What’s an American couple to do right after the winter of our discontent—not to mention despair and disbelief?
How about doing organizational work in your congressional district for the midterm elections in 2018? You bet! Perchance talk civilly to friends, neighbors and relatives —even strangers— about issues that you feel are important to your family, to your children and grandchildren (and theirs)? Amen, sisters and brothers.My wife and I are looking on the sunny side.
President Trump’s proposed budget, which eliminates federal funding to the Legal Services Corporation, would hurt people across the country, including Connecticut, in need of legal aid in civil court cases.
Last night my brother asked me why I was protesting, what was my goal. I answered, but my answer was incomplete. I said something about impeachment and then something about reversing the tide with the mid-term elections. What I should have said was that I can’t not do this. And here’s why:
With the election of a Republican president and control of the U.S. Congress by Republicans, you’d think Planned Parenthood is in trouble. Defunding the reproductive health organization has been for years a rallying cry among Republicans, especially Christian conservatives opposed to abortion. With the GOP now in power, it would seem the tide has finally turned. It hasn’t. In fact, Planned Parenthood has the advantage.
Reform the Electoral College so the electoral vote reflects the nationwide popular vote for President. Many believe we are a democratic country, maybe even the top democracy in the world, but the United States was founded as a Constitutional Republic. And as of last month, The Democracy Index Report (issued annually by The Economist, Intelligence Unit) has demoted the U.S. to a “flawed democracy.” It’s time to reform the election system for president so that our votes here in Connecticut matter.
As chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, Keith Ellison will bring the reformational change to the DNC and ultimately to the Democratic Party that our party’s members demand and our nation’s voters deserve. With Ellison as chairperson of the DNC, the position will no longer serve as the failed model of Fundraiser in Chief, but instead, as Organizer in Chief harnessing the grassroots zeal which is now in full bloom across our country.
The day after the election of Donald Trump, I heard news reports around the state of panicked schoolchildren. These sons and daughters of undocumented immigrants believed mistakenly that with the rise of Trump came the imminent deportation of their parents. It was awful to hear. I felt a personal failing. We in the media are charged with informing the citizenry so the citizenry can chose the best leader. We failed at that, clearly, but we also failed to explain how government works. What these panicked youth did not understand is that the president is not a king.
Mentioning “American Exceptionalism” in the wrong crowd could yield everything from “the vapors” to outright hostility. These stem from both a misunderstanding of the word “exceptional” and a lack of U.S. historical knowledge. Let me address both. Many folks think “exceptional” means “better than.” Not so. The first meaning in the 2016 edition of the American Heritage Dictionary is “uncommon,” synonyms for which include “rare” and “singular.”
As Americans, we pride ourselves on being a nation of immigrants. It is woven into the fabric of our nation. After all, most Americans are descendants of immigrants themselves and have come to the “land of the free and home of the brave” either by force or by choice. As a citizen of New Haven, one of my greatest sources of pride is knowing that our city is so representative of America’s incredible diversity.
“Our infrastructure is crumbling:” It is an expression we hear often in Washington —but what we do not hear as often are concrete plans to address our nation’s failing infrastructure. Both of this year’s presidential candidates agreed that we need to make substantial investments in rebuilding and expanding our infrastructure. In his acceptance speech, President-Elect Trump said: “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”
Labor Day marks the end of summer, of family vacations and long days by the pool. It is a signal that the days of carpooling, Little League and homework are about to commence. While often regarded as a day for one last barbecue, Labor Day is importantly about celebrating the contributions of all working people. … And while Labor Day is a time to reflect on the incredible achievements of workers, we cannot ignore the fact that it comes during a critical election cycle and an unprecedented number of attacks on the rights of working people at the local and state level as well as in the race for President.
On this Labor Day, I have an important discovery to announce. No, it’s not Proxima b, the nearest planet to our solar system. My discovery is this: there is an American working class! And it exists right here in Connecticut. In fact, 62 percent of the population is working class. Because it’s not about income, it’s about power. Most of us have no control over what we do. The corporate elite (under 2 percent) make those decisions for us.