It perpetuates the same ideology that got us Trump and the assault on democracy

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In January 2018, about 500 people in St. Paul, Minn., marched for immigrant rights. The sign in the center that says “If you don’t want immigrants, stop destabilizing their countries” summarizes the link between U.S. foreign policy and immigration. Photo by Fibonacci Blue/CC

I think we can all agree that what happened Jan. 6, 2021, was frightening and fascistic. I hope every single person who stormed the Capitol is arrested and prosecuted, especially Inciter-in-Chief Donald J. Trump. I agree with President-elect Joe Biden. It was an assault on our democracy.

The Trump presidency and the Covid-19 pandemic has put immense pressure on U.S. democracy — every single aspect of it — from elections and voting to policing and criminal justice to health care, the economy and education. This pressure has exposed systemic failings and longstanding fissures built into the country’s democratic structures.

The U.S. was founded on conflicting dualities — the high ideals of self-government, freedom, liberty and democracy, and low realities of slavery, white supremacy, colonization of Indigenous people and labor exploitation. Americans, especially white Americans, should be more humble and self-conscious of our own shortcomings while standing up for the democratic ideals we all hold dear and fight to defend and expand. …


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In this image from video, impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks against the organizing resolution for the trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Senate Television via AP-Ninian Reid/Flickr/CC)

History repeats itself. First as tragedy, second as farce. — Karl Marx

It was last year when Republican senators voted to acquit President Donald J. Trump on the abuse of power and obstruction charges in the Senate impeachment trial. Republicans said Trump may have been wrong in his dealings with Ukraine and demanding an investigation of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, but it doesn’t merit removing him from office.

The American people should decide, they said.

One year later, some of these same Republican senators have now changed their tune. At least 12 Republican senators plan to challenge the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. …


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Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa and Obama’s agriculture secretary, got called up again for Cabinet duty by President-elect Joe Biden to be Biden’s agriculture secretary.

Early on, I said Biden should be able to pick anybody he wants for his Cabinet but this one left me disappointed. Why? Because I read the reports about Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., lobbying for Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, to become the next USDA chief. Fudge sits on the House Committee on Agriculture and chairs its subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations, and said she would spotlight hunger and nutrition, farmworkers and food chain supply alongside working with farmers and rural communities as the U.S. …


Thoughts on coalition politics and the post-Trump world

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President-elect Joe Biden campaigns in Iowa during the Democratic primary in 2019. Gage Skidmore/CC

As a lifelong political activist, a student of socialism and social change, I’m concerned that a significant number of left and progressive thinkers, leaders and activists are reading the post-election moment like every other post-election moment. And it is not.

The last four years of the Trump presidency, its trampling of democratic norms, incompetent and criminal behavior, along with the multiple crises we face have made for unprecedented challenges. We are closing in on 300,000 dead from Covid-19 pandemic, which has also intensified systemic racial inequities and economic inequality. Millions are unemployed, hungry with food bank lines extending for miles, in danger of being evicted and having utilities shut off. …


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Photo by visuals on Unsplash

Let’s just cut to the chase: Trump and the Republican Party are trying to overturn the election and permanently damage electoral democracy by disenfranchising Black voters.

They won’t be successful in overturning the election. But it is important to look at how racism subverts democracy.

Voter suppression morphs to vote suppression

In addition to engaging in voter suppression through a myriad of means, all of which make it harder for Black people — and many others — to vote, they are now pivoting to attempt vote suppression — throwing out legally cast ballots in counties where the Black population is the majority or significant.

Let’s be clear, Republicans and Trump have produced no credible evidence or even credible allegations of widespread voter fraud, illegal voting or rigged elections. There are many conspiracy theories, disinformation and rumors but no evidence. Even one of Trump’s top security experts joined others in refuting the president’s lies. Trump fired him. …


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Lake Michigan sunrise photo by Teresa Albano.

The sun still rises. Let’s slow it down and take a breath.

Then let’s make sure every — and I do mean EVERY — legitimate ballot cast in 2020 is freaking counted!

Would we have wanted a landslide? Yes, of course. But a win for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on the scale of Trump’s 2016 win (a squeaker in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) would be OK by me too.

And here’s the thing: the totals are not even in from these states and may not be for a while. Yet Trump threatens to shut down the legitimate vote count! What is being reported in many states is in-person Election Day and in-person early voting. The mail-in ballots and provisional ballots take longer. So don’t let the chaos and pandemonium that Trump loves to create, sweep you away. …


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A Minnesotans for Biden-Harris campaign sign in support of Joe Biden for President and Kamala Harris for Vice President ahead of the 2020 general election in a front yard in Hibbing, Minnesota. Photo by Tony Webster/CC

In the last debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, one of the most significant moments for me came when Biden, visibly angry and upset, talked about the 545 migrant children “ripped from their [parents’] arms and separated” at the border as per Trump administration policy.

Trump jerkily danced around moderator Kristen Welker’s question on whether he had a plan to reunite the 500+ children with their parents, claiming so-called “coyotes”and “lots of bad people” brought the children. During his disgraceful answer, you could see the frustration building in Biden. At one point he closes his eyes and bows his head, as if in prayer. …


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Sticker sent to author as part of her vote-by-mail ballot.

Here’s the good news: as of Oct. 28 almost 75 million people have early voted. That is 54.2% of the total votes counted in 2016, according to the University of Florida’s U.S. Election Project. Of the states that record party affiliation, some 7 million more Democrats early voted than Republicans. There are 20 states that have party affiliation data available, including the battleground states of Arizona, Iowa, Florida and Pennsylvania.

Here’s the bad news: Republicans are slightly ahead of Democrats in early in-person voting. Many more Democrats than Republicans have voted via mail-in ballots.

That’s one reason why the president and his lackeys are attacking vote-by-mail. Liar-in-Chief Donald Trump is spinning conspiracy after conspiracy about so-called voter fraud and rigged elections faster than you can say Rumplestiltskin. …


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Photo by Tiffany Tertipes on Unsplash

I voted by mail this year. First time in my life I voted by mail. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people requesting mail-in ballots dwarfs 2016 numbers. But I didn’t choose to vote by mail because of the pandemic. I’m an election judge so I’ll be at the polls, with mask on, lots of hand sanitizer and social distancing, on Nov. 3. I chose to vote by mail because of President Trump’s attack on it and on the U.S. Postal Service. I decided to exercise this right amid the Trumpian pandemonium. …


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Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

An unexpected “tell” about the depths of Vice President Mike Pence’s anti-woman decay came about an hour into the debate.

Before then, Pence interrupted his opponent, Sen. Kamala Harris, multiple times and filibustered the debate moderator, USA Today’s Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, by ignoring time limit rules. Every woman watching this behavior recognized their own experiences with men interrupting and talking over them, which is why Sen. Harris’ firm, no nonsense “I’m speaking” comeback resonated widely.

While this display of “mansplaining” was beyond frustrating, (I yelled at the television twice and tweeted multiple times my thoughts about Pence’s disrespect) it was somewhat par for the Republican course. …

About

Teresa Albano

Writers interpret the world in various ways, the point is to change it.

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