Thursday, July 14, 2022

2024 begins now. The choice will be between democracy and Trumpism.

2024 begins now, and the choice will be between democracy and Trumpism.  With Donald Trump planning to declare his candidacy for 2024, it is not a question of whether but when.  Voters sooner or later will need to decide what kind of a government they want for themselves and their children and grandchildren. It is not just a choice between Trump the person but also between candidates who are his most dedicated followers and those pledged to continue American democracy as we have known it. The first opportunity to cast a vote on this fundamental issue will be this November 2022.  Trumpism will be on the ballot if not Trump's name..  This will be the first chance most voters will have to voice their choices for Senate and House, state, and county. offices since 2020.  Each state, federal and local name on the ballot is important and will determine the future of what kind of governance we want going forward.  These elections should be between those who support keeping 250 years of how the American democratic system has worked (regardless of party affiliation) and Trumpism. 

Trumpism as I define it is inspired by Trump's post-election 2020 actions. Whatever we call it, it is emerging as a movement that inspires, condones, or excuses violence when all other means, lies, and abuses within the existing system fail to keep their favored leader in power. Key will be elections up and down the ballot, but especially important will be choosing county clerks and secretaries of state.  Loyalty to Trumpism will be easy to determine by the litmus test of whether they disagree or agree the election was stolen. By their answer, you should know them. Each candidate needs to be publicly on the record. Beware of wishy-washy evasions.  From their answers, voters can determine whether they can be trusted to run their elections in a way that is fair to all, not just fair for  "their own side".   The bottom line is just how many elections in the future do voters want to see be decided by events like January 6? 

The opposing view to Trumpism, as I see it,  is the vision our founders had:  the rule of law applied to all in equal measures, minority, and majority, and obeyed by both winners and losers accepting and respecting peaceful regime changes They outlined the basic laws and framework of governance  in the Constitution.   Whether Donald Trump will ever be held accountable by the Department of Justice for any criminal act is not known.  In the meantime, voters in the 2022 midterms can do it by voting out as many of his  Trumpism surrogates as they can. Losing elections is the worst thing that can happen to  politicians short of criminal prosecution.  Anyone in the future who may even contemplate what Trump did, will at least think twice because there were consequences in 2022 and 2024.   

_________________________________________________________________________ More on the rule of law and the American form of democracy and  how Trump tried to ignore and subvert it follows:

Democracy, rule by the people, is not mentioned in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. (For that matter, neither were political parties) In fact, the founders feared democracy without the rule of law.  Direct democracy they thought was chaotic.  They then set up a representative form of government called a republic. Even the Greek thinkers who coined the concept and who inspired the founders feared populism, though the law they cited was "natural". America's founders then used "the republic", to describe their goal, people electing their government comprise today those who were what we would term today as elitists. (in the 1700s literacy was not that widespread) What Is a Democracy? [] What laws governed its citizens and who enforced them were and still are to be decided ultimately by voting for representatives at the ballot box but in a democracy that should not be interpreted and enforced by a potentate sitting in an oval office.  It should closely reflect the will of the majority. It was never meant to be the tyranny of a minority enforced by an all-powerful "strong leader", whatever he was called, a king then or later a dictator, an autocrat, the fuhrer, a fascist, a dear leader., or "comrade president",  That desire to be free from the tyrannical rule was why there was an American revolution and the Constitution came into being. It has served the purpose that is just as relevant today as it was in the last quarter of the 1700s.  It is a method of giving the citizens a voice via the ballot box in shaping public policy and keeping the peace and order, but it only works when both winners and losers abide by the law so long as they were based on the Constitution adapted and applied to current situations,. What Trump tried to do was to defy laws, ignore them, interpret them to suit his desire for power, and work outside the legal process,  In his private business he often got away with manipulating the rules, or settling civil lawsuits when that failed..  Once the courts did not rule in his favor to overturn the election by mid-December 2020, he then set out to circumvent the law,  using propaganda and modern media to promote "stop the steal" to justify his actions to his supporters with what he had been told was a lie by his own staff, the Attorney General, and White House lawyers,  and applauding violence and intimidation culminating on January 6.  

