Hey Speaker Paul Ryan, hey Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; how about them Republicans? I’ll bet it isn’t hard for anyone to remember how Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McConnell and the rest of the congressional Republicans railed on what a lawless president President Barack Obama was while he was in office. Every time that he signed an Executive Order and many other times whenever they could find an excuse they would scream from the rooftops about how ‘lawless this president is’ and how he ‘has no respect for the rule of law.’ Now that Mr. Trump is in office, has signed numerous Executive Orders and blatantly ignored many of the principles and norms of the office – the latest being the pardon of sheriff Joe Arpaio, all but a few Republicans have remained eerily quiet. And even those few who have finally spoken up waited as long as they possibly could before doing so.
Americans can only pray that Republicans will find a way to grow a backbone and contain Mr. Trump before he can do further damage to America. Well, I guess that we American voters could decide to step up to our responsibility (and in the case of far too many of us, grow a backbone ourselves) and make sure that we always vote. So I suppose that I shouldn’t say that we can only pray; but even if we step up we should still pray because we are going to need all the help that we can get if we are to survive Mr. Trump’s presidency. You should know exactly what I mean if you have been following how Mr. Trump has been conducting himself since he took office; and that’s not to mention the fact that he appears to embrace the support that he is receiving from ‘Mike The Black Man’. But ‘Mike The Black Man’ is a different story for a different post.
But I will say to my fellow African Americans that if you are embarrassed by ‘Mike The Black Man’ and feel that you can only duck your head and stare at the ground when someone who is not a person of color – okay, a white person – asks you about him, a part of that is okay. In other words, it’s okay to be embarrassed; but you do not need to duck your head and stare at the ground because ‘Mike The Black Man’ does not represent us. And that is what your response should be. It should be that “‘Mike The Black Man’ does not represent me or the preponderance of African Americans. He has a right to his opinion but he does not represent me and statistics support the fact that he does not represent the preponderance of African Americans.”
Anyway, the refusal of congressional Republicans to step up and put a stop to what Mr. Trump and his administration are doing is shameful. It is not only those congressional Republicans who are refusing to put a stop to what Mr. Trump is doing who should be ashamed of themselves but it is also those in his administration who are willing to go along with him and enable him by either spinning the truth or telling lies themselves in the name of doing their job; especially when they know that what he is doing is destroying the very fabric of this nation.
Just like I did not believe that I would live long enough to see a Black man become President of the United States of America, I did not think that I would live long enough to see statesmen, Democrats or Republicans, who would put their ambition ahead of any situation which would threaten the very existence of our democracy. But I saw a Black man become President of the United States of America and now…
Truly, there is nothing new under the sun. We have always survived and we can survive a Donald Trump presidency. But in order to effectively do that, congressional Republicans in Washington must step up and do their job and we as voters must accept our responsibility and step up and do our job. I believe that too often too many of us take our freedom for granted and we shirk our civic responsibilities, among which is voting. We have our differences now, and likely always will, but I believe that the great majority of Americans want to be fair and want all people to be treated equally in all matters in this country and that includes being treated equally under the law. There is no doubt that we will continue to moan and groan and yes, even at times, literally fight among ourselves. But if democracy is to survive as we know it, congressional Republicans and American voters must step up and be counted.
With America being the melting pot that it is the world does not, or at least it should not, find it odd that we oftentimes find it hard to get along and so as a result we squabble with one another. Americans should not be surprised about this either. What we should be surprised about and many of us are surprised about now is how our leader, the leader of the free world, is handling this not-at-all-new situation, his seemingly total lack of ability to handle it and those who have total power in Washington right now – the Republicans – lack of commitment in reigning him in and taking control. We expect them to do this in order to preserve, and hopefully strengthen our democracy in our quest to form a more perfect union.
Very few if any of us believe that we will ever stop squabbling let alone stop squabbling soon. But that’s okay. What we must continue to fight to make sure of is that we preserve the right to express our right to voice our differences and that the leader of the free world will support us in our right to do that. And in order to do this, no matter our differences, we must fight together to assure that our president will always support our democracy and we must fight to assure that he/she will express the wishes of the majority of the people in this great country and not his/her personal feelings or opinion and that he/she will not conspire with enemies, foreign or domestic – for any reason, to undermine our great democracy. The best way to do this is through our vote. We must assure to the greatest extent possible that all of our elected officials are dedicated to placing country above personal ambition and party. So always remember, whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, your vote is the most important one of all…unless you don’t use it!
Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line