Liberals: Don’t Blow It Again

Not giving up on social justice

President Donald Trump and his key advisers are incompetent, mean-spirited, elite tontos who fooled 63 million voters into believing that he cares about the working Joe.

Meanwhile, 66 million other voters have been organizing marches across the land in reaction to Trump on every human rights issue from women’s rights (“…are human rights once and for all.” Don’t forget Hillary Clinton said that) to immigration.

To the 1.2 million who voted for Jill Stein of the Green Party — who is admirable for her “Green New Deal” platform, but who hasn’t held elective once beyond the Lexington Town Meeting; to the 4.5 million who voted for clueless Gary “What is Aleppo?” Johnson of the Libertarian Party; and to the 90 million who did not vote: Here’s your chance to do better now.

While Trump and most of the Republican Party are implementing an agenda based on beliefs that people who are poor (read working class and middle class) don’t deserve doctors or medicine, and that all Muslims are terrorists, immigrants are job-robbers and that the Earth is not in imminent danger of becoming too hot for all living things, millions are protesting online and in the streets.

For those who thought hating Hillary was a fun way to spend the day, now find time to call your elected officials and support them when they take positions you agree with, and call them out when you disagree.

The way forward is not to agree on everything, as Sanders and some of his loud-

mouthed followers insist. It is not to give up on the Green Party’s ideals, or our most progressive dreams.

Instead, we can take our cacophony of ideas and push the Democratic Party to live by its platform and make this country greater.

And do put on your seatbelts because democracy is a bumpy ride.

When Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst, gave himself a $45,000 raise earlier this year, he broke the Democratic platform contract which, among other things, deplores greed. But on other issues, including helping people who are impoverished by ill health or institutional barriers, he is outstanding.

When U.S. Reps. Jim McGovern, D-Worcester, who was a Hillary supporter, and Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, a Bernie supporter, joined forces recently at an event to motivate voters, they stayed true to the platform.

When Trump nominated a right-winger, Neil Gorsuch, to the U.S. Supreme Court, Democratic senators — pushed by their base — tried to block the appointment. They noted that there already was a well-qualified candidate, Merrick Garland, nominated by then- President Obama in March 2016, who Republicans refused to even consider. Encouraged by the base, Democratic senators became activists.

But U.S. Senate President Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, changed the rules. There wasn’t much to complain about, though, because Democrats had done the same thing when they were in the majority.

So with a simple majority vote, Gorsuch, who voted in favor of the company and against the “frozen trucker”  in the now-famous case, became an associate justice on the Supreme Court.

Compare that to Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who once said, “I strive never to forget the real-world consequences of my decisions on individuals, businesses and government.”

In the face of the real-time, real-life dangerous consequences to Trump’s presidency, every month protests both nationwide and globally draw hundreds of thousands who reaffirm that most of us believe in the Constitution.

Immigrants come here fleeing war and climate change. They have a simple wish — to live in peace. But this cruel administration casts them aside.

Except for Native Americans, every single one of us has ancestors who came here either voluntarily or were enslaved. The bravest came here, and they are still coming, pinning their hopes on the United States.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, a Greek-American, chose Neil Diamond’s hopeful “America” for his campaign theme song in 1988. Diamond’s heritage is Polish and Russian.

Rihanna’s tribute to immigrants, “American Oxygen,” has been viewed nearly 72 million times on YouTube. The song sung by the Barbados-born superstar highlights both the best and worst of the U.S., and it resonates. “We are the new America,” she sings.

We are, as our ancestors were, among the bravest. From the light bulb to airplanes, from charting human DNA to building bionic limbs, from television to computers to social media, immigrants and their descendants have contributed so much to this country, and the world.

There’s so much we’re fighting for. As Sotomayor has said, the Constitution must have a heart and soul.

Natalia Muñoz is the host of “Vaya con Muñoz” on radio station WHMP (1400 AM)

This column appeared originally in The Daily Hampshire Gazette On April 18, 2017