In these darkest of days, here’s what gives me hope:
First, Donald Trump has been a giant wake-up call that we can’t take democracy for granted. The young people of America get this. I’ve been teaching for 40 years and I don’t recall a generation as committed to social justice, reforming this country, and making it work for all and not just a few.
Look at those kids in Parkland, Florida. Or the millions more who are getting involved in their communities and in politics. They are America’s future, and they won’t give up.
The second thing that makes me optimistic is occurring at the grassroots of America, where there’s more activism than I remember in half a century. The #MeToo movement, Time’s Up, #BlackLivesMatter, #Neveragain, the Poor People’s Campaign, Indivisible.org, swingleft.org.
They and thousands of other groups and millions of Americans are united by a commitment to end abuses of power – whether by sexual predators, or the police, the National Rifle Association, or billionaires out to undermine our democracy.
Third, Fueled by Trump’s election, more women are running for office than ever before. According to Emily’s List, more than 36,000 women are interested in running for office in 2018 and beyond. By comparison, 920 women contacted Emily’s List in the 2016 campaign.
Fourth, I’m optimistic because America’s history shows that every time we’ve gotten off track, Americans mobilize to get our country back on track. We did this after the Gilded Age of the 1880s and 1890s, when robber barons monopolized the economy; politics was poisoned by money; and poverty, and disease, and horrendous working conditions claimed thousands of lives each year.
We did it again in the Depression decade of the 1930s, after the economy collapsed because of Wall Street’s excesses. And again in the 1960s and 1970s, when we embraced civil rights and voting rights, Medicare and Medicaid, and environmental protection. If history teaches us anything, we will again reform this system.
Fifth, I’m also optimistic because these grueling years of the Trump presidency have made us all realize how fragile our democracy really is, and what we need to reform–from the Electoral College and super-delegates to gerrymandering, voter ID laws, and hacker-proof voting machinery.
And most of us now know how important it is to vote.
Finally, I’m optimistic because I don’t like the alternative. We must have hope.
The fate of this nation depends on every one of us becoming an activist, joining with others, and reclaiming this land from those bent on destroying it.
This article was originally published at RobertReich.org
It’s not Democrats who are making guns a political issue: It’s all the dead bodies
We can’t keep up. We can’t keep up with the lies, we can’t keep up with the racism, we can’t keep up with the anti-immigrant hysteria, we can’t keep up with the firings and resignations, we can’t keep up with the flat-out lunacy, but most of all, we can’t keep up with the dead bodies.
In a single week, between Sunday, July 28, and Saturday, Aug. 3, there were three separate mass shootings in this country. In Gilroy, California, at a popular garlic festival, a man wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying an AK-47 style assault rifle, killed three people and wounded 13. Two of the dead and several of the wounded were children. The shooter had six high-capacity magazines in his possession: one was a drum magazine holding 75 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, and the other five held 40 rounds. He had bought the AK-47 and ammunition just three weeks before he opened fire on the festival goers.
Fox contributor suggests Medicare for All would increase mass shootings
On Friday's Fox and Friends, Fox contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy suggested that Medicare for All would increase the likelihood of mass shootings by lowering access to mental health care.
Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisc.) noted the lack of mental health care in his state, noting that if mass shooters got the treatment they need, they might not go on murderous rampages.
"And I would just say, Medicare for All is going to make that worse. You're going to have less reimbursement for people in the mental health profession," Campos-Duffy said.
"We already have a shortage of that. So, if you're worried about mental health -- which we should be -- in light of all those events that we're seeing, then we really should consider, what will Medicare for All do to our mental health services?"
Gay Republican group endorses Trump in astonishing act of gaslighting
With more than a year before the 2020 presidential election a nationwide gay group, the Log Cabin Republicans, have announced they are endorsing President Donald Trump for re-election. The 42-year old group wisely refused to endorse Trump during the 2016 election, but in a flip on Thursday decreed the anti-LGBTQ President has “met his commitments to LGBTQ Americans.”
That’s just plain false.
Log Cabin Republican chairman Robert Kabel and vice chairwoman Jill Homan penned a 751 word Washington Post op-ed, which the paper surprisingly appears to not have thoroughly fact-checked, attempting to justify the turnabout endorsement.