Not yet one week into his presidency Donald Trump is showing the same authoritarian, impulsive, mendacious, and dangerous tendencies he has exhibited throughout his business life and brief political career. The difference now is that he is in charge of two million federal employees who work for dozens of agencies, as well as the nation’s military and nuclear arsenal. Beyond that, he has the ability to exact revenge on his perceived and real enemies through the FBI and CIA; and given his history and temperament, it’s hard to imagine that he won’t do so. He has already made statements that could lead to war with China; repeated the stupid, bald-faced lie that three million people voted illegally in the election; begun to muzzle federal employees from speaking the truth; refused to disentangle his vast business interests from the interest of the nation, ensuring conflicts-of-interest; refused to ever release his taxes, despite promising to do so once his audit is complete; lied about attendance at his inauguration; instituted and immoral and likely illegal ban on Muslim refugees from certain countries; and nominated numerous unqualified, corrupt, and dangerous people for key cabinet positions, including Ben Carson, Betsy Davos, and Tom Price. And perhaps most troubling of all, the evidence of his campaign’s collusion with Russia continues to mount.
During the past few weeks I have donated to the ACLU and other civil rights organizations; attended marches and rallies and community meetings; called and emailed my Congressional delegation numerous times; helped to form a Social Justice Club that meets weekly; and signed countless petitions. The problem, however, is that it’s impossible to keep up: every day brings a new controversy, a new abomination, a new threat to our democracy and our planet.
Given the daunting reality we are facing, I have concluded that fighting Trump issue-by-issue, policy-by-policy, and nominee-by-nominee is not enough; we simply don’t have the time and energy and money to succeed. No, the only approach is for him to be investigated, impeached, and convicted of “high crimes and misdeamoners.” Yes, removing Trump would leave us with Mike Pence, a hard-right Republican who favors a lot of things with which I vigorously disagree. But he is not mentally unstable and he is not an authoritarian. In short, I can fight him on policies and live to fight another day; the same cannot be said with Trump, with whom there may not be another day.
I have also concluded that the only way to force Congress to take action is to so clog the machinery of the nation’s economy and government that they have to act. Just as the Montgomery bus strike “gummed up” the city until the leaders were forced to make concessions, a national strike can make it clear that business as usual is not acceptable so long as the abnormal and abominable takes hold at the highest levels of government. Left unchecked, Trump and his billionaire cabinet will run roughshod over our institutions, line the pockets of the wealthy (including themselves), enact severe restrictions on our civil liberties, and set back the clock decades on civil rights, the environment, women’s right, etc.
I am therefore calling on all people of goodwill–Republican, Democrat, Independent, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, gay, straight, black, white, brown, Native American, immigrant–to strike once per week until Congress fully investigates Trump’s illegal collusion with Russia (and any of the numerous other things he has done that are impeachable offenses), impeaches him, and then convicts. So long as he is in power, so long as he threatens everything we hold dear, the nation must grind to a halt. For there comes a time when the danger we face is so great that we can no longer ignore it; that time is now. Only by refusing to work, by taking to the streets, by boycotting those who support and profit from Trumpism, and by putting our hearts and minds and bodies in front of the evil that is creeping forth, can we achieve our simple aim: to never again allow a corrupt, unprepared, unstable, insecure, narcisistic, would-be dictator from taking the reins of our great democracy.
What I want to know is what you think. Do you support the idea? Will you help bring it to fruition? What’s the best way to carry it out?
We need to join hands in these difficult days. Are you in?