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What We Must Do Now

First and most importantly, do not give up

Engage in non-violent civil disobedience. Fight lies with truth. Join the resistance. (Photo: David Geitgey Sierralupe/flickr/cc)

Engage in non-violent civil disobedience. Fight lies with truth. Join the resistance. (Photo: David Geitgey Sierralupe/flickr/cc)

My friends, this is a dark hour. Intolerance, cruelty, racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and environmental destruction have been let loose across the land.

Trump controls the Republican Party, the Republican Party controls the House and Senate, and Trump may soon control the Supreme Court.

But here’s the thing. Only 27 percent of Americans are Republican, according to the Gallop Poll. 

Moreover, the vast majority of Americans disapprove of Trump. He lost the popular vote in 2016 by 2.8 million. Since then, his approval ratings haven’t exceeded 45 percent.

The GOP itself is no longer a political party, anyway. It is now little more than Donald Trump, Fox News, a handful of billionaire funders, and rightwing Christians who oppose a woman’s right to choose, gay marriage, and the Constitution’s separation of church and state.

Yet Trump is about to make the second Supreme Court nomination of his presidency. And that second nominee – like Trump’s first, Neil Gorsuch – is likely to be young enough to remain on the Court for the next 40 years.

If confirmed, Trump’s new justice would join four other Republican-appointed justices to form a majority that will interpret the U.S. Constitution and laws in ways inimical to the values of a majority of Americans.

For example, Trump’s new justice is all but certain to join the four other Republican-appointed justices in overturning Roe v. Wade, a 1973 compromise on abortion that still has the support of two-thirds of Americans.

Trump’s new justice is likely to do the same in revoking same-sex marriage, also now supported by about two-thirds of Americans.

I don’t have to remind you that this comes after Republicans essentially stole a Supreme Court seat by refusing to consider President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.

In addition to everything I’ve noted above, Republicans also now control both chambers in 32 states (33 if you count Nebraska) and 33 governorships.

In many of these states they are entrenching their power by gerrymandering and arranging to suppress votes.

Enough. The question is what are we – the vast majority – to going to do about this?

I have six modest suggestions.

First and most importantly, do not give up. That’s what they would like us to do. Then they’d have no opposition at all. Powerlessness is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Please do not succumb to it.

Second, in the short term, contact your senators and urge them to oppose Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

If your state has a Republican senator, you might mobilize and organize your friends and neighbors to do whatever they can to get that senator to reject Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. Or, at the least, postpone consideration of that nominee until after the midterm elections, so there’s a chance to change the composition of the Senate.

Third, make a ruckus. Demonstrate. Engage in non-violent civil disobedience. Fight lies with truth. Join the resistance.

Many grass-roots organizations are doing great work, and could use your help. Among them are: @IndivisibleTeam, @swingleft, @UpRiseDotOrg, @MoveOn. @Sister_District, and @flippable_org. I’m sure I’ve left out many others. Check with your friends, and check online.

Fourth, don’t engage in divisive incrimination over “who lost” the 2016 election. There’s no point in Hillary loyalists, Bernie supporters, Jill Stein voters, and others turning on one another again, and blaming each other for the outcome. We must be united.

Fifth, vote this November 6 for people who will stand up to the Trump Republican’s rampage. Mobilize and organize others to do so, too. If you live in a “blue” state, contact friends and relations in “red” states and urge them to do the same.

Sixth, help lay the groundwork for the 2020 presidential election, so that even if Trump survives Robert Mueller’s investigation and a possible impeachment proceeding, he will not be reelected.

Finally, know that this fight will be long and hard. It will require our patience, our courage, and our resolve.

The stakes could not be higher. We’re talking about the future of our democracy, and the wellbeing of our children and their children’s children.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

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Robert Reich

Robert Reich

Robert Reich, is the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time magazine named him one of the 10 most effective cabinet secretaries of the the twentieth century. He has written fiften books, including the best-sellers Aftershock, The Work of Nations, Beyond Outrage and, Saving Capitalism. He is also a founding editor of The American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." Reich's newest book is "The Common Good." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

 
 

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