Well, the Mueller report is out and to hear Donald Trump tell it, the entire thing contained only a hand-lettered note on wide-ruled notebook paper that read, “I like you. Do you like me? Circle YES or NO.”
I, like many people, believe the entire report needs to be released. But I also never believed that Mueller alone could save us. Trump’s presidency is such a colossal mess that one man, even one man with a team of lawyers and a huge budget behind him, cannot save us.
Now Trump and his supporters feel vindicated, getting matching “NO COLLUSION” tattoos on their pasty white butt cheeks.
Regardless of what the Mueller report says, or doesn’t say, that doesn’t change the fact that we have a dangerously unstable and incompetent leader at the helm. Trump is unfit for office.
But he is also pretty popular with Republicans. Why? Because he’s fulfilling his main campaign promise: “I will hurt the people you don’t like!” Mexicans? Check. LGBTQ people? Check. Muslims? Check. The poor? Check. African-Americans? Check. The list goes on.
Here’s the thing: The Republican Party has been preaching for decades that government is bad, that it can do nothing positive and that the smaller it is, the better. So their appeal to the average Republican voter is, “Government ain’t gonna do shit for YOU, but at least it’s gonna do shit to THEM.” That’s how you get people to vote against their own interests.
It’s pretty bleak stuff.
But let’s not lose our collective minds. Or try not to, at least. Because we really need to keep them if we want Trump the hell out of office in 2020.
Something to remember: Democrats took control of the U.S. House in 2018. That’s not nothing. It’s not enough, mind you, but it’s a start.
Also, as Mark Harris wrote on Twitter, “without collusion, I’m concerned that the only thing Democrats will be able to use against Trump in 2020 is literally every other issue.”
In other words, try something like healthcare (suggested slogan for Democrats: “We aren’t the ones actively trying to kill you!”); the environment (same slogan applies); Social Security (suggested slogan: “No cat food for Grandma!”); public schools (“Stupid is painful, so let’s not”); equality (“We’re the only party that thinks LGBTQ people are human”); criminal-justice reform (“Let’s stop murdering black men and locking the rest of them in prison for no good reason”); etc.
And yet, the Democratic Party has a long history of disappointing the very people it needs support from. If Democrats are to win, my advice: Knock it off, Democrats.
Look, you don’t need to go very far back in history to see how we got to this point. In fact, you can’t go very far back in history because the United States is still a baby as far as countries are concerned.
We’ve witnessed the Democratic Party scrambling to get back to being the party of the people. But there is so much work to do. It’s frustrating to a lot of younger and more liberal folks that Democrats aren’t unanimously calling for single-payer healthcare, reparations for racial injustice, breaking up corporate juggernauts and impeaching Trump.
But change is slow, and difficult. The Democratic Party isn’t a jet ski that we can just flip to change directions. It’s a huge cruise ship that takes a long time to turn around. And in the meantime, deck chairs and tables are sliding back and forth and crashing into people as the ship navigates some rough seas.
That said, it’s survivable for most people. But it sucks. And the best way to get through this mess is to work together.
Any Democrat vying for the party’s nomination would make a far superior leader than Trump. Even the terrible ones. Seriously, the bar really couldn’t be set lower.
Trump is an ignorant and cruel man. So it’s no surprise that he’s governing that way. The country is looking to the Democrats to counteract this. But “love thy neighbor” is a hard sell, even though I think some famous guy said it once. It’s hard to convince someone that they should care about other people if they, you know, don’t.
Trump cares only about himself. He is a disaster. Democrats are the only party offering disaster relief. So, we need all hands on deck.
D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.