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Elections Have Consequences

By this time in 2 weeks, the polls will be closed and many of us will be eagerly waiting in front of televisions or anxiously looking at our phones for results to be announced in what maybe one of the most consequential elections in modern day America.

If the debacle of Nov 2016 taught us anything, it was that elections have consequences. Boy do they! In a mere two years the United States has sunk to depths none of us could envision on that disappointing day. The Trump administration has gone backwards on almost every single issue that matters to the American public, and in the process caused irreparable harm to the global standing of the USA.

But the biggest threat of all is to the very existence of the democratic institutions and principles that have been the bedrock of the American republic for over two centuries. Not only has the presidency been utterly corrupted by the irredeemable and unrepentant occupant of the Oval Office, but Congress has been turned into a veritable rubber stamp to do the bidding not only of the President but the corporate elite who, not the American voters are the real constituency of Congress.

Not being satisfied there, the Republican Party and it’s corporate masters have now sullied the reputation of the Supreme Court as well. All three pillars of constitutional democracy have been eroded to the point of imminent failure. I do not exaggerate when I say that the United States is on life support and the prognosis is not good.

The United States is now in a vegetative state referred to as “minority rule”. Our government is controlled by leaders and a party who do not have the mandate of the majority nor do they act in the best interests of the majority of Americans. We have an outdated electoral college system that allows the loser of the popular vote to ascend to the Presidency. We have “gerrymandered” congressional districts that disadvantage minorities and urban Americans. We have an outdated system of allocating two Senators to each state regardless of population density that disadvantages the more populous states skewing the balance of power in favor of the conservative center of the country.

We can attribute many reasons for this sad situation. Unrestricted money in politics being the main reason but the American voting public must also bear some of the responsibility. It is the sheer apathy of American voters in 2016 that allowed this situation to come to a head. Far too many Americans are content to be numb to the fundamental issues that unbeknownst to them have massive influence on their future. They are seemingly content to allow a vocal minority driven by fear and bigotry to vote in leaders that do not represent the majority of Americans.

But all is not lost. On Nov 6th we have a final chance to attempt to save this patient. But the patient needs CPR. In order to shock it back to life we must wrest control of Congress from the Republican Party before it is too late. Two more years of Republican control of Congress with a Trump presidency will be the end of the road for the USA as we know it. Of course this will not be easy, it will take effort from each and every one of us.

In the next 14 days I implore each and every one of you to go above and beyond to make sure that the impending “Blue Wave” does not crash on the rocky shores of voter suppression, fear mongering and voter apathy.

The reactionary forces are already at play. Voter suppression is underway on a massive scale in Georgia and North Dakota and I’m sure more examples will come to light. Fear mongering about caravans of illegal aliens full of gang members and “middle easterners” has begun, championed by the minority President himself. More such bogeymen will no doubt emerge in the next 14 days.

In order to overcome these obstacles we all need to act. We cannot depend solely on our institutions and governmental mechanisms to safeguard our democracy any longer. They have been corrupted. Americans need to rise up and act to make sure that their voices are heard and that their will prevails.

So, what can you do? A lot! You can make a difference. If you are in a congressional district (or live close to one) that is deemed “swing” then that district is in play. There are 30 such districts around the country up for election this time. There are also 33 Senate seats up for re-election. The math is not so favorable to Democrats in the Senate but at least 9 of them are very closely contested and will go down to the wire. All these races need your support.

As I write this article, reports of multiple explosive devices targeting critics of Trump are pouring in. CNN office in NYC has been evacuated. This is the direct result of the incendiary hate mongering from the President. This cannot be allowed to continue!

Please find time to volunteer at least once in the next 14 days. You can canvass voters in person, you can call voters as part of an organized phone bank (sometimes even remotely from home) or you can help the campaigns with logistical support. Please look at www.moveon.org/waves and www.mobilizeamerica.io for events near you as well as the campaign websites themselves.

If you are not able to physically volunteer, you can always donate. Many campaigns need funding to keep Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts going till the very end on Nov 6th. You can donate to campaigns via www.actblue.com

I remember watching the election results on November 8th 2016 and the feeling of dread build up in the pit of my stomach right before I went to sleep that night. A repeat of that night would be life threatening for America.

Let’s all work towards a Blue Tsunami this upcoming Election Day!