In the wake of the recent elections, I’d like to devote this post to the youth of America. Although the election didn’t result in the complete rejection of Trumpism I had hoped to see in the form of a Democratic takeover of both houses of congress, taking over the House of Representatives and flipping numerous state legislatures throughout the country was a major accomplishment. As I have said in earlier posts, the task of defeating an incumbent Republican in any election, especially in the South, given the extent of gerrymandering and voter suppression in all of the so called red states, required tremendous energy and determination and a massive turnout of young voters. I’m told as many as 39% of all eligible voters under the age of 30 voted in the November 6 elections. Now that you’ve done it, I’d like to offer you some advice in what’s needed to consolidate your victory and carry that momentum into the 2020 elections.
First of all, you need to understand that given the state of the political landscape in the this country today, in order to retake congress and the White House, you will need to almost double the turnout of young people voting for progressive candidates to something like 79% of those eligible, in the 2020 elections. The victory in these 2018 elections, merely bought you time to get busy preparing for the 2020 elections. Because of the gerrymandered, voter suppressed electoral districts throughout the United States; you must be prepared to battle on two fronts. First of all you will have to go door to door and campaign for your candidate in those districts, both to leach out every lonely Democrat in those districts and to illustrate to the handful of progressive Republicans and Independents in those districts why they should not continue to vote against their own personal interest as they have in past elections but instead vote for your candidate. Second, you must go into every community of disenfranchised minorities in the country, and block by block, house by house, apartment by apartment make sure every member of those communities is properly registered to vote and make sure that they have everything they need to get to the polls when the time comes. Yes, this will be an arduous task, but at stake is the ability to preserve democracy over tyranny peacefully, without the need for an actual shooting civil war.
There are a few realities you must come to grips with before the newly elected Democratic house majority takes office. First of all, don’t expect them to be able to make any progress on most of the issues we are concerned about today other than the preservation of at least the healthcare we have now and social security. They simply won’t have the power to push through any substantial progressive agenda. Their role is going to be primarily to hold President Trump at bay and preserve the rule of law as best they can. You must understand that they are going to be vilified by Fox News and the right for this and accused of standing in the way of legislation on infrastructure and immigration, any discussion of which, the Republicans loyal to Trump will hold hostage, against any attempts by Democrats to apply the necessary over site and check on Trump’s attempt to pervert the rule of law. Don’t fall prey to the propaganda that will say they are so preoccupied with Trump that they are preventing congress from doing the work we elected them to do. Holding President Donald Trump accountable to the rule of law is the work we elected them to do. If we had the necessary 79% youth turnout in the 2018 elections Democrats would have won the senate and been able to advance progressive legislation. Consequently, the Republicans will prevent any such legislation since doing so would favor Democrats in the public’s eye. That’s not to say that the house shouldn’t on it’s own pass progressive legislation, but just know it’s not going anywhere since it will be stopped in the senate. You must double your numbers and go out into the community and explain that to voters.
Even though you won’t be able to point any legislative accomplishments other than those I described above when you go out into the communities, you should be armed with an argument for how the key issues of our time, (immigration, infrastructure, income disparity, healthcare as a human right, the environment, education, and all the other issues of the times that will profoundly effect your future) will be addressed if Democrats do get control of congress and the White House. For example, you must be able to provide voters with an understanding of why we have an immigration problem at our southern border and concrete steps on what must happen to solve the problem. I’ve yet to hear any Democrat politician’s rendition of what needs to happen, but I know you’ll have to have one if you’re going to convince any voter inclined to vote Republican to do otherwise, so I will give you my rendition.
If I were in your shoes, I would explain to voters that the immigration crisis stems from two issues, both of which are our own creation. First there are our unrealistic drug laws that create a multibillion-dollar market for illegal drugs in our country. Second is that part of our enforcement policy has been to deport all Latin American drug gangsters back to their countries of origin which usually have little resources and knowhow to deal with organized criminals on the scale of what needs to happen to deal with drug cartels, who themselves become larger and better financed than the governments charged with keeping them in check. Consequently, we must do three things to stem the tide of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers. First, we must make marijuana sale in all forms as legal as alcohol, and like alcohol, tax the heck out of it. Second, we must completely decriminalize all forms of drug addictions and supply any addicted user with the drug of their choice through enrollment in rehab and job training programs, all of which to be paid for by taxes on marijuana and alcohol. Third, if there has ever been a righteous, legitimate use of our great military, it would be for what I’m proposing next. We need to enter into formal treatises and agreements with all the Central American counties involved to permit our military to intervene in the crisis. We should then invade those counties, establish semi-permanent military bases in those countries and utterly destroy the drug gangs in those countries, including bringing all those responsible for atrocities before military tribunals from the countries involved. The bases will be a source of income for the local residents until they can be replaced by local government agencies trained by us and private investment that I’m sure will be attracted once law and order is established. Under such conditions, I would be surprised if most illegal immigrants and asylum seekers didn’t repatriate themselves. I could go into more detail on this proposal, but I think I’ve made my point.
It is the kind of bold, innovative approach that I’ve outlined above that you must be prepared to take out into the community and passionately argue for if we are to move our country off of the path to dictatorship that we are presently on. You have precious little time to prepare for this monumental task. To help inspire you for the challenge you must educate yourself in detail to the horror and danger of life under authoritarian rule. To that end, I recommend you begin by reading George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, if you haven’t already. Other must reads are How Democracies Die, by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, Dark Money, by Jane Mayer and Sapiens (A Brief History of Humankind), by Yuval Noah Harari. I have ideas on how to address all the issues I’ve mentioned on this post, but by themselves, my ideas don’t matter. It will be up to you to find people like me but who are willing to pick up the gauntlet and charge into battle in support of the republic and demand the Democratic Party sponsor and support them for office in the 2020 elections. The future wellbeing of this nation and perhaps even humankind itself may be hanging on your success in this endeavor. May God be with you.