Vail Daily column: Not obligated to support president’s policies
Dear Comrade Butler: I read with interest your recent letter, “Bolshevik revolution in the making” (published Thursday, June 1). It seems that the Democrats, in your opinion, are the reincarnation of the old Marxists who toppled the czar and introduced communism to Russia 100 years ago this October.
You are pleased, however, that President Donald Trump came along to replace “eight years of socialistic and authoritarian rule by the Democratic Party.” But you do not like the fact that these modern-day Bolsheviks — aka socialists, aka progressives — are thwarting “the will of the American people that voted their sentiments through the Electoral College.”
By that, you mean preventing the president from carrying out the agenda he promised his share of the electorate, such as fighting terrorism, an obstruction so dangerous as to cause you to write, “To impede, obstruct and sabotage the president in performing his duties to the American people is tantamount to treason and espionage.” I hope I got that all right.
Well, Comrade Butler, as a neo-bolshevik-progressive-socialist-liberal-communist-anarchist, or any other label you’d like to attach to my lefty leanings, I have a few thoughts I’d like to share with you.
Donald Trump won an Electoral College victory by the slimmest of margins. If 77,000 voters in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania had voted for his Democrat opponent or either of the two independent candidates on the ballot, he would not be president today. He also lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by almost 3 million votes.
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He hardly has a mandate to govern; more like an obligation to compromise in the face of enormous opposition to both his election and political agenda. We both know that is something Donald Trump is constitutionally unequipped to do.
The people who didn’t vote for the president are under no obligation to support the president’s policies. As members of the loyal opposition, they have every right to thwart, block, impede or sidetrack every attempt he makes to govern through any legal means at their disposal. We see that everyday now in the courts, through the press and by the mechanism of mass public protests.
More people, by a wide margin, disapprove rather than approve of the president. He may be the duly-elected president of a large segment of older, industrial, rural white Americans, but that doesn’t mean all those Americans who are not old, industrial, rural and white have to give him carte blanche to run the country any way he sees fit. That’s how a democracy works.
Elections have consequences, both for those who win and those who lose. Donald Trump, who loves basking in the glory showered upon him by his supporters, is discovering that those who can’t stomach him or the direction he is leading the country toward have to be dealt with, too.
He may not care about their needs, but they certainly do, enough perhaps to make the next four years miserable for him.
So, Comrade Butler, here is what I think you can expect to happen between now and 2020. All of the institutions Donald Trump has so insultingly alienated — the “ fake” news media, the “dishonest” federal courts, the “ Nazis” in the CIA and the FBI — are going to come after him with their guns blazing. And you can cry, Comrade Butler, all you like about their actions being treasonous or dangerous or unconstitutional, but it just doesn’t matter.
You won’t decide if any of that is true. Nor will I. The ultimate determination, if it comes to that, will be made by at least five justices on the Supreme Court. They decide what is and isn’t constitutional. You and I just get to argue about the merits of their decisions.
I can tell you one other thing, Comrade Butler, that you can expect will happen: unbreakable stonewalling on the part of the Democrats in the House and Senate, especially in the lead up to the 2018 midterm elections. The Dems will do their best to obstruct, as best they can with Republican majorities in Congress, any major piece of legislation the president attempts to introduce.
It won’t be easy but with “witch-hunt investigations” taking place in both houses, the FBI and by the special counsel appointed by the Attorney General’s office, it may be possible to create enough chaos and confusion so the president’s agenda is completely stymied.
Hopefully, and it looks better and better each day as the president flounders and fails, the
Democrats can win back the House in 2018. And if they do, then you can expect the Dems to try and do to this president what Mitch McConnell vowed he wanted to do to the last president: make his a one term presidency.
It should be easier with Trump than it obviously wasn’t with Obama. This president, unlike our last one, is detested for both who he is and what he represents: creeping fascism and autocratic rule. Donald Trump would have made a great king of France, a job he is much more qualified to do than his current position as leader of the free world.
So, if you get tired, Comrade Butler, of supporting someone far less intelligent than you (a compliment I could hardy offer to most of the president’s supporters), then join us merry Bolsheviks as we try to end this sad chapter in American history and pave the way for the return of our favorite socialist agenda items. You know, the standard stuff: affordable health care for everybody, climate control, environmental protections, human rights, progressive taxation, gun background checks, abortion rights, religious and cultural tolerance, yadda, yadda, yadda. All the things that liberal commie pinkos like me cherish and everybody who voted for President Trump hates.
Jay Wissot is a resident of Denver.