WHAT WOULD JOHN WAYNE DO?
By Don C. Reed
Ten days ago, I wrote a sadly prescient article which Huffington Post ran the day before the election. It was called: THE PRESIDENCY STOLEN AGAIN?
“Remember when the Republican-dominated Supreme Court stopped the recount in Florida, and awarded the Presidency to George W. Bush?
What were the consequences of that colossal gift to the Republican party?
It gave us the Iraq war, the Great Recession and a gigantic national debt—instead of peace, full employment and a balanced budget, which Bill Clinton had just accomplished.
The mess Bush left took Barack Obama two full terms to straighten out.
Now, another Republican gift—the “maybe” more emails which “might” have some bearing on a previous manufactured scandal—and which could give us Donald Trump, and his Republican-controlled Congress?
…You know and I know that Hillary has done nothing wrong.
If using a private email address was a crime, then George W. Bush and Dick Cheney would be rotting in jail—read Nina Burleigh’s incredible Newsweek article: “The George W. Bush White House ‘lost’ 22 Million Emails”.
Donald Trump is the best the Republican party has to offer, their chosen candidate. He is their champion. Hillary is ours.
So what do we do?
We continue on.”
Today, after the FBI intervention cost us the election—for I cannot pretend it was otherwise—we are faced with a dilemma: what now?
Hillary Clinton may actually have won the popular vote: California takes a long time to count, but as of this writing it appears more Americans may have voted for her than for her rival.
But the Republicans won in the Electoral College. Their champion will soon be in the White House. If we support the democratic process, we have no choice but to accept the Presidency of Donald J. Trump.
This is agony.
How shall we respond to a time when the Republicans control every arm of the government—the House, the Senate, the White House– and the Supreme Court?
Do we just cave in, and pretend to be Republicans? No, what was wrong yesterday has not suddenly become right. I oppose pretty much everything Donald Trump stands for, and shudder to think of the damage he may do.
We must not be as obstructionist as the Republicans were, as when House Speaker John Boehner said of Obama’s program: “We’re going to do everything…to kill it, stop it, slow it down.”
America must go on.
But we must be true to our principles, or what is a party for?
We must know the difference between something we are force to accept, and something that cannot be tolerated.
If Donald Trump wants to put America in debt building a foolish border wall, that is one thing.
But if he sends storm troopers into the neighborhoods, jailing millions of law-abiding Mexican-American families?
That we must oppose with all our strength. We will work with Republicans of conscience to prevent the worst devastation to our country’s values and our people’s wellbeing.
And we must never forget who we are: We are the party of workers: the middle class and the poor. We stand for the rights of all people, regardless of race, creed, color, or whom they choose to love. We respect women, and their freedoms. We want the rich to pay their fair share of taxes. And we protect the Earth itself, on which all life depends.
Remember the accomplishments of our champions: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter and our beloved two Clintons: Bill and Hillary.
How shall we be, when Donald Trump is President?
I can only take comfort in something movie legend John Wayne once said, when meeting President Jimmy Carter, with whom he was ideologically opposed. Wayne was a conservative Republican, very outspoken: Carter a moderate Democrat.
And John Wayne said:
“I am here, Mr. President, as a member of the loyal opposition—with an emphasis on the loyal.”
The loyal opposition… that is what we will have to live with—until the next election.