Talking About the Election

I have two young painters working at my house, trying to finish up the outside job before the weather turns too cold and rainy. These are the same young men who did the cedar fence staining, who worried that under Trump environmental regulations are being swept away that oblige their employer to provide them with protective gear to keep toxic fumes out of their lungs.

One of them asked me if I’d voted, and I said yes. He said that he had too, and that as a moderate without a strong commitment to party, he is happy about divided government that can act as a check and balance. I asked how he felt as a moderate about the prospect of a further slew of hard right judges being confirmed. He told me he doesn’t think much about judges, that he finds other issues like voting rights more of concern.

Republicans have thought a lot about judges, and for the past 30 years the Federalist Society has carefully groomed, funded, and put forth hard right judges like Kavanaugh who are now being confirmed in large numbers. They will be with us on the federal bench and the Supreme Court for a long time, decades.  Democrats and moderates of either party or none have overlooked the importance of judges, in my view, and we are now paying the price.

I used to think of myself as a moderate, but not since Trump. Now, it’s a pitched battle for the soul of our democracy.

The unquestioning support of Republicans for Trump, his rhetoric and his policies has revealed the deep roots of racism and anti-Semitism in this country. I recall the interview with Spike Lee after BlackKklansman came out, when someone asked him how we got here as a country. Lee’s response was that we’ve always been here, that racism is more or less visible at any point in time but never goes away.

Trump is abundant proof of that.

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