By Nick Riebel || Staff Writer
Well, the Trump administration has been going about as poorly as I thought it would. At least World War III hasn’t started, but I’m sure it won’t be long now. The Republican party has sold its soul, and the Democrats seem to believe that the best option is to be the adult in the room, because of how well that’s worked for us. Now, many things about the Trump era have caused me to lose hope. I literally do not have enough words to describe just all of the horrible things that Trump is doing- the ones that we actually know about. I won’t ease time listing absolutely everything Trump has done horribly recently (although his incompetent, butcher mission in Yemen is one of the most egregious). Yet, one of the things that depresses me the most is that too many Democrats seem to have learned nothing during the Obama years.
I have discussed with my friends, classmates, and professors about how Democrats should handle, amongst other things, Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch. Unfortunately, particularly amongst the more “establishment” Democratic friends I have, they appear to view a policy of accommodation and appeasement to the Trump regime. They feel that this appointment will go forward, and that Democrats should not put up a fight, saving their political capital and energy for other battles. I view this as great mistake. Why? Democrats have tried this approach through Obama’s time in office towards the Republican party. It has failed.
For so many years, going back to I believe 2010, I have worked for the local Democratic party of Lancaster county. They are nice, intelligent people, but they are of course establishment, and their views differ significantly from mine. As they are more connected to political figures, they have assured me that their knowledge, judgment, their wisdom in these matters has been greater than mine. They told me, (since I think at least 2010), that if Democrats were not so nice and polite as a party, that the public would hate them for their aggressiveness and rudeness, and they would be punished at the polls. And, in 2010 and 2014 and 2016, it would appear that this idea is wrong, but they seem to be sticking with it. And here, I do not mean the local Democratic party necessarily, I mean the Democratic establishment overall. They do not believe we need a liberal Tea Party, they think that we need to reach for bipartisan consensus.
Having Senator Chuck Schumer for the Democratic Senate leader and Representative Nancy Pelosi for the House minority leader is not wise, and neither would be having anyone other than Keith Ellison become the DNC chair (I personally like Tom Perez, but he is the wrong person, for the wrong time, and should run for Maryland governor instead). We need a new strategy, one of confrontation, my progressive friends, and that begins with filibustering Gorsuch.
Do you honestly believe, that if we hold off obstructing this judge, that if a liberal justice dies, that the GOP will respect our earlier restraint, and offer a more moderate justice for that vacant seat? If you believe that, I must sadly state that you are are choosing to ignore history, and are therefore doomed to repeat it. Even if we lose this battle, we force the Trump and Republican administration to spend their own resources, energy, and political capital to win this fight. Do not back down on this. The Republicans will, I believe, view this as weakness, and sensing blood in the water, become far more aggressive. What will Trump, in particular, do if he feels Democrats are too afraid to stand up to him on something as important as a stolen Supreme Court seat? No, the Republicans cheated, the Republicans have obstructed, and they will not get away scot-free from this. Even if we lose, voters won’t remember or care for the midterms next year. We have nothing to lose by filibustering Gorsuch forever, and we may even gain the seat back.
Otherwise, we unwisely apply a disadvantageous double-standard to ourselves: the Republicans can do whatever the hell they want, and get away with it, while we voluntarily self-compromise and violate our own principles, and in return the Republicans attack us and our values harder, ramming through more outrageous and unjust legislation and policies because, for them, being nice is weakness, and to acquiesce is to surrender.
I went to the vigil for refugees this week. These people will be the first to primary Democrats who surrender to the Trump regime, trust me, they will not buy your arguments, as they are logically unsound, and have been proven wrong over and over (what would Albert Einstein say about doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result?). And if we follow the path of appeasement, not only will Republicans defeat us in the 2018 midterms after our Democratic “leaders” have, once again, demoralized their own base, but Trump will be re-elected, with these same Democrats lining up once again to give up, fighting only when it’s politically convenient (which the Republicans will ensure will happen less and less often).
We should fight the Republicans as much as we can, especially the illegitimate usurper Trump. Or we might as well admit that we’re too scared, weak, and corrupted to do so, and let our political enemies do what they want. Don’t worry, we’ll fight them another day.
Senior Nick Riebel is a staff writer. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org