Flashing lights in your rearview mirror. Slowly, you pull over. Officer approaches: “Your license and registration, please. “Oh, crap,” you say to yourself. At this point, the rule of law kicks in. What does that mean? In a nutshell, in a democracy, we start with notice, which means what is at issue, with attendant rights and rules. Next comes a hearing, which is an orderly fair disclosure/presentation of all relevant reliable evidence against you and within the hearing is your chance to put on your case. Finally, arrives a just result. These are the basics: proper notice, due process, and a just result.
None of this works, however, without truth and facts as starting and ending points.
Truth and facts are the oxygen of democracy. The voice of the people are its heartbeat. Accountability to the people is the blood coursing through its veins. Without all of this, democracy is on life support.
Ask yourself the following: Is it OK for your spouse to lie to you? For teachers to lie to you about your kids? For banks to lie to you? For everyone around you to lie to you? I hope not. Similarly, it is indisputable that democracy cannot survive in a quicksand of lies and the terror of the unpredictable.
Donald Trump and Republicans are taking a wrecking ball to the rule of law and our democracy.
Trump is a serial liar. As of September 12, 2018, the Washington Post logged 5,001 false or misleading claims by Trump in the prior 601 days (an average of 8.3 per day). To Trump, the rule of law is but an obstacle or hindrance to be cast aside. Trump shows contempt for our constitution and facts, and has little interest in serving all Americans. His driving concern is for himself. Yet, the Republicans in Congress and Trump’s base supporters do not care, because, in my view, so long as they have a white supremacist/racist in the White House, nothing else matters. NOTHING! Not even preserving our democracy!
So, all you Republicans who hate Democrats, go ahead. But, know this, if Democrats do not gain control of the House/Senate in the midterms, democracy will be in a Code Blue state. Without notice, fair hearing, just results rooted in truth and facts, democracy as a form of government is non-functional, gasping for life. Democrats are fighting to save our democracy and Constitutional rights for all of us. Democrats are still fighting for Franklin Roosevelt’s economic bill of rights, including employment, living wages, freedom from unfair competition, housing, medical care, social security, and education. Add to that protecting our air, water, food; supporting our communities; defending our democratic institutions, our justice department, the Supreme Court, a vital free press; and planning for the future!
Reagan was wrong. Government is not the problem. A foul, unjust, and corrupt government is the problem, which is what Trump is trying to institute throughout our government. Corruption: Republicans Nixon, Reagan (Iran-Contra), now Trump (the “daddy” of them all)!!
Good government is essential to our national well-being and a robust democracy is essential to good government. I know there are thousands of people in our government trying to “hold the line,” trying to protect our democracy. But, they need our help. As John Adams said, “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.”
We Democrats are hanging on to our Constitution for dear life. To survive, we Americans first must rid ourselves of the malevolent Republican abdicators in Congress, and the resurgent Cancer in the White House. Democracy is in our DNA, but we must fight to defend it. I believe in the power “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” There is only one way: DEMOCRATS!! November 2018!
Carole Brown is a family law attorney in Annapolis. She is a former federal and state prosecutor, corporate litigator, and is licensed to practice law in 5 states.