November 2018 Heading into Election Day

November 2018 Heading into Election Day

Heading into Election Day: Anger, Fear, and Determination

I’m angry. Actually, I may be more than that. I’m mad as Hell. No, damn it, I am viscerally nauseous all the time, and I can’t take it anymore!

When PPC Chair Betsy Clark asked the task force chairs to write about the issues we cover and how they relate to the upcoming midterms for this issue of the Political Dispatch, I knew I couldn’t just address sensible gun reform. There’s just too much else that’s been festering under my skin; to wit:

  • It’s NOT okay for this so-called President and his Secretary of State to provide cover for a gruesome murder of a US resident in the face of overwhelming evidence that directly implicates the regime of Saudi Arabia. This is nothing but a rubber stamp for mafia-style behavior and another example of accepting the word of another autocratic thug over our own intelligence. The Washington Post editorial on October 17 called for an independent international commission to determine the truth. “Until the full truth about Mr. Khashoggi is disclosed, U.S. businesses should shun the Saudi regime and Congress should block all military sales.” In the meantime, 10 Democratic Senators sent a letter to the White House demanding information on all Trump family business ties to the Saudis. I won’t hold my breath, though, as I doubt answers will be provided. And No, it is NOT okay for family financial interests to dictate foreign policy! As a matter of fact, it’s extremely unethical for the Trump family to rob the U.S. Treasury to pad the family private fortunes, period! That’s called Kleptocracy!
  • It’s not normal to constantly demean women by calling them “Horseface”, “Pigs,” or “Dogs.” This behavior smacks of that of a prepubescent boy bully. What kind of adult acts this way? Only one acting like a vicious rabid animal himself, I proclaim!
  • It’s devious and evil to saddle the country with potentially historic deficits brought on by massive tax cuts for the very wealthy, only to then blame such deficits on safety net spending programs which help the middle class and poor. And if we don’t change Congress, Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid will most certainly be slashed.
  • It’s outrageous to call female sexual assault survivors protesting a SCOTUS nominee “extreme dangerous mobs” yet consider it perfectly acceptable to encourage your pep rally attendees to “knock the crap out of” counter-protesters or to “punch them in the face!”
  • In a Democracy, it is sick and twisted when one side goes to great lengths to prevent people from voting in certain states like North Dakota to suppress the native tribal vote or in Georgia to disenfranchise African American voters out of fear your party stands to lose if you don’t. That citizens who want to participate in our democratic process are prevented from doing so is autocratic. It’s called cheating and stealing, and we need to call it what it is!
  • It’s simply inhumane to treat fellow human beings fleeing violence in search of a safe haven like caged animals and to separate them from their families. As I stated in an earlier action alert, “Why is our nation intent on breaking immigrant hearts just because of their belief in the best of America, or sadly of what it used to be?”
  • It’s criminal that agencies are filled with political cronies — corporate termites determined to eat away at the foundations of those entities. Further, it’s unacceptable that there is rampant ethical misconduct by virtually every cabinet member under this regime, and now #45 just announced he is replacing the usual independent Inspector General at HUD with his own appointee! This is what dictators do!
  • I am frightened and angry that ambassadorships remain vacant all over the world and our traditional allies have been alienated. Yes, I’m sick to my stomach of a so-called President who lies constantly, who delights in mocking and belittling his opponents, even as he embraces dictators and despots; who dismantles environmental protections even as scientists sound an increasingly urgent alarm about climate change. Science is not about belief – it’s about evidence, damn it!

This monster is impulsive, cruel, and crass. His bottomless vulgarity, abysmal ignorance, and reckless policies are dooming us and sending the wrong signal to our children and grandchildren. Tragically, he doesn’t understand the job and he doesn’t care to learn, and as a malignant narcissist he’s mentally unfit for office. Under the Constitution it’s the job of elected legislative branch officials to provide checks and balances on this Executive Branch run amok. The ones currently in power have refused to do so. We have to change that.

I am petrified of what I see as creeping fascism. Republican op-ed columnist for the Washington Post Michael Gerson doesn’t think we are there yet, but concedes the danger is indeed present, particularly the “legitimacy of fascist modes of thought in the Republican Party.“ He wrote today (October 19, 2018) that one specific event could quickly “heighten” this danger – that Republicans are able to somehow keep control of both the House and Senate, leaving #45 unchecked. He warns that the “boor, the bluffer, the bully would be a political colossus. Then the language of fascism might become less theoretical. Then alarmism would be realism.”

That fear alone is enough to shift my GOTV activities into high gear these last days before the election.

Yes, I’m angry and scared to death – but I’m also super determined because…

On November 6, I want to repudiate – not validate!

Let’s Get Out the Damn Vote, Ya’ll!

–Shelly Livingston, Vice Chair, Committee on Public Policy and Political Action, and Acting Chair, Task Force to Prevent Gun Violence