If readers are like me and fearful for the future under the misrule of Trump and the now thoroughly foul Republican Party, there is only one way - actually two to stop the madness. The first is to get as many sane, non-Trump base Americans of voting age to register to vote as possible. The second step is to make sure they go to the polls in November and vote for Democrats with a goal of defeating as many Republicans as possible and putting fear into those who manage to survive by their fingernails. Two pieces look at this issue, one in the Washington Post and one in the New York Times. First, these highlights from the Times piece:
We got it wrong in 2016. We can get it right in 2018. There’s a far side to this American disgrace, a way to contain the damage, and it’s both utterly straightforward and entirely effective.
It’s called voting. And from now until Nov. 6, we must stay fanatically focused on that — on registering voters, turning them out, directing money to the right candidates, donating time in the right places.
The moral of the Helsinki freak show, the NATO tragicomedy and the children in cages near the border isn’t just that Donald Trump lacks any discernible conscience, real regard for this country or mature appreciation of history and our exalted part in it. It’s that this next election matters — immeasurably.
There’s no hyperbole in the frequent assertion that it’s the most important midterm in a generation. And those of us rightly appalled by this president must devote as much energy to giving Democrats control of at least one chamber of Congress — and the ability to restrain him — as to finding fresh methods for mocking him. A blimp in a diaper is a hoot. A legislature with its foot on his throat is an insurance policy.
My plea isn’t a partisan one, nor am I romanticizing the Democratic Party, which has problems galore. I’m recognizing that when it comes to babysitting this president, the Republican Party is a lost cause.
79 percent of Republicans approved of Trump’s sycophantic performance at the news conference with Vladimir Putin, while 85 percent deem the investigation of Russian intrusion into our elections a distraction. They bear less and less resemblance to the followers of a coherent ideology and more and more to the members of a cult.
Congressional Republicans have decided that to cross Trump is to commit suicide. They need to be convinced that not crossing him is as fatal a course. That’s what a big-enough blue wave would do, and that’s why once loyal Republicans who cannot abide him — the columnist George Will, for one prominent example — have gone from chastising the Republican Party to cheerleading for the Democratic Party and urging Americans to support it in November. It’s the last resort.
I don’t believe, nor see any evidence, that more Americans wanted him as our president than wanted Hillary Clinton. But roughly 40 percent of Americans who were eligible to vote didn’t. Clinton was much preferred by the youngest voters, ages 18 to 29. But fewer than one in two of them cast a ballot. We can’t count on Robert Mueller, the special counsel, because we don’t know what he’ll ultimately report or whether, after the perfervid campaign to discredit him, it will stick to Trump. But elections do stick. Ask Hillary Clinton.
To blunt Trump’s attack on our democracy, we have to use our democracy. We can restore faith in it by showing faith in it. For all its corruptions and imperfections, it still gives us a power — through our ballots — that exceeds even the most power-hungry president’s.
The piece in the Post echos similar exhortations. Get registered to vote and turn out and vote in November. No excuses and no procrastinating. Simply do it. Here are highlights from the Post piece:
Last week it was Russia, Russia, Russia. This week began with a bombastic, all-caps screed about Iran — and, of course, more wailing about the purported “Mueller Witch Hunt.” In between was a stray tweet about football and the national anthem, just to stir the racial pot. President Trump is wagging the dog so hard, . . .
Through it all, we must keep our eyes on the prize.
There is just one realistic way to constrain this lunatic administration and hold it accountable: Vote in November to snatch control of Congress away from the quisling Republicans and hand it to the Democrats.
If I sound like a broken record on this subject, too bad. You can shut me up by generating a gigantic midterm turnout and flipping at least the House. Otherwise, prepare to be reminded, repeatedly and perhaps obnoxiously, that I told you so.
It is possible that Mueller will reveal something so shocking that even House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will choose country over party. But it is not likely.
Presciently, the framers of the Constitution gave Congress the power to check an erratic or power-mad president. But Congress has to be willing to use that power, and Republicans seem afraid to do so. We can only hope that Democrats are up to the task.
Democrats can systematically level the playing field — once they achieve power. To do so, they need to win elections. And to win elections, they need new faces, new ideas and a new attitude. Fortunately, all three are present — and must not be quashed.
There will be plenty of time to worry about the 2020 presidential election. Right now, the Democratic Party’s exclusive focus should be on registering new voters and ensuring that constituencies with a habit of voting only in presidential years — especially minorities and young people — come out in November.
Are you registered? Do you not just plan to vote but you will vote? Do you know where your polling place is? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you are not part of the solution. You’re part of the problem.