by Brent Budowsky
While the Oval Office is temporarily occupied by the man who may well be the most persistent liar in the history of the American presidency, the Democratic opposition should learn from the powerful truths told and proven by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
On one level Democrats are off to a good start, with Sen. Charles Schumer(D-N.Y.), who should now be considered a plausible candidate for president in 2020, speaking with clarity and effectiveness in his new role as leader of Senate Democrats.
The press Trump regularly attacks should ask him directly why Sanders outpolled him, by far, in all pre-election polling and leads him, by far, in current favorable/unfavorable polling, and why Clinton defeated him, by almost 3 million votes, in the popular vote, and why he is the most unpopular new president, by far, in the history of presidential polling.
By contrast Bernie Sanders proves a powerful truth that should be learned by every Democrat considering a 2020 presidential campaign that in fact has already begun: voters want leaders who offer real choice and true change without the equivocations and half-way positions that often plague our party.
In another of Trump’s recurring lies, which his flack Kellyanne Conway labels his “alternative facts,” he delegitimizes his own election by falsely claiming that three to five million immigrants illegally voted in 2016.
Let’s be blunt. Trump is dog whistling that the fictitious immigrant voters that Trump falsely claims voted illegally are largely the same Hispanic immigrants he has falsely claimed are largely composed of rapists and criminals.
Let’s be clear. Trump’s alternative facts behind his false charge of voter fraud are designed to escalate GOP efforts at voter suppression of legitimate voters through various state laws, which now face challenge in court that Trump’s Justice Department has already begun to oppose. In other words, Trump’s false charge of voter fraud promotes the real injustice of voter suppression!
By contrast, the Sanders campaign in 2016 proves that an honest and inspirational campaign will create a real and gigantic surge of activism, engagement and small donor participation that revolutionizes the playing field of campaign finance in ways that will lift, change and re-empower Democrats who learn the correct lesson.
As Jesus taught that the last shall be first and the first shall be last, huge numbers of good people everywhere were thrilled and inspired by the massive worldwide demonstrations against the Trump presidency, in the same ways and for the same reasons our elders were thrilled and inspired by Martin Luther King’s march on Washington during the dark days of segregation.
Today we protest, tomorrow we prevail, because we are the majority. This is what Trump fears the most and why he bears false witness so often.
Soon there will be demonstrations that dwarf in size the humongous outpouring the world witnessed last Saturday. Hundreds of thousands of citizens became millions. Millions will become tens of millions. The big lie of Trump’s phony investigation of voter fraud will give way to the big truths that set us free. Many who did not vote before will vote next time. Most who supported Sanders in primaries and Trump in November will not support Trump again. Many who believed Trump’s false promise of reform reject the dirty swamp of crony capitalism and conflicts of interest that corrupt Washington under Trump today.
Students of history and politics should study the lessons of teachers of physics regarding Newton’s third law. For every action of Trump there is a powerful and growing reaction from the multitudes who believe that America is better than Trump. Democrats who learn the lessons of Sanders will defeat Republicans who walk the plank for Trump.