The events of the past year have been astounding to say the least. A very serious conversation is taking place that started when Donald Trump became the President of the United States of America. We have been on the brink of a nuclear show-down and a race war – and now we're ripping kids from their families and locking them up in cages. We've even withdrawn from the UN Human Rights Commission.
I have friends – moms – who won’t listen to the radio with their children in the car anymore because they don’t want them to know about the equivocation of the man who became President. They don’t want them to hear his tolerance for hate and violence - against people of color, Jews, women, Muslims, transgender people, immigrants - nor the ambiguity he expresses in standing up against such hate.
This is not how to make our nation great. I want to lift up something I read, written by Paul Krugman: “Real Americans understand that our nation was built in a rebellion against tyranny.” Real Americans have a natural aversion to tyranny. It is why we stand up so strongly for principles of democracy which our Bill of Rights and Constitution enshrine.
But what is happening to our democracy? How can we say we stand up for these values and at the same time allow them to erode?
Will you join me in taking a stand and support the work of the Progressive Caucus Action Fund?
Democracy is a fragile thing. I’m not always sure that we as Americans fully understand its full vulnerability. The founders of the nation struggled with how to best form a union – one that stood against the tyranny of authoritarianism and the born entitlement of monarchy. They wanted to ensure that to the extent possible, their democratic system of government would be safeguarded. But democracies can transition if someone takes power and dismantles the institutions.
Sadly – we are at a dangerous crossroads that could easily carry us to that fate if we do not pay close enough attention and call out the measures of its undoing.
The current administration is very quietly and not-so quietly taking apart our system of government as we know it – destroying democracy from the inside out, all the way down to its powerful symbols.
Join us in pushing back against this destructive ideology.
Quietly, the President is putting his stamp on the courts, placing people as judges who will slowly undermine the meaning of personal liberty and free expression. The Department of Justice has issued a request for over 1.3 million IP addresses from a Trump resistance website. Why would the DOJ request phone numbers, email addresses and credit card information if it is not directly trying to intimidate and censor public expressions of dissent? At the same time, the media is being closely scrutinized to ensure that any leaks they receive are not published – yet this administration shares valuable information by anonymously leaking it. These are the cracks in the system that can lead to tyranny.
The US State Department changed its mission statement, removing the word “democracy” as a foundation of principle, opening the door for the United States to deal without limitations and without care for human rights in its international engagements. It means that the very principles and values upon which the country’s Constitution and Bill of Rights were created are no longer relevant and no longer symbols representing the United States to the outside world.
A much more blunt tool to erode our democracy is the Electoral Fraud Commission lead by Kris Kobach, the notorious Secretary of State from Kansas who has consistently pursued voter fraud cases over the years, finding only one person who was actually guilty. This Electoral Fraud Commission would enable him to implement his voter suppression agenda on a national scale. The commission provides Mr. Kobach with the tools to pursue his anti-democratic agenda to prevent more eligible voters from voting, just in time for the 2018 and 2020 elections.
We need to be a collective voice in pushing back against this overreach…join us right now.
But there is much more – and this is the insidious part. It’s the President’s inability to bluntly condemn neo-Nazism, White Supremacy and White Segregationists, especially in light of the fact that white supremacists were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000-2016 – more than any other domestic extremist movement. His expressed desire to pardon known civil rights abusers like Joe Arpaio who was found guilty of criminal contempt for refusing to stop profiling and harassing Latinos for no reason the day after the horrific events in Charlottesville is a blatant endorsement of racist behavior.
Now is the time to recognize that we are sliding down a very slippery slope. The decisions and work we are committed to engaging in today will become the barriers to the ultimate dissolution of our democratic and governing principles.
Together with the members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), Progressive Caucus Action Fund is standing up against the tyranny. We are doing everything within our collective capacity together with you – the Progressive Movement – to fight back against hate and divisiveness.
But, we can’t do it without resources- and the fight is just beginning. Can we count on your support today?
Now is the time to stand up and make your voices heard. In the face of injustice, aggression, and outright lies, each individual as a progressive and a believer in democracy needs to make their individual voice heard.
It's never too late to act. We must act now and tomorrow, and the day after that, to fight for a more just and equitable nation, free from bigotry and tyranny.
Dr. Gabriela D. Lemus
Progressive Caucus Action Fund