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THOMPSON: Crucial U.S. midterm elections approach

October 29, 2018 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


Next week, Americans go to the polls to elect all 435 members of the House of Representatives and 35 of the nation’s 100 Senators. This Mid-Term Election marks the half-way point in Donald Trump’s presidency. But, if you think things cannot possibly get worse in America…think again.

If we awake on Wednesday, Nov. 7 to find Republicans still holding the House and Senate…there will be absolutely no way to reign in a president champing at the bit to re-make America in his image. That should scare the hell out of anyone who values reason and morality.

We know that Donald Trump is incapable of unifying America. Our friends to the south are more divided now than ever. Donald Trump and most Republicans have no interest whatsoever in bringing Americans together.

They care only about their base - a minority of Americans - who evidence a general ignorance of the principles of justice, freedom and issues. Instead, that base embraces conspiracy theories, lies and propaganda. Indeed, they are largely an easy sell…willing to accept with little critical thought and analysis…the president’s daily conjuring of boogeymen.  

Make no mistake, if Republicans rule… millions more Americans will be out on the street without health insurance. Rich people will get more tax cuts. Republicans will go after Social Security and Medicare…under the guise of balancing the budget…despite fuelling the greatest deficit ever.

But it won’t end there…not even close. Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia’s interference in America’s elections in 2016 and this year will end. What we might see instead is the Republicans investigating Mueller’s “witch hunt”…which by design will last two years until the 2020 election. The top three people at the F.B.I. and the Justice Department will be fired and replaced with ill-qualified political appointments that Trump will then control.

Corporations will be as unrestrained as they have ever been in American history. The hallways at the E.P.A. will have cobwebs by next year. Climate change? Fiction, says Trump. Gun control? Not needed, says Trump.

There will be hundreds of other travesties…things no reasonable person would support. But self-interest - Trump’s and Republicans’ - will become the priority…every day. And perhaps the most tragic thing that could happen?

Republicans in a dozen states will make it harder for African-Americans, Native Americans and other minorities to vote. Voting hours will shrink. Many polling places will be eliminated. New requirements for voter IDs - fuelled by the never-ending fear mongering of immigrants - will be adopted nationally.

Federal judges will increasingly be of a mind that civil rights mean rights for certain people…and fewer protections if you’re in the minority…any minority…LGBTQ, Muslim, African-American. America will be on a new moralistic trajectory…led by the most immoral president in history.

And Canada - as a nation - will be treated with disdain on matters of trade and benign neglect otherwise. The same will be said of Germany, France, England…all of NATO. The bully personality of Donald Trump will become the aspirational new American model for behaviour for its citizens.

The world will not be safer. America will be more divisive than ever…perhaps a step from civil war…or dictatorship. And maybe some ignorant people will ask, “How did this happen?”

All of this - and worse - could happen. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing. Vote America…this time for candidates who want “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for all Americans.

— Don Thompson, an American awaiting Canadian citizenship, lives in Vernon and in Florida. In a career that spans more than 40 years, Don has been a working journalist, a speechwriter and the CEO of an advertising and public relations firm. A passionate and compassionate man, he loves the written word as much as fine dinners with great wines. His essays are a blend of news reporting and opinion.


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