Most Americans are well aware of how critical this year’s election is. Nothing less than the survival of American democracy is at stake.
“(T)his election isn’t just about Biden vs. Trump. This is about democracy vs. fascism,” according to Peter Dreier, distinguished professor of politics at Occidental College. Prof. Dreier asserts that if Trump wins a second term, “he will double down on his fascist instincts and foment increasingly overt white supremacist violence, xenophobia, nativism, and anti-Semitism… We will see an unprecedented level of human suffering.” Dreier also believes Trump will:
- seek to dismantle unions and workers’ rights,
- slash the already-torn safety net,
- eviscerate voting rights and civil liberties,
- hand over more public funds and government services (such as prisons, the post office, health care, national parks, and schools) to big corporations, and
- try to starve cities and states by denying federal funding for key services.[i]
The American people must take Prof. Dreier’s warning very seriously. When Trump signed the two-trillion-dollar coronavirus-relief package in late March, he rejected Congress’s oversight provision, declaring, “I’ll be the oversight.” A few days later, he fired the special inspector general who was to monitor spending, reporting to Congress anything that seemed amiss. Not long after that Trump proclaimed, “When somebody’s the President of the United States, the authority is total. It’s total.”[ii]
There is less than six months until the election. Americans are overwhelmed by the Coronavirus pandemic and the impact of a crashing economy. For most of us the November election is not our primary concern right now. Many are feeling hopeless about the state of the country as well as powerless to change it. Whatever our preoccupations and feelings may be, we cannot afford to ignore the urgency of this moment. Nor can we allow our disappointment that our preferred candidate is not heading the Democratic Party’s ticket dissuade us from working on this election.
We must act now to save our country from being destroyed by Trump’s “fascist instincts” in a second term.
The most important thing all of us can do from now till November is taking action to ensure that the election is conducted fairly. That includes:
- developing a massive voter registration drive
- establishing the universal right to vote-by-mail in every state and territory
- supporting a concerted effort to expand early voting
- protecting the U.S. Postal Service from being defunded or privatized to safeguard vote-by-mail
- creating a public education campaign alerting the public to the great danger of a second Trump term is required as well
Now is the time to act before it’s too late. We all must get involved in one way or another. Join a voters’ rights group, for example:
The Voting Rights Alliance at https://www.votingrightsalliance.org/ ;
The Election Protection coalition at https://866ourvote.org/.
Together we can, and will, save our democracy.
A retired, public sector ethics attorney, Berlin is the author of Breaking Big Money’s Grip on America (See breakingbigmoneysgrip.com.), the founder of New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics, a former U.S. Institute of Peace fellow, and the founder and former executive director of The Trinity Forum for International Security and Conflict Resolution. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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