Boycotting D.C. On Inauguration Day

As part of the ongoing normalization of Trump, the Washington media (especially the Post) will want to make his inauguration a very big deal. They’ll want to report on huge crowds, lots of revenue for local hotels, bars and restaurants, and so on.

In light of Robert Reich’s call not to watch or stream the inaugural ceremony, I propose that those of us in the Washington, D.C. area also avoid going out to eat or drink that day, to make it harder for the media to tell this story.

Granted, this will hurt our local D.C. businesses, the majority of which oppose Trump as much as we do. I am willing to make it up to them by patronizing them a few days before, or after, Inauguration Day; I’m just going to avoid them on the day itself. I also realize that there will be people from out of town who will be there to protest, and who will be unable to take this advice.

A Hopeful Note

I thought I would both end last year and start this year on a hopeful note.  It is in that spirit that I share this story of Japanese Prime Minister Abe following up on President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima with his own visit to Pearl Harbor last month.

Imagine the leader of al Queda, or of ISIS, reverently visiting Ground Zero years from now, and you get some idea of how impossible this would have been for many years after World War II.  Things like this give me a lot of hope for the future.

A Local Action

I thought it was appropriate to end the year with a reminder of the kind of grassroots action that will be appropriate and necessary in a Trump administration.  This particular example happens to be in my backyard; I know other cities and municipalities, notably Bill de Blasio’s New York, are doing similar things.  I am planning to write a more in-depth article about this in the near future.

Domestic Terrorism

Someone goes into a public place, guns blazing, based on false information that they clearly believe to be true, and have not bothered to check out to any degree. They cannot plead ignorance; if you are going to walk around with a gun, having appointed yourself to administer justice, it is entirely on you to make sure you are in the right. To me, this crime goes beyond mere ignorance or reckless endangerment; to me, it borders on domestic terrorism.

On From Here.

The last three weeks have been a period of mixed emotions for me.  On the one hand, there is no denying that the election results were a massive disappointment.  On the other hand, seeing a massive outpouring of energy from progressives around the country, ready to protest and recount and do everything they can to check the power of the Trump administration, has been inspiring.

If there is one thing I have to say that I haven’t heard from other people, it’s that we have to be careful not to assume that Donald Trump will be president for eight years.  Yes, it is hard to defeat an incumbent, even an unpopular one, but it is not at all impossible, and it happened not so long ago.  The fact that Trump lost the popular vote by a substantial margin means that he has little margin for error, and gives me much hope.

The other thing I have to say is to urge everyone reading this to please support Foster Campbell’s Senate campaign in the state of Louisiana, which ends in a runoff on December 10th.  A victory in this race is a longshot, but I still hope for it, since it would be a massive repudiation of Trump.

The U.S. Is Better Than This

Threats to arrest and imprison one’s political opponents belong in dictatorships and kleptocracies, not democratic nations. Donald Trump’s statement that he would put Hillary Clinton “in jail” if he won the election should be disqualifying all by itself.  A case can be made that it is the worst thing he has said yet, even in an election in which he has said many, many heinous things.

It is imperative that this man lose in November.

The Choice This November

I’ve heard some people describe this election as a choice between two bad alternatives, and another instance of having to pick between the “lesser of two evils.”

I am not one of those people. I believe we have one excellent, highly qualified, and even progressive choice, and an alternative that would be toxic to American democracy.

The truth is that even if the Democrats didn’t have a great candidate, the choice would still be quite clear. If the choice was between Donald Trump or Andrew Cuomo, Trump or Mitt Romney, or even Trump and (shudder) George W. Bush, I would still be morally obligated to do everything I can to ensure the victory of the option that wasn’t Donald Trump. While I am not a big fan of any of those three politicians, none of them constitute the direct threat to the future of the country that Trump does.

We Must Stop Trump

The defeat of Donald Trump is the progressive imperative of 2016. There are no other priorities that come close to this. What many commentators have said is true; Trump’s deceitful, overtly racist, and narcissistic campaign poses an existential threat to democracy.

Bernard Sanders is an intelligent man, as are most of his followers. I have to believe that they know that a Trump presidency poses a grave threat to every cause for which they fought in this campaign, and I have to believe that they will rally behind Hillary Clinton in the coming months. Reforming democracy, the Democratic Party, and the primary system are all vital priorities that are very worth doing, but they have to take a temporary backseat to winning the election this November, not least because a Trump presidency will make all of them much, much harder.

A Trump victory is unlikely, but by no means impossible, which is perhaps the most important reason why defeating him must be the priority of every progressive, and every decent American, this November.