Image of President Trump.
President Trump speaking. Photo attributed to Gage Skidmore // Flickr

When I last wrote I ended on a less than optimistic note. Our democracy is on the verge of going down the crapper thanks to a lawless president and his administration; an enabling Republican party that’s fairly lawless in their own right; and all buttressed by an attorney general who believes a sitting president is above the law so long as he is a Republican.  

We really, really screwed up by allowing someone so utterly and criminally unqualified to occupy the highest office in the land. Much damage has been done to our nation’s institutions. Some can be undone, some maybe not. Many lives have been lost due to failed government responses, needlessly but intentionally cruel immigration policies, and outright incitement of violence against our fellow citizens.  

In the middle of writing this piece news broke in the news media of the Ukraine scandal, and a few days later Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry would commence. This is hopefully a game changer. Before Pelosi’s announcement on Sept. 24, the question of whether or not Democrats would attempt to impeach was very much up in the air. But now that that question has finally been answered, the articles of impeachment will be quite a list since there will be six committees each doing their own work instead of just one.  

As difficult as it has been to get House Dems to move even a little more forcefully toward impeaching Trump, there’s much well-founded skepticism that the Senate won’t convict the president anyway. And even if they did, that still leaves Pence and Barr to continue their own lawlessness. Pence and Barr can both be and should be impeached as well for their own malfeasance, but the chances of that happening are slim to none.  

If impeachment fails to get our country headed back in the right direction, then the only alternative (save for armed rebellion) is to beat Trump and the GOP at the polls in November 2020. Like I said a couple issues back, it is imperative that Democrats take back control so that, among so many other things, we can move boldly forward with action to mitigate the worst effects of the climate crisis which we are already in. 

However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is himself up for re-election in Kentucky, has thus far refused to bring election security protection legislation to the floor of the Senate for no other reason than he doesn’t want this election to be any more secure than the last one.  

“Moscow” Mitch has been so very irritated by the moniker that he has finally allowed movement on getting money to the states to use toward “securing” the 2020 elections. I put “securing” in quotes because without the rest of the House-passed legislation that money does little other than allow red states to monkey around with paperless and hackable voting machines. It also does nothing to address voter suppression and other issues critical to maintaining secure and fair elections in 2020. So beating the GOP at the polls will likely be trickier than it should be. And if Russia and other nations who interfered in the 2016 election play the same game in 2020 then rebellion, armed or not, may be our last and only resort.  

Recall that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen said in sworn testimony before Congress that he does not believe Trump will leave office peacefully. Recall that Barr has implied that the whole Russia investigation was a coup to illegally remove Trump from office. Consider Trump fears that he’s going to jail as soon as he leaves office, or should I say, if he leaves office.  

It will be imperative to crush the GOP at the polls, but even then I fear the party will not accept any results as legitimate unless they favor Republicans. And that really gets to the core of the problem with the party. It believes only it and its constituents have the legitimate right to govern. Democrats do not. 

So the next year or so is going to be very interesting. We will be living in times the likes of which we may have never imagined possible. Stay informed, keep others informed. 

Jeff Taylor is a vendor artist for Street Sense.