When we get to the November election, it is not just a simple Trump vs the Democrat contest. No, there is much, much more at stake. A partial list follows:
- Integrity. Joe Biden says this in his campaign frequently. But it really is true. Trump’s lies are so common place that people are immune from their effects. We cannot trust anything he says and I do not know how this administration can govern with that as their baseline.
- The Environment. Trump is gutting EPA regulations. The future of clean air and water is being questioned. Another 4 years of this President and the days of smog and acid rain could return. But even more than that, the next generation will see a decline in atmosphere, a rise in temperature, a potential return of the ozone hole, severe weather patterns, and rising ocean levels. Entire islands and some coastal cities will be gone. The 2020 ballot is about our kids future.
- Rule of Law. I realize that this term has been used frequently in relation to the impeachment trial, but seriously, think about it. This President is acting on what Nixon thought to be true….if the President does it, it is not illegal. We rejected that when Nixon moved in that direction; and we must reject it now. Presidents are supposed to be working for us. It is a job not a title. And the 2020 ballot may be our last chance to end lawlessness at the top of our government.
- Equality/Reproductive Rights. Trump, in a second term, will have carte blanche to end reproductive rights, gay rights, and union rights. Trump cares nothing about sexual harassment. Nothing about stopping worker exploitation. Nothing about marriage equality. As he strives to please his evangelical base, all of the discriminatory memes that they believe God wants them to pursue, will all be in play. And with another 4 years of this, the damage to society could be irreversible. As Barbara Bush stated before her death, how can any woman vote for Donald Trump.
- Income Inequality. Trump not only is OK with the massive wealth gap, he continues to pursue policies that expand it. It is incomprehensible to watch blue collar workers gravitate to a President who will put limits on any kind of upward mobility for them. The wealth of the 1% has become a standard that must be protected. The wealthy have become a political tool Republicans use to maintain and exploit power thanks to the Citizens United ruling which gave the donor class the power and protection of the First Amendment. Trump has exploited this for his own purposes so why would we, in any way, think he would work to limit it?
- Corruption. Yes, this administration is corrupt. Fully and totally corrupt. They complain and lie about “the appearance of ethical impropriety” regarding others (the Bidens)….while propagating an incredible series of ethical scams within nearly every department in the government. Betsy DeVos broke the law by defying court ordered examination of debt forgiveness in student loans….while at the same time reinstating the exploitive tactics of “for profit” universities. The pharmaceutical companies are protected via health and human services. The Military Industrial Complex grows larger with taxpayer infusions. Homeland Security has adopted unconscionable policies regarding immigration. The Treasury Department protects Trump’s tax returns. The State Department participates in Trump’s illegal Ukraine schemes. Housing and Urban Development does absolutely nothing about the lack of affordable housing, while Ben Carson buys office furniture. The Transportation Department has become a tool for Mitch McConnell to buy Kentucky votes via his wife Elaine Chao, head of Transportation. The FEC (Campaign Finance) is now completely dysfunctional lacking a quorum of political appointments which allows the Trump campaign to bypass campaign finance law. The FDA has become a feckless tool in pharmaceutical policy, public health protection of food, and questionable protections from disease. The list goes on and it continues unabated. It is most definitely on the ballot.
- Economy. Yes, there is little question that the economy is good right now. It is the only thing that prevents Trump’s approval ratings from plummeting out of sight. But it is also a false economy. It is propped up by deficit spending and a bullying of the Fed to keep interest rates from rising. If we begin to dip into a recession, we have NO tools to fight it. It is only a matter of time before inflation will begin to erode our purchasing power and that jobs will begin to decline. The economic engine of America is strong but it needs proper management not exploitation. This constant push for monetary infusion cannot be sustained. Sure, it all looks good right now, but an immigration policy that fails to bring in new workers will eventually backfire. Manufacturing is already in recession in key areas and growth potential is limited when workers become scarce. Trade policies are also putting a strain on consumer prices and on the Import/Export sector. When you have to prop up the agricultural economy with $29 billion in government payments, you know things are in trouble. Not to mention the record number of farm bankruptcies happening in the Midwest. We will not be able to handle 4 more years of this.
- The Supreme Court. We are already damaged in this regard, but another 4 years of Trump appointments will seal the judicial system into a conservative lean for 2 or 3 generations. The Supreme Court will have 2 to 3 more appointments in the next four years and if Democrats don’t make that part of their reasoning when voting, then they have handed the fate of voting rights, reproductive rights, union rights, and gay rights into the hands of those who have been trying to destroy all of that for decades. This country will have changed its balance irreversibly. Progressive policies will be blocked at every turn. It is definitely on the ballot in 2020.
- Foreign Policy. The United States cannot stand alone in this world. Trump’s America First policies are really old school isolationism. Our allies do not trust us. Our treaties are meaningless. Our global partnerships are in peril. And when a President decides to use foreign policy for his own personal needs, then we have a nation at risk. It is clear that Trump has no limits. The entirety of our government’s apparatus would seem to be geared to one thing only, the personal pursuits of a rogue President. We do not know what he talks about with Putin. We do not know what he and Erdogan agreed to in Syria. We do not know what he has done to protect the actions of Saudi Arabia. We do know what he has done to the Middle East peace process – he ended it. How much more is hidden in the secret server where the actual phone call transcript is hidden? How many more autocratic promises has he made to other autocrats? This “most transparent administration” ever, has blocked the release of documents at every level and (if/when) he ever leaves office, the truth will be frightening to behold.
Yes, ALL of that is on the 2020 ballot. Every last piece of it. Our future has its handwriting on the wall. Four more years of Trump will essentially end this country as we have come to know it.
I leave you with this last thought. Do you believe that Trump is ready for a coronavirus outbreak? Do you think he has developed a plan? All of his rhetoric seems to place his faith to the Chinese autocrat, President Xi…his “good friend” and personal bud. Do you feel comfortable with that? I do not.
I lay awake at night wondering about this election. This is far worse than 2004 when George W. Bush was seeking reelection. I, at least knew then, we could survive another 4 years of W – we cannot survive another 4 years of Trump.