I say this in a sense of normalcy, but these times are anything but normal. In a just world, a man like Donald J. Trump would never be allowed within five miles of the White House. But, that is not the world we live in today. In a normal and just world, Trump would be impeached, convicted, and then charged with state and federal crimes, and jailed. It is my hope that this nation is coming to its senses and about to do just that; however, it is also entirely possible he survives impeachment, and goes on to win a second term. Never underestimate the power of the uninformed voter.
That being said, at some point, hopefully sooner than later, he will either be removed from office via impeachment or the ballot box. The question before us then becomes, how in the hell do we undo all the damage he and the GOP have done to this country? I am assuming that the damage done by the Republican Party is so bad that in the next election we gain control of the Senate, maintain control over the house, and take back the Executive Branch.
What should our priorities be, not as a party, but what priorities should we take on that are best for all Americans?
This list is in no particular order of precedence, just issues facing us that must be dealt with, some are directly Trump related, others are not. One of which is that there is currently a right-wing movement to hold a constitutional convention.
A well-funded, highly coordinated national effort is underway to call a constitutional convention, under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, for the first time in history. The result of such a convention could be a complete overhaul of the Constitution and supporters of the convention are dangerously close to succeeding. With special interest groups gaining more momentum, conservative advocates are just six states short of reaching the constitutionally-required 34-state goal. They are targeting Republican-controlled legislatures in 2018 and are within striking distance.
Now other than finding it hypocritical that the very people who demand we stick to the original text of the U.S. Constitution want to rewrite it, this is also a bad idea. The supposed reason, and main push for a constitutional convention is to get a balanced budget amendment, also a bad idea. The problem is, a constitutional convention would not be limited to just a balanced budget amendment. Anything goes, think of the plethora of amendments conservatives would love to add to the Constitution. Banning abortion, making Christianity the law of the land, elimination of public education, removing birthright citizenship, limits to free speech, the list goes on. Congress must do all in its power to prevent a constitutional convention from happening. As Congress is limited in what it can do, a concerted effort must be made in states where legislation in support of a convention has been passed to repeal that legislation.
It will take decades to undo the damage he has done to our institutions. The first step in undoing the damage he has done, is that every executive order Trump has enacted, every rule his administration has made, must be repealed, and if necessary replaced. None of his political appointees should remain past his tenure. If crimes were committed by him, the vice president, his family, or any member of his cabinet or staff they must be held accountable to the full extent and letter of the law. The Justice Department memo that a sitting president cannot be indicted must be put into the dustbin of history. No man or woman is above the law—including the president. His stupid trade war must end, every tariff he enacted must be immediately repealed.
Legislation must be passed to prevent someone like him from ever attaining office again—the Electoral College must be abolished. Laws must be passed requiring that all assets must be put in a blind trust if elected (this goes for Congress as well). Tax returns must be released, and campaign finance laws must be passed and implemented limiting the amount of time a candidate can campaign, how much money can be spent, and who can donate. Enough of corporations, and PACs being people too. They are not, and should not be allowed to campaign; it does nothing but pervert democracy. We must also pass legislation to protect our election integrity—I for one would like to see a return to paper ballots, and a nationwide standard for elections, including requiring everyone to register to vote at the age of 18 (if we can legally require 18-year-old males to register for Selective Service, we can do this), and making election days holidays, or move elections to weekends.
Foreign policy—I don’t even know where to start here. So much damage has been done to our traditional alliances I am not sure the damage can ever be repaired. We must first recommit to our allies; the war of words against the UN, and NATO, must end. The coddling of dictators, and autocrats must never again happen in this country. We should be championing human rights across the globe, not abusing them like we have on our own southern border.
College education, whether a four-year degree or a vocational school, should be free and available to anyone, if we can afford to spend $122 million on one F-35B Lightning, then I think we can afford $79 billion for higher education, especially considering ...
… in 2016 (the most recent year for which detailed expenditures are available), the federal government spent $91 billion on policies that subsidized college attendance. That is more than the $79 billion in total tuition and fee revenue for public institutions. At least some of the $91 billion could be shifted into making public institutions tuition-free.
Minimum wage must be raised to $15 an hour, and pegged to the rate of inflation. No more treating it as a political football, the separate tipped wage should be eliminated as well—it is far too easy for employers to abuse it. On top of that, we need to rewrite the tax code so that the rich and corporations pay their fair share—take tax rates back to what they were in the 1950s. Once tax revenue starts coming back in, we need to ensure the VA and other government organizations are fully funded so they can actually work for American citizens. We need to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, roads, water and sewer systems, transportation hubs, air traffic control systems, and start a high-speed rail project that will connect the nation.
Climate change legislation must become a priority—it may already be too late, but we must create an Apollo-like program to move the United States off of fossil fuels as quickly as possible to all renewable energy. Solar panels should be on every rooftop!
I would like to see all of Trump’s court nominations removed; however, I am not sure that is possible. In absence of that, we need to ensure that all nominees to the court are well vetted and actually qualified to be on the court, and instead of the president choosing the nominees, he is forwarded a list by a nonpartisan committee that makes judicial recommendations based on qualifications, instead of allowing groups like the Heritage Foundation to select judges based on how conservative they are. (I also want legislation passed that nothing is named after him—no presidential library, nothing. He is a blotch on our nation’s history, and should be treated as such.)
Can this be done in one president’s term? It is doubtful—it will take decades to repair the damage Trump and his sycophants have done. Even longer if he somehow survives to a second term.
What would you like to see done to repair the damage he has done?