “fake news” Trump’s:
▪ Attacking the First Amendment of the Constitution he swore to defend by threatening media broadcast licenses.
▪ Stripping subsidies for Obamacare, jeopardizing the health of millions of Americans.
▪ Throwing the Iran nuclear deal into chaos, confounding our allies, inflaming global tensions.
▪ Refusing to execute a law he signed punishing Russia for election meddling, inviting further foreign attacks on our democratic institutions.
Trump is president of his voters, not our country. News veteran Dan Rather described it thusly on Facebook:
“There seems to be little governing philosophy other than to aggrandize himself and erase the entire legacy of his predecessor. Meanwhile … the dysfunction of an executive branch responding to the petulant and unsteady whims of the president should be cause for alarm for any American who wishes for cohesion and competence in our government.”
A year ago, I wrote about “duty, honor, country” creating a firewall this nation’s military and civil leaders wouldn’t allow Trump to cross. It’s holding, for now, but the pressure is relentless and patriots grow weary as Republican leaders cravenly look on.
So the left must step up in 2018 to rescue America. This means ending the ridiculous Hillary vs. Bernie bickering, quitting the myth of a “centrist” voting bloc and recognizing voters crave a superior progressive response to Trump’s kleptocratic grifterism.
Trump promised to “Make America Great Again.” He’s delivered chaos, cruelty, uncertainty and anxiety.
Democrats should counter with simple, concrete solutions:
▪ Medicare for all.
▪ Fair tax, trade and infrastructure policies aimed at the middle class.
▪ Reasonable and humane immigration policy.
▪ Rejoin the Paris agreement and reignite smart climate policy.
▪ “Restore Respect for America.”
The re-election campaign of Rep. Salud Carbajal in 2018 is a test case. Targeted by Republicans, he’ll have to do more than offer policy blandishments but nearly nothing about the Trump menace.
He needs to toughen up, support Medicare for all and get serious about salvaging our disappearing middle class with solutions such as student loan reform and debt relief.
Without a specific, constructive message and party unity, Carbajal will again slog against his pro-Trump Republican challenger, who undoubtedly will flog tax cuts, gun rights and “freedom.”
In San Luis Obispo County, sensible candidates should focus on solving festering problems with practical solutions to counter the Trump-like dystopianism of supervisors Lynn Compton, Debbie Arnold and John Peschong.
Holding local elected Republicans accountable for their deconstructive ways – think idiotic cannabis policies, water management freebies for cronies and developer giveaways – is key to returning competence in government. The looming District 4 supervisor race of Compton vs. challenger Jimmy Paulding will be a test of that.
Issues for local Democrats to champion include:
▪ Fighting gangs in the South County.
▪ Fixing roads and traffic congestion.
▪ Ending government cronyism.
▪ Cleaning the air from the Nipomo/Oceano Dunes.
All Trump and his local supporters offer in 2018 is more chaos, cruelty, uncertainty and anxiety.
If Democrats can’t do better than that, they deserve to lose.
Liberal columnist Tom Fulks serves on the San Luis Obispo County Democratic Central Committee. His column runs every other Sunday, in rotation with conservative columnist Andrea Seastrand.