We have to be brutally honest about two realities.
If we don’t absorb, grapple with and respond to BOTH things, we won’t understand what’s happening in America or the work ahead of us.
First, Trump’s racism and demagoguery has genuine political appeal to large swaths of the American public, and there’s every reason to expect him to double down on his fascist tendencies.
Second, if we play our cards right, November 6 will be a turning point not just in our fight to block the efforts of the criminogenic Trump administration, but in the arc of American history.
We have a major opportunity to turn our country around and launch it on a course for justice and democracy.
Fearsome threats and unparalleled opportunity.
That’s our dual reality.
Now, elections are incredibly important. But they get translated into reality by what happens in between.
So, while I know many of you poured your hearts and your energy into the just-completed election, I’m asking you now not to rest.
Instead, I need you to join me in the hard work ahead.
Guided by love and solidarity, we are going to address the dual reality — and we are going to win.
We will show respect for every human being — by insisting that no human is “illegal” or lesser in any way AND that everyone has a right to health care and a living wage.
We will show that while Americans of all political stripes are angry at a system rigged against us, Trump has enabled corporate cronyism and a complete corporate takeover of our government on a scale with no precedent.
And, we will fight for — and, in time, win — a transformative, progressive agenda that speaks to people’s legitimate grievances and is our best antidote to Trump’s proto-fascism.
Here’s the plan in a nutshell:
First, with congressional Democrats now able to hold serious investigative hearings, backed up by subpoena power, we’re going to be able to crack open the corruption and cronyism that pervades the Trump administration.
And, we’re going to continue our vigilance to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and uphold the principle that nobody is above the law.
Second, we are going to drive to passage in the U.S. House of Representatives the most far-reaching anti-corruption and pro-democracy legislative package of the past 50 years.
Third, we are going to organize, organize, organize to push forward transformative legislation like Medicare-for-All.
Our plan is not just to reverse the damage done by Trump, but to catapult us forward with an aggressive, progressive agenda.
Here’s the plan in more detail:
Holding Trump Accountable
The House now has the ability to probe and uncover the abuses of the Trump administration and to pave the way for far-reaching reform.
We already have shared a detailed Public Citizen memo on oversight hearings with House leaders and are working closely with key committee staff.
Along with a focus on Trump’s personal conflicts of interest and their intersection with policy, we are encouraging deep dives into the corporate corruption that pervades the administration.
These policies are killing and injuring people, through regulatory rollbacks, slashed programs, corporate giveaways and more.
For all we already know, deliberate investigations likely will reveal depths of corruption and wrongdoing beyond our imagination.
Those should stem some of the abuses, drive forward the narrative of Trump’s corruption and pave the way for far-reaching systemic reform.
We also are putting on high alert the network we co-lead to protect the Mueller investigation.
If Trump moves to stop the investigation, more than 400,000 Americans have pledged to take to the streets in protest the same day he acts.
The Pro-Democracy Revolution
The newly constituted House of Representatives is expected to vote early in the new Congress on a far-reaching anti-corruption, pro-democracy package.
The extraordinary package includes public financing of elections, restoration of the Voting Rights Act, an end to gerrymandering, tough limits on lobbyists taking government jobs and more.
That package reflects the work that we have done over many years.
We are going to win passage in the House, and then push it in the Senate, thanks to a new and expanding pro-democracy coalition we are spearheading, and stepped up organizing around the country.
If you believe, as I know you do, that fixing our democracy is the key to enabling our country to live up to its ideals, then I can’t overstate the importance of this initiative.
The odds of getting this package enacted into law in the immediate term obviously are not good.
But winning in the House — and organizing to build overwhelming public support — will drive us toward enactment when Trump is gone.
This is about far more than Trump.
It’s about fixing the rigged system.
That’s imperative both to counter Trump’s demagoguery — by offering real solutions to the corruption that infuriates Americans — and to win the progressive agenda our country wants and needs.
An Aggressive, Progressive Agenda
As we plan the way forward for our country, our objective must be not just to repair the damage from Trump or return to the Obama-era baseline, but to slingshot forward.
The opportunity is absolutely there; capitalizing on it will be the biggest challenge of all.
Take health care, which voters ranked as their top issue in exit polls.
Voters are absolutely terrified of Republican proposals to enable insurers to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
But they are NOT asking for preservation of the status quo; they want bold changes.
Which is what we are going to offer.
We are going to build a grassroots campaign, work representative by representative and senator by senator, and build to congressional majorities for Medicare-for-All.
We are working closely with House leadership on a far-reaching medicine pricing bill — which likely will come to a vote quickly — to ensure that everyone has access to the treatment they need.
That’s just by way of example.
We are going to drive forward other transformative proposals: holding CEOs liable for corporate crime, breaking up the Big Banks, taking on monopolists, rapidly phasing out fossil fuels and more.
That’s how we energize and mobilize progressives AND how we diminish the effectiveness of Trump’s demagoguery.
This is a moment unlike any other in American history.
We must intensify our vigilance against Trump, who is likely to double down on his worst, proto-fascist tendencies.
But at the same time, we can set ourselves on a path to do great things.
Remember, we must stay cognizant of BOTH parts of our dual reality:
Yes, we must confront real, scary threats, but we also have the greatest opportunity in generations to transform our country.
We can do this.
We will do this.
With hope and determination,
President, Public Citizen
P.S. If you need a dose of inspiration, consider this: Yesterday, voters in Florida approved Amendment Four, which will restore voting rights to 1.4 million Floridians with a past felony conviction.
That is the largest expansion of voting rights since passage of the Voting Rights Act more than 50 years ago.
Public Citizen helped support the inspiring and history-making Second Chances Florida campaign. We’ll be sharing more information about this campaign in the days and weeks to come.
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