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Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

California’s Democratic leaders offer a fitting, appropriate response to Trump’s “triumph”

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.

Said Clin­ton:

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.

Said Pelosi:

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.

Said Oba­ma:

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.

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One Comment

  1. As a con­ser­v­a­tive liv­ing in Cal­i­for­nia i com­plete­ly dis­agree with the entire pro­gres­sive agen­da. It is anti-colo­nial­ism at its finest. And social­ist in its intent. And the prob­lem with social­ism is, you even­tu­al­ly run out of oth­er peo­ples mon­ey.. There are quite a few mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions in this piece but lets just focus on one for now.. Cal­i­for­nia is in FACT, NOT the largest state in the union. That hon­or belongs to Alas­ka.. /search?client=ms-android-sprint-us&ei=ybQmWJXmLerg0gKF9IuYCA&q=largest+state+in+America&oq=largest+state+in+America&gs_l=mobile-gws-serp.3..0i71k1l5.0.0.0.18383.1.1.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0.…0…1c..64.mobile-gws-serp..1.0.0.uMgt9l3771c
    For goodnes sakes peo­ple, fact check a lit­tle before you claim things that just aren’t true

    # by Mitchell :: November 11th, 2016 at 10:27 PM
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