The 2016 campaign is, unfortunately, underway in earnest. I say unfortunately because one of the many cultural sicknesses ravaging America is the non-stop presidential campaign, which draws attention away from the crucial business of governing and reduces our politics to a kind of tiresome game. However, my disdain for the situation will not change it. There are already many Democratic activists at work. The efforts of Moral Monday in North Carolina have been particularly noteworthy. But the effort must expand exponentially. In the Republican Party today we are facing one the greatest existential threats to our future that has ever existed. This threat makes it absolutely IMPERATIVE that the Democrats win in 2016, and win at every level. The great push for registration must accelerate. NOW. TODAY.
Follow me below the orange croissant of Kos-ness and let's talk about it.
In a recent diary, I laid out the threat the Republicans, now thoroughly radicalized and controlled by the worst elements of the Right Wing Sewer, pose to the country and the world. Let me reiterate what I said, and add to it:
The Republicans really mean it when they say they are committed to destroying Obamacare. They really do intend to pack the Supreme Court with far right fanatics who will help them do that. And they don't give a rat's ass what the polls say.
The Republicans really do intend to strangle Medicaid. They really do intend to privatize Social Security. They really do intend to destroy Medicare. And they don't give a rat's ass what the polls say.
The Republicans really do intend to reverse progress on gay rights. They really do intend to keep waging the drug war. They really do intend to wipe out all labor unions, cripple environmental standards, destroy worker safety protections, and strip the average person of the means to fight corporate power. They will ignore all evidence of global climate change as a "hoax". And they don't give a rat's ass what the polls say.
The Republicans really do intend to establish plutocracy at the top. They really do intend to impose a right-wing fundamentalist "Christian" theocracy on everyone else. They really do intend to curtail voting rights more and more brutally. They really do intend to coddle the neo-Confederates and placate the white supremacists. They really do intend to abolish the IRS and shift the tax burden down toward the poor and middle class. They really do intend to utterly destroy the safety net. And they don't give a rat's ass what the polls say.
And most ominously, the Republicans, driven by apocalyptic lunatics from the Religious Right, intend to have a war with Iran, and if necessary, one with Russia to help bring on the Apocalypse. You think I'm kidding or exaggerating? Look in Tom Cotton's eyes if you think I am.
You may say that the polls say the American people mostly stand with us on the great issues. But you know why the Republicans don't care about that?
POLLS DON'T VOTE. PEOPLE DO. AND THE RIGHT-WINGERS VOTE.
I just shake my head in disbelief when I read articles about how the Republican Party is "dying" or "on the way out" or doomed. I hate to break it to you but the fact is this: they're winning.
They control 69 out of 99 legislative chambers in this country. (Nebraska is unicameral.)
They have 3/5 of the governors.
They have a gerrymandered stranglehold on the House.
They run the Senate, however ineptly.
Why? Because those angry old white people VOTE.
Sam Brownback, a lunatic and fanatic, is destroying Kansas. HE WAS RE-ELECTED.
Scott Walker, a frightening sociopath who will lie about anything, is crippling Wisconsin. HE WAS RE-ELECTED.
Rick Scott is an outright criminal who should be in prison for several reasons. He is strangling Florida. HE WAS RE-ELECTED.
In 2010 and 2014, we were massacred. Humiliated. Crushed. We got our asses kicked. We got our clocks cleaned. Why? In part because the turnout was disgracefully low (only 36% in 2014, worst in 72 years). The Republicans run the states. ALEC is writing the laws. They are gutting us locally, where it counts. If we lose the presidency, this country is finished. The Republican radicals want to abolish the 17th Amendment and go back to legislatures choosing senators. Guess who that would give a PERMANENT Senate majority to? The Republicans want constitutional amendments outlawing gay rights and declaring America a "Christian" nation. Thirty-four states can call a constitutional convention. When the Right wins control of 38 states, they can push those amendments through, bypassing Congress. And again, they don't care what polls say. They get their way because they vote.
Now, are we clear on this? Let me add that the right-wingers are poisoning our textbooks with Texas-style bullshit that downplays slavery as a cause of the civil war, omits the Jim Crow era, and credits white conservatives (!) with advancing the civil rights cause. They are attacking our public universities, trying to destroy the Postal Service, stifling the teaching of evolution in science classes, and shoveling more and more money into the pockets of themselves and their rich benefactors. And they are committed to reducing women once again to a completely subordinate status.
The Republicans are being propped up by the MOB CRIMINAL Sheldon Adelson and the JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY lunatics Charles and David Koch, among others. We already know they will tell ANY lie, spread any SMEAR, throw ANY filth in our faces, use ANY tactic necessary to win. The Democrats are not angels by any means, but the Republican hardcore is simply evil and deranged, utterly devoid of moral and ethical principles of any kind. THEY WANT TO WIN AND THEY WILL BREAK ANY RULE TO DO SO.
So what do we do?
We need 30,000,000 new Democratic voters.
Don't scoff at this. It's DOABLE.
Most of you are probably on Facebook. You need to start quietly contacting your Democratic-leaning friends who either never vote or only vote in "big" elections. Urge them to REGISTER to vote. Start a registration chain, where they contact other potential Democrats. Remind them that voting in EVERY election is crucial, even school board elections. Moreover, your other social media platforms can be used to spread this message: WHEN DEMOCRATS DON'T VOTE, THEY HAND AMERICA OVER TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE DESTROYING IT.
Do you live in a state where the right-wing thugs have made it hard to get ID for registration? Redouble your efforts. Seek out every kind of person who is being denied the right to vote by these slimy tactics, and help them get registered. Take the Republican rules and shove them down the right-wingers' throats. Texas Democrats are working hard on this, and the Republican fanatics who run Texas have put up every obstacle. Two million new VOTING Texas Democrats will flush out a lot of right-wing trash in 2016 and beyond. (They could also help bounce Canadian Cruz out of the Senate in 2018.)
Registration work is unsexy. It isn't as satisfying as attending a rally, or posting a ferocious diary on DKos. :-) But it is in the quiet, unspectacular, steady, low-key work of voter registration and vote-protection that the salvation of America will come. Our civilization is under attack by right wing radicals who stand for programs so extreme that I am genuinely convinced they will bring about the death of America if they are enacted. The future is in our hands.
I've started working on 2016 NOW.
A lot of you have started, too.
Let's get a lot of people to join us.
When we state the facts, WE WIN.
When we fight back HARD, WE WIN.
When we register and vote, WE WIN.
In the words of the immortal Bluto from Animal House: "Let's...DO IT!!"