I am reposting “Dancing with Angels” because I received a “like” today from this posting of nearly a year ago, around the time of death of Rep. Elijah Cummings. If you have already read it I hope you will reread it in light of all that has happened since its publication on December 21, 2019.
Much has happened since then including the massive defeat of Trump, if not Trumpism. Getting this reader’s response to my column compelled me to go back and reread it. I was intrigued at the connection between my observations back then and things that actually happened this year. I identified Biden as Trump’s most formidable opponent two months prior to the time the SC Presidential Primary in Feb. of 2020 resurrected his impotent campaign. I made reference to the system having its “knee on our necks” three months prior to George Floyd’s tragic murder before our very eyes. And I talked about the importance of counting every vote prior to Trump’s recent efforts to stop the counting of legitimately casted votes.
We live in frightening times where Trumpism has only gotten stronger not weaker. There are at least 72 million believers and they all are not uneducated whites from the rural parts of America. They wear pinstripe suits and wing-tip shoes. They attend church on Sundays and work aside you each day. They smile in your faces and when you are not looking they stick it to you where it really hurts. They are your bosses, your mayors, your governors, your vendors and the establishments where you spend so much of your hard earned cash.
As what happens too often, instead of celebrating the big victory for President and the possibility of taking control of the U.S. Senate some white and older Black Democrats are falsely accusing progressives for the Democrats not doing better overall. The last thing the Democrats should be doing now is finger pointing as to why the party loss some down ballot races. The inclination of some moderates to start pointing their fingers at Black Lives Matter advocates sloganeering about “defund the police” or Sen. Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling themselves “democratic socialists” misses the entire point. Were it not for Sanders, AOC and other so-called squad members, Stacey Abrams and others who defied a white male, Midwest, rustbelt strategy, the Democrats might not have sufficiently energized their base to have been victorious. Economic fairness and justice, Medicare for all, educational debt elimination, and investing in a clean green economy are what both moderates and progressives want as indicated by multiple quality polls.
Democrats must learn how to articulate, sell, and defend the issues and values they run on. Blaming disappointing outcomes on progressives (while failing to credit them for exciting the base and bringing out young voters) is destructive and will only alienate younger progressives—the very ones we need to win future elections and transform our country—politically, economically, and socially.
White supremacy and undemocratic forces in this country have become a mass movement and we need to stay organized and vigilant to protect the hard earned freedoms that used to define our potential as a nation. Defeating Trump was a major feat but the goal now is to defeat Trumpism—sister of fascism and brother of totalitarianism. Despite the struggles ahead we cannot go backwards, we must march on so that one day like John Lewis, Elijah Cummings, C.T. Vivian, Joseph Lowery, Fanny Lou Hammer, Coretta Scott King and so many innocent victims of the coronavirus, we can “Dance with Angels.”
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