“Let’s Take Back Our Democracy — and Improve It While We’re At It”: Democrats’ Winning Strategy in 2020
Watershed moments can produce an “Aha” of recognition. Now that Donald Trump has made his latent racism disgustingly overt, with his attacks on four freshman Congresswomen of color, accusing them of “hating America” and “seeking its destruction” and taunting them to “go back” to the countries they came from, and with Trump supporters chanting “Send her back, send her back” days later at his rally — if this isn’t watershed, what is? — Democrats consequently are recognizing this:
The 2020 presidential campaign is now far bigger than healthcare or immigration or income inequality or climate change. This is certainly not to say these issues are not vitally important, because they are. But it is to say there’s an overarching battle to be fought, which is:
In the 2020 campaign, Democrats need to save American democracy itself.
We need to take back our democracy from this comprehensively anti-democratic and dangerous “president” (the air-quotes are used to denote a fraud). To save our democracy, Trump and anti-democratic Trumpism must be defeated, resoundingly.
At issue now — as it has been historically but we have never fully settled it — is the core question: Who is American and who can exercise the full rights of citizenship in this American democracy? By going full racist now — and count on it: Trump’s 2020 campaign for re-election will feature explicit racist appeals — Trump is making the case that only white Americans signify and count. His target: the four minority Congresswomen — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ayanna Pressley (MA), Rashida Tlaib (MI), and Ilhan Omar (MN), who dub themselves “the Squad.”
Equally at issue: Our democratic institutions, which have been severely damaged by this man who claims he wants to “make America great again.” If he is re-elected, the damage will accelerate us to banana republic status. This institutional destruction should be borne in mind as Trump dominates and inflames the news cycle with his racist ranting. As The New Yorker’s astute Susan Glasser notes, “Trump’s attack on the Americanness of his critics has distracted from his assault on the American system of government itself.” We must remember: Both Americanness and American democracy are at stake in 2020.
Consider the institutional damage Trump has inflicted. Rule of law: He appointed a toadying…