I was fortunate to be in attendance at a rally in downtown Silver Spring on November 30th that was hosted by our newly elected Congressman Jamie Raskin and which featured as the primary speaker Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. The one word which comes to my mind to sum up the event is: HOPE! Hope that there is a voice, a collective voice at that, that will speak up against what will most assuredly be the “total and complete” disaster that is to be the Trump presidency. Hope that there will be a strong voice to fight for the progressive agenda that “made America great” in the first place.
Now, I fully understand the rationale of those who suggest that we should wait and see about the Trump presidency before we pass judgment. To those individuals I suggest that they open their eyes and ears which apparently too many failed to do during the primaries and the general election.
Here’s an analogy for you to ponder. If the Washington Redskins announce that Kurt Cousins is to be replaced at quarterback by Honey Boo Boo do we really need to wait until game time to recognize that this decision will not end well?
Witnessing Trump’s presidential campaign apparently was not enough for too many voters, especially those in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, to see the train wreck approaching. How about looking at his choices for key positions in his administration.
Alabama Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III as Attorney General brings with him a history of racism. Does anyone really suspect that, as Attorney General, he will fight to protect voting rights? Steve Bannon and his history with Breitbart News and the white supremacist and antisemitism rhetoric that it spews as Chief White House strategist. Really? This doesn’t make any Trump voters the least bit uncomfortable?
Steven Mnuchin, straight out of Wall Street and Goldman Sachs, as Treasury Secretary. Didn’t some people find fault with Hillary because of her Wall Street connections? Didn’t Donald say he was going to “drain the swamp” from Wall Street yet 70 percent of his transition team have corporate ties including more than a dozen former lobbyists. How about Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services who has already gone on record as wanting to phase out Medicare and Medicaid by summer? I guess no one who voted for Trump was concerned about their “earned” benefit that is Medicare.
If this is not enough how about the rumored resurrection of Sarah Palin to head the Veterans Administration. I am sure her half a term as governor of Alaska and her stint as mayor of Wasilla makes her eminently qualified to run the V.A., but wouldn’t placing an airhead in charge of the Air Force make just as much sense? Even better is the consideration of Dr. Ben Carson to head HUD. Now consider that this individual stated that he did not want to take on Health and Human Services because he lacked the experience to run that agency. This is a man who ran to be president. Need I say more about the quality of Trump’s choices?
Add to this the inclusion of General David Petraeus in Trump’s administration. This is an individual who was prosecuted for the mishandling of classified information, the exact violation that Hillary Clinton was being accused of but for which there was not enough grounds for prosecution as stated by FBI Director Comey. The word hypocrisy doesn’t fully cover this con game.
No, the question of a disastrous administration is not “if” but “to what extent.”
Remember, Trump did not seek to be president, but, rather, to win being president. There is a significant difference. There is no doubt that Trump views his role as ruler who sits in judgment of the recommendations provided by his underlings to whom full responsibility for handling issues will be delegated. Not much different than his familiar role on “The Apprentice.”
In this political environment, then, it is more important than maybe ever before to have voices like those of Elizabeth Warren and Jamie Raskin to stand up for those of us who will not have a voice in Trump World (not to be confused with Leisure World which is the antithesis).
As Senator Warren made quite clear during her presentation, “When we turn on each other, the rich guys takes over. It was diversity and immigration that made this country great.” That is very much what has happened with this election.
So, then, what are the priorities, not just of progressives, not just of Democrats, but for all Americans according to Senator Warren? “Accountability for giant banks. CEO’s need to go to jail if they break the law. Every child is entitled to an education without facing crushing student loans. Workers should be allowed to come together to bargain. No full time worker should have to live in poverty. We must pass a minimum wage to address this. Everyone has the right to retire with dignity. We must expand Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Equal pay for equal work. And equal means equal whether it is regarding marriage, the work place or anywhere else. Science – climate change is real. Keeping families together; we must have common sense immigration reform. We actually had it in the Senate with a bipartisan bill which had the approval of 67 senators but failed to be brought to the floor of the House by John Boehner. NO WALL. And, most significantly, racism, sexism and bigotry have no place in America!”
Let me end this column by telling you how truly inspired I and everyone of the approximately thousand attendees were after listening to Senator Warren as well as Congressman Raskin. Senator Warren is in a unique position to capture the support of those who supported Senator Sanders as well as those who supported Secretary Clinton. Moreover, as a true populist, not a fake one like Trump, she is in a unique position to capture the hearts and minds of all of America. Bring on 2020 before it is too late.