Calls for the impeachment of Donald Trump have been steadily growing for over a year; however, it is only in recent weeks that actions have been taken to begin the process. Should this specific strategy play out according to plan, the Democrats could initiate removal of Donald Trump as early as January 3, 2019.
With Midterm Elections approaching in less than one year, key factions of the Democratic Party are actively organizing to take back Congress in 2018 and begin the impeachment process immediately after they are sworn into office on the third day of January, 2019. The elections that will decide whether this process is initiated is scheduled to be held on November 6, 2018.
Unfortunately, there is pushback from leadership in the Democratic party.
While national figures such as Maxine Waters, Brad Sherman, and Al Green have called for impeachment of Donald Trump, the remaining members of the party have largely stayed silent on the topic, deferred to the Mueller investigation, or deflected to discussions on the latest policy battle. In their efforts to court white middle class voters from both the Republican Party and the Berniecrats, the DNC has all but completely abandoned their most active, numerous and invested blocs of voters.
These voting blocs, which include organized communities of people of color, people living with disabilities, poor people, members of the LGBTQ community, immigrants and non-Christians have all consistently called for the Democrats to put an end to the Trump Administration and its violent attacks on their communities. But as Democrats have distanced themselves from these communities, they have also distanced themselves from efforts to impeach Trump.
As Politico recently reported:
“Neither House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi nor the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have issued guidance to lawmakers or candidates about how to talk about impeachment. But Pelosi’s advice, when requested by colleagues, has been that they should say how they feel and quickly pivot to policy, according to a Democrat familiar with those discussions.”
After a year of broken promises, poor leadership, mixed messages, and practically zero efforts to protect “minority” constituents from the ever-increasing attacks from the Republican Party, local and statewide community organizations have begun organizing to fill the void in Democratic Leadership.
The Democratic Party’s dramatic victory in last week’s elections serves as evidence of the dramatic shift that is currently taking place within the party. As reported by SIIP immediately following the elections:
“…last night’s victory was not just a sound rejection of the white supremacist leadership options presented by the Republican Party — but it was also a sound rejection of white domination within the Democratic Party itself.
It wasn’t really the old guard of the white led Democratic Party to victory last night — it was the “minority” blocs of the Democratic Party that deserve the credit. These voters not only showed up to the polls to put Democrats above Republicans, but they showed up to put their communities in power of white candidates on either side of the aisle.
– Vi Lyle won her campaign becoming the first black woman to be elected as mayor of Charlotte, NC
– Melvin Carter III was elected as the first mayor of color in St. Paul, MN
– Ravi Bhalla of Hoboken, NJ became the first Sikh mayor in the state’s history.
– Danica Roem won her seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, becoming the first openly transgender candidate to be elected to serve in a state legislative body.
– Andrea Jenkins dominated her opponent for Minneapolis City Council becoming the first transgender woman of color to be elected to a public office
– Jenny Durkin won her bid for mayor of Seattle becoming the city’s first lesbian mayor. Zachary DeWolf also became the first school board member from the LGBTQ community.
– Kathy Tran became the first Asian-American woman to be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.
And while turnout rates were still unable to match those of the 2016 general election, there was a dramatic increase in comparison with that of the most recent non-Presidential elections. And this rising tide was seen at both the local and state levels.
In Virginia, for example, black voters surged to the polls turning over 85% of their votes to Ralph Northam. Black Women continued their reign as the Democrats’ most loyal and active voting block with 94% of their votes going to the Democrats. In New Jersey, it was the Latinx population and the 83% of their votes that propelled Democratic Candidate Phil Murphy to victory. And it was an explosion of early voting, especially amongst voters of color, that propelled Vi Lyle into her position in history and the City Hall of Charlotte to become the first black mayor.
It is undeniable that the Blue Wave was led by Black and Brown Voters.”
While white leadership in the Democratic party has done more to stand in the way of communities of color than it has to stop the Republican Party, the “minority” communities have begun to take ownership of their political power and are organized to take of Congress and unseat Trump themselves.
The plan involves 3 key elements:
1. Rejecting traditional Democratic Candidates such as Pelosi and Schumer in favor of candidates the come from communities of struggle and have a proven track record of political work on behalf of those communities. In other words, candidates they know and candidates they trust.
2. Re-enfranchising voters suppressed by the Republican Party and swept under the rug by the Democrats.
3. Mobilizing turn-out for the 2018 midterm elections.
This work has already begun, and Democrats of Color should be cautiously enthusiastic about the success of these recent election outcomes. There is much that needs to be done, though, to ensure that all of the pieces are put into place by November 6, 2018.
For example, while voter turnout was high among black and brown voters as compared to previous non-Presidential elections, less than 14 of those eligible to vote actually cast a ballot. Midterm elections traditionally suffer from generally low levels of turn out as well. 2018 will be no exception if community organizations aren’t able to mobilize the turnout needed to win through both the local and statewide networks.
Voter suppression also presents itself as a challenge. 21 million voters are still being deprived of their Constitutional right to vote because of Voter ID Restrictions. 7 million are kept from the polls because of felony disenfranchisement and voter purging. And tens of millions of poor, disabled and elderly voters have been kept from casting a ballot because of an epidemic of polling place closures and ADA violations.
Currently, the focus of the Democratic Party’s electoral reform efforts has been on gerrymandering. Although and end to this practice is welcome, it will not serve to re-enfranchise one single voter. And currently the Democratic Party has rejected calls to direct funding and resources into re-enfranchisement efforts.
If community civil rights organizations are supported in their efforts to enforce Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment in the lower federal courts, though, tens of millions of new voters could be added to the Democratic Party, the efforts to take control of Congress and the movement to impeach Trump.
Community members and organizations must also present and get behind candidates that not only optically represent their communities, but have the resumes to back up their rhetoric. People of color have grown tired of token representatives that appear to come from the community, but still carry a white Democratic agenda that doesn’t serve them. In order to incentivize voters and ensure that once in power, the will of the people is actually carried out — qualified community representatives must be put on the 2018 ballot.
Finally, mobilization for the 2018 Midterm Elections has to begin now. There is less than one year to do the work necessary to take back Congress in 2018. There is less than one year to transform leaders of color into Congressional candidates; re-enfranchise the tens of millions of suppressed voters; and mobilize the turn out necessary ensure victory next November. There is less than one year to end this nightmare once and for all.
And while it is almost unthinkable to wait another year to end the reign of the Trump Administration, the only thing more unthinkable is missing what is likely to be our only opportunity to stop Trump until the next presidential election in three more years.
Correction: The only thing that would be more unthinkable is doing all of the work to elect Democratic leaders and then watching them refuse to carry out impeachment.
But if we join together and focus on the end goal, we can turn Congress back over to the Democratic Party under leadership we can trust to end this white nationalist take-over of the United States. And once we do that, we can begin the impeachment process. Immediately. During the first week of January following the 2018 Midterm Elections.
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