Democratic Party needs to step up their game

By | May 6, 2019 8:24 am

Democratic Dialog – By Debra Wines

Since Attorney General Barr issued his interpretations of the Mueller Report, Democrats have been wringing their hands about what to do with the findings. Most presidential candidates have tried to side-step answering the questions about the possibility of impeachment proceedings.  I can understand they want to be cautious and have all their ducks in a row, but to use the excuse that they are afraid of what might happen in the 2020 election because it might cause too much chaos is ludicrous. How much more chaos in our political system and our daily lives is “too much?”

This past week, the congressional Democrats appear to be more serious about their investigations of Donald Trump’s abuse of his powers.  Good for them.  Will they continue to follow through and ignore Mr. Trump’s attempts at slowing down or putting roadblocks in the way of their various investigations?  It is the job of Congress to assure the American public that they will honor their responsibility to uphold their oath of office to protect our form of government against all threats, foreign and domestic.  Their responsibility, too, is to make sure the balance of power among the three branches of government adheres to principles and instructions our Founding Fathers laid out in our Constitution. They developed a government of checks and balances, providing ways and means to correct any imbalance that might occur within those three branches.

We have not seen, since Richard Nixon, a president who has so blatantly thumbed his nose at the Constitution, Congress and our judicial system.  It did not serve Nixon well; he thought he was above the law, too. Donald Trump is far more dangerous than Nixon because of his repeated complaints regarding the restrictions of power written into our Constitution. President Nixon resigned in disgrace. President Clinton was impeached, primarily for lying about sexual encounters with a female intern, in the White House.  Donald Trump’s abuse of his powers and his desire to do anything he wants while he is in office goes way beyond anything Nixon or Clinton did.

The Democrats and Democratic presidential candidates need to stop fretting about the possibility of impeachment proceedings and the consequences that may follow.  Their responsibility to save our government, the rule of law, and the people, supersedes any political party loyalty.  They must show they are not afraid of what their corporate donors will think.  They need to be concerned about what their behavior shows to all Americans and not just their voters. They need to stand up and do what is right for America.  Republicans, too, must put the welfare of the American people above their party. They took the same oath of office as the Democrats.

For far too long, the Republicans have allowed Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell to ride roughshod over the Senate and wield his power to work against what is best for our country.  So many times, I have read and heard of different groups that want to impose term limits on U.S. Congress members and Senators.  The argument has always been “they have term limits, two years for Congress members and six years for Senators, if you don’t like them, the voters can elect someone else.”  That argument just doesn’t play well.  We limit the President to two terms, the maximum time he/she can now serve is eight  years.  Most governors have the same kind of term limits.  So why is it different for state and federal legislators?  Why is their ability to stay in these legislative bodies really unlimited?  I admit there are some logical reasons, mainly the continuance of knowledge and experience.  The major drawback is the type of power bases some of these long-term legislators have been able to build.  Not all of them are necessarily conducive to the betterment of our government or the American people.  All we have to do is take a look at the number of lobbyists who seem to have more power over our state and federal legislators than the people who elected those legislators.  More and more we hear the complaint that our legislators are ignoring the desires of the electorate and vote instead to please their corporate donors or along party lines just to please their party leadership.  The wishes of the majority of Americans are rendered completely inconsequential.

In my opinion, I believe this is the reason some Democratic voters are looking at the progressive Democrats more favorably.  I know Republicans and many Democrats love to put a label on those particular Democrats as being “aggressively progressive” or join in with calling them Socialists.  We function better when we have a mixed form of government.  There is still room for private companies to function, and, yet, the taxes we pay every year are supposed to be used to spread out the burden of providing public services like the police, fire departments, infrastructure, schools, the military, and other government services.  There has been a great deal of talk about “privatizing” many current services our government provides.  I don’t believe this is something we want to do without thoroughly examining the pros and cons of those “privatization” programs and the real costs of those programs to all of us.

All Democrats, running for local, state, or federal office, must make their arguments for their policies understandable, precise, and stronger.  Americans need to become more educated about the issues and question the candidates whenever they can.  Using the internet makes it easy to get information on candidates running for public office, like their voting records (if applicable), donors, and platforms/policies. When the primaries are over, Democrats must stand together and support the candidate who has been chosen.  Now is not the time for infighting or refusing to vote.  We need to make wise choices and vote for the candidates who we feel are strong enough to follow through on their promises and abide by their oath of office.

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