When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President, I rolled my eyes and said ‘here we go again’. As other Republican candidates started dropping out, I was still confident that cooler heads would prevail as the primary season went forward. I was glad when Lindsey Graham called Trump a ‘kook’ and ‘unfit’, thinking that might start sinking in. But when his popularity did not wane even as he called for his wall and characterized Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, or when he publicly mocked a reporter with a disability, or when he openly bragged about sexually assaulting women, my concern intensified. When I saw moderate Republicans starting to vote for Trump because they saw the writing on the wall, or because they thought they would somehow be able to rein him in, or because they there were so dizzy to get back into power, or whatever other reason, I became dismayed. But, I am no longer dismayed, I am just angry. And, frankly, not just at Republicans.
It still amazes me that the man who repeatedly questioned the authenticity of Barack Obama has replaced him in the Oval Office.
I do understand that roughly 35% of Americans agree with all of Trump’s stances and policies that he has tried to put in place (albeit with rather limited success thus far – even with a majority in both chambers and the suspension of regular order in the Senate), and I have nothing to say to them. At least nothing that would make any dent into the Fox News deluge of propaganda. But I do have something to say to the people that voted for Trump (or Stein or Johnson, for that matter) and are now part of the 60% of people that disapprove of how Trump is doing:
You fucking own this.
Hillary Clinton was not even close to the ideal Democratic candidate. Volumes will be written about the failure of the DNC, and the nationwide progressive coalition in general, that created the perfect storm which resulted in President Trump. Third party candidates are nice to talk about, but when we can’t even generate 60% voter turnout, a third party will never be truly viable. That is simple mathematics. So if you voted for Trump or Stein or Johnson for any reason – because you didn’t think Trump would actually win, or because of some ultra-progressive purity test that Clinton just didn’t come close to, or because you thought that a single vote didn’t matter – I repeat: You fucking own this.
You own this tax bill that is currently in reconciliation, that, even by the US Treasury’s grudging admission1, is not revenue neutral and will arguably be the largest redistribution of wealth over the next 10 years that we have ever seen. I never again want to hear any Republican or fiscal conservative crow about the deficit. You own the racial tensions that have escalated across the country. You own low income children being without health insurance for the last 73 days. You own having a leader who routinely takes to Twitter to use grade=school insults leveled at congressional members of both parties. You own the United States being the only country that will not be a part of the Paris Accord in the fight against global warming. You own the looming deportation of young men and women who came out of the shadows to register through the DACA program, only to have Trump call for an end to it. You own the new wave of violence in the West Bank and the near universal criticism of declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel. You own it all.
And you own Judge Roy Moore.
The Donald Trump presidency has made it a distinct possibility that Roy Moore will be elected as the junior Senator from Alabama tomorrow. Briefly putting aside the numerous sexual assault allegations for a moment (but I’ll get to those), Roy Moore 1) has suggested homosexuality should be a crime; 2) has been removed from the Alabama Supreme Court – TWICE – by a majority vote of other Republican judges; 3) has said that America was great when slavery was still legal; 4) did not know, as late as July of this year, what a ‘Dreamer’ was; 5) did not believe Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, should be allowed to serve because of his faith 6) does not believe in evolution; 7) brandished a handgun at a campaign rally. And make no mistake about it, if it weren’t for the sexual assault allegations, the GOP would be even more all in for Moore than they are now. Power is everything after all.
But we are now on a precipice. I am grateful for the #metoo movement, which has opened avenues for women to come forward with their stories. The reporting of accusations are all well sourced and credible. While I agree with most of his policy stances, Al Franken did the right thing by resigning. Trent Franks did the right thing by resigning. Blake Farenthold should resign. Donald Trump should resign and be held to account for the accusations from multiple women. Roy Moore should not be allowed to take a seat in Congress.
But, thanks to those of you who voted for Trump (or Stein or Johnson) in November 2016, an accused pedophile and religious zealot may be sworn in as one of 100 Senators.
Elections and votes have consequences. November 2018 is not too far around the corner. If Roy Moore wins on December 12 and is not summarily expelled, every single Republican candidate for the House or Senate should have to answer for it. To be clear, I would say the same thing if similar credible accusations were to be brought against the Democratic candidate running for Ted Cruz’s seat next year.
We all need to take ownership for the direction of our country.
1 On December 11, the United States Treasury issued a one-page report (when the tax bill itself is over 500 pages) saying the tax bill would pay for itself, but also assumed a ‘host of policy changes’ that are not actually in the bill and is not at all clear will actually happen. The report also acknowledges that ‘some economists predict different growth rates’ – although ‘some’ is a pretty generous qualifier.