OP-ED: It’s Up to Us; It’s Always Been Up to UsWashCo Dems op-ed article

By Stefan Jones, WashCo Dems Communication Committee Member

Millions of people invested great enthusiasm in the Mueller investigation, giving them hope as the president added to his dismaying roster of gaffes, lies, and assorted assaults on democracy.

Congressional Democrats may yet decide to impeach the president for obstruction of justice, and there are other investigations underway which could land Trump in hot water.

But here’s the thing:

Investigations and impeachment are neither necessary nor sufficient to get rid of Trump and restore honest, sane, progressive, and humane governance to this country.

They are not sufficient because even if Donald Trump were impeached, convicted, and removed from office tomorrow (or tumbled to his death down the rain-slicked stairs of Air Force One, or fled the country with a bag full of gold bars ahead of money laundering charges, or got devoured by an alligator at Mar-a-Lago), this country would still be saddled with a well-funded political party that abandoned the norms and values of democracy in exchange for tax breaks and ever-growing ranks of conservative judges.

Investigations and impeachment are not necessary because even if the President and the Trump family were found to be 100% above-board and honest, the policies and values of the administration, and Trump’s ignorant, scatter-brained, authoritarian leadership, are more than enough to condemn him.

Which means getting rid of Trump, and putting the GOP out of power, is our job. Ultimately, it has always been our job. Democracy is not a spectator sport, and we do ourselves a disservice counting on investigations, impeachment, and even removal from office to save our country. Those who wish to avoid a Trumpian future need to oppose the GOP at all levels of government, from school boards on up. State legislatures are especially important, given their powers to set congressional districts and make rules for voting.

It is going to take more than cataloging the abuses of power. It is going to involve progressives getting organized, inspired, and active, supporting and volunteering in political campaigns. This can be as simple as a donation, or standing up to phone bank and knock on doors.

It also means helping other citizens get ready and be willing to vote. There is a vast pool of unregistered voters who need to get signed up, outfitted with IDs if necessary, and informed. There is another pool of undecided, independent voters who can be swayed to vote for Democrats once they realize that their health care and the education of their children is at stake. In states without mail-in ballots, it means making a game plan for each election, knowing far in advance where polling places are, and lining up transportation. It means getting an advance or absentee ballot in the hands of everyone who needs one.

If you’re reading this on the Washington County Democrats website, the tools for getting involved can be found in menu tabs up above. If you’re not a Washington County resident, look up your local Democratic party, or find an Indivisible group to work with.


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