My Fellow Americans,
It has been a year since the 2016 election. Yes, the world was shocked to learn on November 8, 2016, the United States spurned the historic opportunity of demonstrating of its daughters what they were capable of and instead elect a man with no political experience and countless controversies to his name. It must have been quite a shock for Barack Obama, the first African-American President of the United States, having to transfer the White House keys to a man who had spent half a decade attempting to discredit his Presidency and legacy, and who had began his own race to the White House by calling Mexicans rapists and drug dealers. The 2016 election was one that changed America.
Usually after elections, we would be put it past us by this point. But almost every week, we hear news stories about the possibility of the Trump campaign colluding with figures connected to the Russian government to tamper with our elections. But it gets worse from there. Our current President, Donald Trump, has proven himself to be quite a dangerous and unstable man. In his first full week in office, Trump has signed an executive order calling for the ban on refugees from six Muslim countries. In addition, Trump has spent most of his Presidency attacking the media using the infamous phrase “fake news”. Trump has also advocated for the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare) with failed proposals, all of which would denied coverage to millions of Americans. Trump has also failed to denounce a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville that resulted in the death of Heather Heyer. Furthermore, Trump constantly pushes the world on the edge of World War III with his cavalier “diplomacy” with North Korea as well as his decertification of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran. All this year was from his first year in office alone.
On the whole, I would say that 2016 and 2017 were both terrible years. But there is two things that gives me hope. The first is, of course, the 2020 presidential election, but that is three years away. However, there is the other reason, and that is the 2018 midterms. On November 6, 2018, all seats of the House and 33 seats in the Senate will be up for election. It is important for us to vote in those elections because it could spell out the remainder of Trump’s presidency. As of this writing, Trump’s Republican Party controls 52 seats in the Senate, and 240 seats in the Senate. Having one party dominate both the executive and legislative branches is not only intolerable, but dangerous, especially considering Trump’s personality and policies. To remedy this, we need to vote Democratic in 2018 and 2020.
I know what some of you are thinking. Some of you might be thinking that the Democratic Party does not “deserve” your vote after they “rigged” the primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton. Some of you might argue that the Democrats and Republicans are alike aside from social issues. Some of you might even argue that the Democrats are only opposing Trump’s policies because Trump is President. I would argue that that thinking helped get Trump elected in the first place. In 2018 and 2020, we have to address the new reality. Let us leave the 2016 election, and let us focus on the future. The fewer seats the Republicans have in Congress, the less Trump has to show his base in 2020. However, the results of the 2017 off-year elections have given me hope. We need to do more.
Of course, assuming that Trump does get voted out or impeached, what happens then? How would we create a post-Trump era? One measure that I would advocate is the mandatory implementation of mental health tests. I would argue that this is important because we cannot afford to have a President who lacks the ability to grasp the nuances of the world. In addition, I would argue that we need a maximum age limit on who can run for President. I understand that some of you might think such a measure is age discrimination, but in the real world, a senior citizen should really not be entrusted with the powers of the Presidency. Lastly, but most importantly, we need to ensure that our elections never again become subject to interference by a foreign power.
At times, I think to myself “How different are we as a nation than we were on January 19 or even November 7, 2016?”. I would say that we are a more divided and less respected nation. We are no longer the “Shining City on a Hill”. We are instead the laughingstock of nations, one that cannot be trusted to do the right thing. I understand that it will take generations to undo the damage that Trump’ presidency has caused. This is why we need a new generation to inherit America. Let us make 2020 the year that happens.
God Bless America,
The Centrist and Independent Voice