“The 2020 election is now underway. This election will determine America’s future for decades to come. We have never had such a contrast in leadership, ability, respect for all people, and basic democracy.” This is how I wanted to refute the recent opinion piece by prominent Parsippany Republican Councilman Michael dePierro, line by line and point by point, with a few tweaks of disagreement. I certainly agree the contrast of this election cannot be starker.
But the first thing I actually want to do is extend a heartfelt thanks – to every Republican who has looked at the past four years and said, “This is not us – this is not my America”. That same thanks also goes to anyone that supported the current President and is changing their vote this year. If there’s a point of unity that might be salvaged from this dark time it might be found in this idea… This is not who we are.
Mr. dePierro points to Trump’s numerous promises. For one, the ridiculous symbolic wall – that Mexico was going to pay for, which many experts agree doesn’t do a thing to repel the “hordes” of immigrants at our southern border who miraculously cease their invasion except when federal elections are coming up (By the way – haven’t heard of the invasion lately – have you?). He notes decreasing unemployment as a Trump accomplishment, which one could refute with just a quick look at the Department of Labor statistics, where you can plainly see (Pre-COVID) the rate was in steady decline from November 2009 – the first year of the Obama Administration.
But what Mr. DiPierro conveniently leaves out is one of Trump’s other promises – repealing Obamacare. All Republicans scramble to assure the public that one of the laws most popular provisions, the protections for pre-existing conditions, will not be taken away – yet they can’t explain in any detail how they would do that while Trump is currently before the courts right now trying to strike it down. Mr. DiPierro laments how Trump has lacked a supportive Congress – yet when Trump had full control in his first two years he found out how popular the law is, and failed to repeal it. That was largely the will of late Senator John McCain – who seemingly took all the decency left in the ranks of the GOP to the grave with him.
And speaking of the health of the American people – there is of course COVID-19, which Mr. dePierro largely ignores in terms of Republican leadership’s downplaying of this threat that has taken over 210,000 American lives. Mr. dePierro lauds the candidacy of Rosemary Becchi, who in many of her social media posts is clearly not even wearing a mask or social distancing. OK – we get it. You don’t think COVID is a big deal. It’s a big hoax. It’s overblown. The majority of us respectfully disagree. You ought to as well, Mr. DiPierro, given your age group. It would be helpful if you spoke more about that issue.
Mr. DiPierro asks that Mr. Trump be given a supportive Congress to do … well… I shudder to imagine exactly what, given the past four years. He seems to look completely past the idea that when Trump once had full control, the country was so horrified at him acting without guardrails that they turned Congress back to the Democrats in 2018 to maintain a check on his lunacy. But without a corresponding Senate, he’s continued to engage in a number of impeachable offenses that would have run previous administrations straight out of the White House on a rail. This is precisely how Mikie Sherrill was elected. Changing course at this point with the Presidency completely melting down makes no sense whatsoever.
The most prominent criticism of Sherrill is that she votes with Nancy Pelosi (the leader of her party) This claim misconstrues her promise of not voting for Pelosi for House leadership and opting for new blood, a promise she actually kept. In fact, Sherrill resisted all calls for impeachment on Trump’s obstruction of the Mueller probe – and only got on board with impeachment after the President extorted a foreign ally for his own political gain. That was crossing the line for her. What will Trump attempt to get away with when he has more enablers in Congress like Rosemary Becchi – who refuses to even acknowledge Trump’s existence let alone call out any misdeeds of this administration?
This is not who we are. We need to put this insanity behind us. It’s not an issue of Democrat vs. Republican. It’s an American issue. Many feel that the Republic itself is at stake with a second Trump term. I’m slightly more optimistic as even with a GOP defeat – we are still going to be faced with the elements of our society that gave him power in the first place. And I feel that that’s a more difficult problem than we may want to acknowledge.
To steal a quote from Broadway’s Hamilton…History surely has its eyes on us.