Within the overwhelming number of comments to the article on this site describing Trump’s refusal to enforce the sanctions against Russia put in place four months ago by 517 Congressional votes, many asked: “What can be done!” with understandable anger and feelings of helplessness. It is easy to feel powerless, but you are not. In fact, “you” (“‘we”) are the only ones with the power.
First, let us establish that this violation of the law isn’t something for which a president can be arrested. He is not violating a criminal code. The law requires Trump to enforce sanctions upon Russia. He is violating his oath to “faithfully execute” the laws. This is a political dispute, one which can only be remedied by congressional action under the constitution, specifically, the impeachment, censure, or contempt power in the constitution.
A citizen’s power starts with a refusal to simply “let this go.” Many fine articles set out exactly what Trump did and why he did it. To support this site, you may use the link above, and send it everywhere. Or, find one of the many other articles found out there on Politico, The Daily Beast, Newsweek and several other places. It would be a highly effective step because the Alt-Right media carefully selects what their acolytes see, hear and read. Information the RW News hides hard truths such as the fact that Trump will not punish Russia, even when required by all of Congres.
I am continually surprised how much the Alt-Right doesn’t know regarding what Trump did or said about a particular issue, or what other facts go unreported because they cannot be explained away. I suspect that well over half of the Trump supporters don’t even know that the Congress passed the sanctions into law because Congress didn’t trust Trump to enforce them. I suspect 90% do not know that Trump steadfastly refused to do it, leaving even Republicans angry.
By putting this information into the public square where it cannot be ignored, the Alt-Right is forced to ask itself, and answer to you; “Why?” “Why is it that Trump will not cross Russia?” “Why is it 517 members of Congress, nearly unanimous, believe these sanctions are necessary?” “Why is Trump favoring Russia over Republican Senators?” Ask your Alt-Right posters; “If Russia is a hoax and fake, why does he do this?”
Next, write your congressman or senator and demand they take action. Demand that impeachment articles include a failure to execute the laws of the United States. This step is particularly important if you live in a Republican congressional district, specifically one who strongly supports Trump. Ask the congressperson: “Why do you allow Trump to violate your vote, are you no longer part of a co-equal branch? What other laws are you prepared to allow Trump to ignore?” Pepper the office with such questions. They do NOT like being asked such questions because there is no where to run. They know they are wrong. No, you alone will not move the congressman to action. But, you are part of a growing army, and your army will be noticed.
Call your local Democratic Committee and ask how you might volunteer to help defeat the Republican majorities in the House and Senate this fall. The Senate will be difficult with so few Republican Senators even up for election, the odds of picking up Senate seats are slim. But, the House could be washed over. As of now, it appears over 30 Republicans have already decided not to run this November, likely knowing a tidal wave is upon them. Get involved! Once the House is safely back in Democratic hands, you can be sure that Nunes’ will not be head of the committee investigating Trump, and no more stunts such as his will be pulled. A REAL investigation will take place and impeachment articles will issue.
Write letters to the editor. Again, spreading the word. This is especially effective if you live in a conservative area. Many people live in areas so “red” that many there believe “everyone things this way.” The appearance of letters to the editor by people among them demonstrating that, “No, not everyone thinks this way” can be extremely powerful.
Vote. Help get others to the voting booth. Participate in organizations that offer rides, etc. to ensure that those among us, the elderly, the young, the sick, can get to the voting booth. The most underrepresented voting group is the one that disfavors Trump the most, the very young. Get a group of high school seniors, and college students together, register them, and get them to the polls.
Finally, do not fall into despair, easy as it may be. In decades and centuries past, people have fought with guns, put their lives on the line to register black voters in the Civil Rights Movement, MLK paid with his life, women risked their “value” in that world by asserting their rights as equal citizens, and “Yankees” died to free the slaves and save the Union.
At this point, we are not called to make such sacrifices. But, we do face fascism at the doorstep. Repelling this fascism is the challenge of this generation. Can we be as strong as the abolitionists in the 1860s, the Greatest Generation fighting global fascism, the heroes of the Civil Rights movement? We can never know until called upon to do similar work. Right now we face no such call. But it is good to keep in mind that those people did not shy away when called to leave home to fight to the death. We must not feel sorry for ourselves. We must embrace this challenge. We must look at the opportunity to fight for our country as a gift, because if not us, who?What better way to leave our mark on the enduring course in this country’s road to a more perfect union.
The time is now, the challenge is here. There is much to do, but we will not be turned back. The arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice. No where has the cliche been more true than here in the United States, where the only unbroken chain in our history is one toward greater progressive rights, more equality, more freedom, more adherence to the founding principle that we are all born equal.
Self-Government is hard. But it is necessary work, it is worthwhile work. Millions have died to give us the opportunity to participate. The only way we let them down is to justify our inaction.