Trump Poison Seeps into America
Democrats scored a major win in the midterm elections. Real celebration can start when they assume power in the House and legislate and perform their legislative oversight functions. Perhaps most important will be their leadership’s visibility as individuals.They will be anti-Trump models in the House, constantly reminding Americans of the importance of ethical character. This election did not push back hard enough on the Trump rot. It is still okay to praise people for being “smart” when they use a strategy that relies on open lying.
The winner of the Florida Senate Race, Rick Scott, referencing “unethical liberals,” announced that there had been fraud in counting the ballots in Broward County in Florida. His own election officials could site no accusations of fraud that they had received or any reason to believe that there had been fraud. Scott was guilty of two unethical acts: Making an un-substantiated accusation of fraud for political reasons, and using denigrating slurs of amorality to apply to large percentages of the American resident in Florida. It wasn’t quite as broad an insult as Trump calling the whole Democratic Party an “evil mob,” but it was cut from the same cloth.
In this moment we are seeing on our televisions what amounts to constant pressure on the Democrats not to go “too far” now that they have taken back the House. There is almost an assumption that they should limit what they say and do to in trying to solve problems in a bipartisan manner. Indeed, everybody is agreed that there is the need for infrastructure funding so there are definitely areas where this House should be ready to pursue a bipartisan solution. This does not mean that the Democrats all of a sudden have to become weak. Certainly they can push back at the kind of rhetoric that they are being subjected to. There is no reason that they can’t lead into some statement by reminding audiences that it is unacceptable to accuse millions of individuals of being “unethical,” or engaged in fraud when there is no substantiation for it. As we move into this new era Democrats should resist pressure to be put on the defensive. They should come into every interview with big smiles on their faces and talk about all the positive things in the House now that they have the majority.
Michigan’s Representative Debbie Dingell was asked in an interview about subpoenaing President Trump’s tax returns. She did not answer that question but immediately started talking about a “positive and bipartisan” agenda, justifying her approach by saying she was only going to be interested in what the American public wanted. Clearly avoiding divisiveness entailed not subpoenaing Trump’s tax returns and was justified by a reference to American’s desires. This approach sounds good and politically smart. However, Americans don’t know very much about what Trump has done and if they find out that he has broken the law and politicians like Dingle say that we should “move on” that might become conventional wisdom. We should say that moving on is not the right thing to do because, among other things, it would violate the US Constitution. America needs to have pride in its democracy and in democratic institutions, so don’t “move on.”
The incoming Congress should definitely investigate an issue no one has mentioned: how could it be correct for American taxpayers, including members of the Democratic Party – the “evil mob” taxpayers – to pay for Trump campaign trips, which have had nothing to do with fulfilling his job as President of the United States. It is like any business dealing for personal gain he would have done in the past. It is certain that he sees the presidency as a way of further enriching himself in terms of money. And it is okay for me to pay him for enriching himself?
— Elizabeth Spiro Clark, Chair, Committee on Public Policy and Political Action