I have just received my first COVID-19 vaccine injection (Pfizer) at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center in West Philadelphia (https://www.philadelphia.va.gov/). I get my next one in the middle of March. When your turn come, please get it, and we can beat this plague that has killed now over 5000,000 of our fellow Americans-our friends and loved ones.
The deterioration of the Republican Party is going on; Pat Toomey, of my home state Pennsylvania, is facing censure for voting to impeach trump-Toomey, for had voted 85 percent for trump’s actions. Dave Ball, Chair of the Washington County Republican Party, said it all when he said, “We did not send (Toomey) there to vote his conscience, we did not send him there to do the right thing…we sent him there to represent us.” (https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2021/02/15/western-pa-republican-county-chairs-oppose-sen-toomeys-vote-to-convict-trump-but-disagree-on-censure-resolutions/)
This is the same Pat Toomey who was poised to run against Arlen Spector in the 2010 Republican primary for the Senate from Pennsylvania. This caused Spector to move to the Democratic Party, but he was defeated in the Democratic primaries by Joe Sestak; Toomey run the general election, as part of the shift of the Republican Party further to the right. (https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Retirement/sen-arlen-specter-loss-joe-sestak-pennsylvania-senate/story?id=10669683) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_Senate_election_in_Pennsylvania) Thus, the Republican Party is now the party of Donald trump, white supremacists, religious bigots, science deniers, and conspiracy-theory devotees, and Toomey isn’t right-wing enough for them.
Other senators voting for impeachment of trump include Mitt Romney of Utah, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Susan Collins of Maine; they have all faced censure resolutions from their states’ stae and county Republican organizations. ( https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/16/republicans-who-voted-to-convict-trump-face-censure-at-home) (https://www.voanews.com/usa/us-politics/republican-groups-censure-party-lawmakers-who-voted-impeach-convict-trump)
The old idea has popped up again: third party! The idea is popular among some pro-trump Republicans. (https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/02/support-third-party-republicans-record-high-gallup.html) There is also talk among more main-stream conservative Republicans, people who worked in past Republican administrations, of forming their own third party. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-party-exclusive/exclusive-dozens-of-former-republican-officials-in-talks-to-form-anti-trump-third-party-idUSKBN2AB07P)
The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Pennsylvania Republicans to invalidate vote cast during the 2020 elections. (https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/22/politics/election-pennsylvania-republicans-supreme-court/index.html) The Republicans continue their efforts to deny the ability to vote to those of us opposed to their anti-worker policies; state legislatures have been inundated with new bills trying to either limit voting by mail, purging voter lists, or more voter ID laws aimed at people who usually don’t have the “required” ID, such as minorities, seniors, and college students-Jim Crow redux. (https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/02/politics/voting-rights-state-legislation/index.html). This is not the work of a party confident in mass appeal, and popularity, but one clinging to power by whatever means. And of course there’s the old reliable, gerrymandering, redrawing legislative districts for the party’s benefit, to keep their members in power for nearly eternity.
With Donald trump as its spiritual leader, can you imagine the kids of bills emanating from such legislatures, becoming THE LAW? More deregulations of environmental controls on corporations, to allow them to pollute the air and water; more starving financially of schools, so that kids can’t learn and improve their lives; more discriminations permitted against LGBTQ people, in the name of “religious freedom”; more deterioration of our infrastructure, such as our highways, electric power grids, our railways, our water and sewage, and our bridges, for the sake of the almighty “free enterprise.” The list is endless.
As enjoyable as the collapse of the Republican Party, and of the trump empire is- like the implosion of the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City (https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2021/02/17/trump-plaza-demolition-atlantic-city-implosion-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-originals-counterprogramming/)- we progressives have a responsibility to work at the grassroots to advocate for our policies, and elect candidates who will act on them. They are:
A $15.00 an hour minimum wage (for a start);
A national health care system for every citizen in this country, “Medicare For All”:
Ending limitations on workers organizing into unions:
Resisting Republican efforts to gerrymander legislative districts for their benefit, to the exclusion of minorities, women, working and low-income people, and seniors;
Upgrading our infrastructure so we can truly enter the 21st century, economically; and
Upgrading our educational system and restoring respect for learning, as a way for personal advancement, and as a great thing for its own sake.
I might be missing some things, but this is a start, and knowing American history like I do, we CAN and WILL organize to bring these things about, for ourselves and our future generations. So let’s get busy on this.
Stay safe, stay strong, and stay together! America will be free! Bye!
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I have just self-published my manifesto, Under The Workers Cap, printed by Minuteman Press (https://www.minutemanpress.com/), where I articulate my social and political beliefs, based on my study of American History and my activism in the Labor movement and the community. It’s on sale for $10.00 plus postage.