The ballot box in free and fair elections is the mechanism for reflecting who is the majority and who is not. . Free and fair elections do not mean it is only fair if their "side" to which they are loyal controls the vote so they can control the outcome.  It means obeying rules that give all parties the ability to have eyes on the process.   Since 2020 there has been an attempt to undermine faith in the elections. It was a strategy to paint them as being stolen by corruption and fraud.  It follows that if voters cannot trust their vote got counted, then they should trust Trump instead because they believe he told the truth. Never mind no one has ever found evidence.   The courts, even the members of the White House staff, and the attorney general himself looked into the allegations. All found no evidence and told Trump, by December 16.  That became clear in the January 6 committee hearings. Nonetheless, Trump persisted with the lie the election was stolen and believing the lie became the test of loyalty to him, even by those who knew it was a lie. It also became the rationale for Trump's plan B, to put pressure on his vice-president to single-handedly refuse to certify the election on January 6.  The pressure was more than words.  It was a riot and one he planned to incite in spite of staff objections, per the January 6 committee's sworn witness testimony.. Whether Trump directly employed the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers or others supporting violent revolution 1776,  and Three Percenters may never be known, What we know so far from journalists and likely from next week's  January 6 hearings is that he reveled in the January 6 violence and refused to call them off for hours. 

  The polls were taken as recently as this May show that while around 60% of all voters polled believe the election was not stolen,  and 90% of Democrats also agree the election was not stolen, 60 % to 70%of those identifying as Republicans still believe in the big lie, the election was stolen..Whether they believe it to be a fact without evidence or use it as a ticket for admission to the GOP power structure, it is still a litmus test voters can use to determine where the candidate stands and whether to consider that candidate a surrogate for Trump and Trumpism.  It remains to be seen how many will be influenced by the January 6 committee hearings by November 2022, but those who put their heads in the sand now could likely be in for a surprise. Recent polls taken after the hearings began show Biden would still beat Trump if both were on the ballot today, per a Siena College poll released this past week. This is in spite of Biden's job approval rate being historically low.

PolitiFact | Most Republicans still falsely believe Trump’s stolen election claims      Update: Nope. Only one dead body, not thousands, was found by the AZ AG to have voted in Maricopa County AZ. Cyber Ninja's report showed ignorance of the process.

There are many who claim it was Donald Trump who saved democracy on January 6.  They need to go back to school for a refresher course on civics and American history.  There was nothing about Trump and the rioters that had much to do about Democracy. In fact, they demonstrated what American democracy was not about.  From an earlier posting on June 17, here are some of them. (condensed).  

American democracy is not about one person determining the winner of an election.  Pence was pressured by Trump and others to be that person. 

Democracy is not about ignoring, subverting, or failing to comply with the rule of law.  It is not about loyalty to a person, but it is about complying and obeying the rules set forth by a representative democracy. Trump expected being loyal to him meant even breaking the law on his behalf,

Democracy is not about using violence and terror to determine the winner of an election.  

Democracy is not about one news outlet, and one alone, providing their version of his" truth".. FOX News refused to carry the January 6 hearings on opening night, but when 20 million viewers tuned into the hearings,

Democracy is not about those who believe theories that have no evidence and facts to back them up yet claim they are truth and reality.  When laws rule, just execution of those laws demands evidence and proof.  Over 60 federal and state judges found there was not enough evidence of fraud to change the 2020 outcome.  Attorney General Bill Barr's testimony that the 2020 elections were fraudulent was bull..t.

Democracy is not about one leader claiming his version or the truth reported in the media or the interpretation of the law is the only one credible and to be trusted. Trump and his staff coined the term "fake news" for reports he did not like or called them lies.  Democracy requires respect and access to various views and rebuttals to them so voters can make their own judgments of who is lying and who is not..   

Democracy is not about using the active military to intervene in civilian matters and domestic politics. General Milley took that reading of the Constitution to heart in the aftermath of his being forced to participate in Trump's bible-waiving propaganda walk in Lafayette Square.

Democracy is not about ignoring the will of the majority of people expressed through the ballot box and not permitting a partisan loyal to one ideology, party, or person to pick and choose which votes should be counted.  That was the issue at the heart of the fake elector slates strategy, to let a person choose which slate was to be counted...   Democracy is not about only one party being allowed and given access to count ballots or counting only ballots they assume support them. 

Democracy is not about preventing those in the minority from peacefully expressing themselves individually or in a group.  This is not an absolute right. It is extended to the peaceful nature of the protests and demonstrations.,

Hand recount requests from defeated candidates Tina Peters, Ron Hanks rejected (


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