Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and other national Democratic figures are showing a lot of deference to Donald Trump in the hours following the projection of his likely victory in the Electoral College — perhaps owing to their belief that deference is required to ensure a peaceful transition of power.
Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.
Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power, and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines other things—the rule of law, the principle that we’re all equal in rights and dignity, and the freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these things too—and we must defend them.
The peaceful transfer of power is the cornerstone of our democracy. After an election in which Donald Trump won the electoral college and Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, we have a responsibility to come together and find common ground.
Only by recognizing and respecting the important contributions that all Americans make to our country’s success can we build an inclusive and stronger future for America.
Now, everybody is sad when their side loses an election. But the day after, we have to remember that we’re actually all on one team. This is an intramural scrimmage. We’re not Democrats first. We’re not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country. That’s what I heard in Mr. Trump’s remarks last night. That’s what I heard when I spoke to him directly. And I was heartened by that. That’s what the country needs — a sense of unity; a sense of inclusion,; a respect for our institutions, our way of life, rule of law; and a respect for each other.
I get that Obama, Clinton, Pelosi, and others feel they have to call for unity and a peaceful transfer of power. They’re trying to be America’s better angels.
But now is not a time for unity. Now is not a time for deference. Neofascism won last night, and we have to fight it. We have to resist the darkness with all we have.
Now is a time for organizing – organizing to resist Trump, organizing to defend our vital public services, organizing to advance progressive causes.
Let’s not be naive or pretentious here. Donald Trump just got elected after having run one of the most divisive, mean-spirited, nasty campaigns in U.S. history. He walks, talks, and acts like a neofascist. No one can believe a word he says. He’s totally untrustworthy and unfit for the presidency. The notion that a neofascist can unify this country around its finest traditional values is utterly preposterous.
It won’t happen, nor should we want it to happen. The other side isn’t interested in finding any common ground. To them, bipartisanship = capitulation. It’s their way or the highway, period. We’ve seen this before. Republicans have a big, fat double standard: they demand Democrats show deference when they have the power, but do not return the favor after Democrats win elections.
Remember Mitch McConnell’s scorched-earth opposition tactics? Remember the abuse of the filibuster? Remember the U.S. Senate’s outrageous failure to take up Merrick Garland’s nomination for Supreme Court justice?
Let’s not forget that from the moment Obama began running for President in 2007, right wing Republicans — including Trump’s enablers — began spreading vicious lies about him, most notoriously that he wasn’t born in this country, when we know for a fact he was. Donald Trump embraced those lies several years ago and became Birther-in-Chief. Now, disgustingly, he will become Obama’s successor as Commander-in-Chief. It’s a horrible moment in this country’s history.
Donald Trump does not deserve our support or deference. He has not earned any; he should not receive any. His conduct during and before this campaign has been monstrous. It should be repudiated at every turn, not excused away.
Trump must not be legitimized by Democrats simply because he duped millions into voting for him. Except for on the Left Coast, New England, and a few other places, the Democratic Party is every respect America’s opposition party now. In a few months, Republicans will control every branch of the federal government.
It’s time for the Democratic Party to embrace its role as the loyal opposition.
California’s Democratic legislative leadership woke up to the same grim outcome that Clinton and Obama did, but they came up with a much better response: affirm that Trump and his agenda are completely incompatible with America’s finest traditional values — which residents of California voted emphatically to uphold last night. In a joint statement, they declared:
Today, we woke up feeling like strangers in a foreign land, because yesterday Americans expressed their views on a pluralistic and democratic society that are clearly inconsistent with the values of the people of California.
We have never been more proud to be Californians.
By a margin in the millions, Californians overwhelmingly rejected politics fueled by resentment, bigotry, and misogyny.
The largest state of the union and the strongest driver of our nation’s economy has shown it has its surest conscience as well.
California is – and must always be – a refuge of justice and opportunity for people of all walks, talks, ages and aspirations – regardless of how you look, where you live, what language you speak, or who you love.
California has long set an example for other states to follow. And California will defend its people and our progress.
We are not going to allow one election to reverse generations of progress at the height of our historic diversity, scientific advancement, economic output, and sense of global responsibility.
We will be reaching out to federal, state and local officials to evaluate how a Trump Presidency will potentially impact federal funding of ongoing state programs, job-creating investments reliant on foreign trade, and federal enforcement of laws affecting the rights of people living in our state. We will maximize the time during the presidential transition to defend our accomplishments using every tool at our disposal.
While Donald Trump may have won the presidency, he hasn’t changed our values. America is greater than any one man or party. We will not be dragged back into the past. We will lead the resistance to any effort that would shred our social fabric or our Constitution.
California was not a part of this nation when its history began, but we are clearly now the keeper of its future.
This was a great statement. Note its positivity and steadfastness, note the commitment to defend the values we hold dear. Note the progressive framing.
It is an appropriate and fitting response to Trump’s “triumph”. Capitulation is not the way forward. I hope to see a similar joint statement very soon from Governor Inslee and Democratic leaders here in Washington, and from Governor Kate Brown and Democratic leaders in Oregon.