The progressive movement has a great penchant for holding marches for everything. When I used to work in DC, I would sometimes schedule some of my work for Saturday, so I could later march against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. At least several times per year, I would have to park several blocks away because my building was across the street from the World Bank. Sure, most of the people who marched against the World Bank seemed to have no idea what the organization did or why they were marching, but they did it.
Since Donny was elected, there have been tons of marches against all sorts of issues. The March for Our Lives, to advocate for common sense gun control, was amazing. There have been women’s marches galore. There have been marches in support of Muslims and against the Muslim bans. There have been a number of marches demanding family reunification and there is a rising call for marches to call for the abolishment of ICE, despite the fact that we will still need something in place, albeit with a different name…
In other words, we liberals and progressives have held all kinds of marches for just about every pet issue we have, so I have a question;
Where is our march to preserve democracy?
I’m not talking about marching against voter suppression, although that is important, of course. There have been a smattering of protests and marches against that. However, those have been very narrow in scope, and really don’t have anything to do with the real threats to our democracy. If you have been reading this blog a long time, you know I’m not a reactionary, and I don’t do conspiracies at all. But this time, we have to pay attention.
In 2016, a Republican presidential candidate, Donald J. Trump, worked with a foreign power that has historically been hostile to us and hostile to democracy throughout the world, to try and fix the results of the election. It has been all but proven that Trump has been a Russian asset for about five years, and his actions since he took the oath of office have largely been favorable to Putin, in his effort to return Russia to “superpower” status, not by improving his country, but by tearing down others.
Yes, I said it. The Republican who ran for the office of president conspired with the Russian President, Russian intel and Russian oligarchs to try to fix the U.S. election, which is an act of war, not entirely unlike the attack on Pearl Harbor or the bombing of the Lusitania. Our entire intelligence community has been warning us for two years that Russia continues to mess with us, virtually, and they have all but announced that they will mess with the 2018 election. Republicans have abandoned their responsibility to provide “checks and balances” on the Executive Branch, and if Democrats lose the House and Senate again, Donald Trump will continue to be able to appoint who he wants to the judiciary, including the Supreme Court, and he will continue to be able to embarrass this country with impunity.
Our democracy is under constant attack, and the only way we can save it is to make sure Democrats win every race in every state, district and municipality in this country, not just this year, but for the next several election cycles, at least. However, there is a very real possibility that Russia could screw with our electoral process again and help the GOP stay in power, thus protecting their asset.
And yet, there is nothing from the left on this. All those other issues are important, of course, but so is this one. And let’s be real:
- If the GOP keeps winning, you will never get universal healthcare of any kind. In fact, the ACA will die and you’ll send tens of millions back to the rolls of the uninsured, including tens of millions of children.
- If the GOP keeps winning, we will do nothing about climate change, and fossil fuel interests will become even more entrenched.
- If the GOP keeps winning, the deficits will pile up, the debt will continue to rise and the burden of paying it down will fall on the poor and working class.
- If the GOP keeps winning, the minimum wage will stay low and wealth and income inequality will continue to worsen.
- If the GOP keeps winning, college tuitions will continue to rise and public schools will continue to lag, which means an even greater debt burden for the graduates we need to keep the economy humming along.
- If the GOP keeps winning, the economy will crash, and there will be no one to get us out of it this time, which is exactly what Putin wants.
- If the GOP keeps winning, unarmed black men will continue to get shot by police with regularity and no one will care.
- If the GOP keeps winning, the poor will continue to get poorer, while the rich will become “too rich to fail.”
- If the GOP keeps winning, immigrants will continue to be terrorized and internment camps will continue to grow and thrive.
- If the GOP keeps winning, Trump will be able to continue to pillage the US Treasury in every way you can imagine and corruption will become the absolute norm.
In other words, our democracy is the key to everything. It is how we select a government, sure, but it is also how we make sure it runs properly. Though many on the progressive side of the aisle don’t seem to give a shit about electoral politics, there’s a reason why they don’t run anything. The electoral process is the linchpin to everything we hold dear. There isn’t a successful program that didn’t come about through the democratic process, PLUS, everything progressive claim we want to do will depend on working the democratic process to its best effect.
Therefore, it’s time RIGHT NOW to march to save our democracy. It’s time everyone knew its importance, of course, but they also have to understand that it’s important that the un-democratic Republican Party lose.
March for Democracy, before it’s too late and we lose it.
Paraphrasing Joni Mitchell, let’s not “pave paradise and put up a parking lot.” We have to know what we have before it’s gone.
Also published on Medium.