Monday, February 20, 2017


Attention: Senator Charles Schumer
               U.S. Senate
               Representative Nancy Pelosi
               U.S. House of Represntatives
Dear Senator Schumer and Representative Pelosi:
I write to you in your positions of Senate Minority Leader and House Minority Leader and, as such, the leaders of the Democratic Party.
I hardly need to point out to you the disaster to this country that the election of Donald Trump represents.  It may be an old saw, but if ever there was a desperate time calling for desperate measures it is now.  The only way to survive this calamity and maintain the values and ethos of this country is to oppose him, his policies and his surrogates in Congress every step of the way.  There is no choice.  You cannot work with someone like him and his advisers, such as Bannon, Flynn, etc.  If you reach out, they will take it as a sign of weakness and try to steamroller you.  Their substantive goals are secondary to that of imposing their will as an end in itself.  They truly evidence the authoritarian personality of which Hannah Arendt wrote.  You cannot negotiate with such people.  To combat this, the Democrats must with no delay and on a regular basis get across to the public the harm which will be imposed upon them by each of Trump's policies and of the Democrat alternatives and their advantages in basic every day bread and butter terms. 
One suggestion: set up the equivalent of the British Parliamentary "shadow cabinet" with one Democrat member of Congress designated for each Trump appointee to react to each proposed policy, act of legislation, regulation and executive order as it is announced or in anticipation, demonstrate its flaws and promote an alternative or explain why the current policy, legislation, etc., need not be changed.  Equally important is to immediately point out every misstatement of fact promulgated by the Trump administration.  Much of Trump's policies are justified on the basis of non-existent facts, the public's faulty assumptions or misreading or distortion of the public's desires.  Since we have no Prime Minister to coordinate such a process, someone will have to be authorized to do so.  Maybe someone like Joe Biden. 
In addition, why not publish a "White Paper" with specific policy proposals representing the program of the Democratic Party.  It needs to be simple and straightforward, ideally on one page.  It can be based on the Democratic Platform but substantially condensed.  Nobody is going to wade through the platform.  Something like, I hate to say it, the 1994 Republican Contract with America.

Trump lost the popular vote.  He does not represent the majority.  He has no mandate.  Keep reminding him.  It gets under his thin skin, and he strikes out violently.  When he does, he looks like a fool.  It may take time, but sooner or later people will catch on.  Use his lack of self control against him.  Like judo, which originally evolved in response to bullying at school, use his strength (as he sees it) against him.

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