“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”― Edmund Burke
During the election, I followed former CIA official and 2016 presidential candidate Evan Mcmullin and his biggest Republican proponent, strategist Rick Wilson.As a lifelong Republican his positions are hardly progressive, but some we might have common ground on. Don’t get me wrong. I was a Sanders delegate who swallowed a hard pill and campaigned for Hillary Clinton. I’m a dye-in-the-wool fight-with-every-tool-I-have kind of guy to address climate change and civil liberties and racial equality. Mcmullin and I could disagree about plenty.
What we share is a common defense of liberty and freedom, and that people of good will need to unify and speaks out against Trump’s open totalitarianism a full-throated defense of the bedrock of the United States, our Constitution. A tweet storm highlighted by Daily Kos author David Michigan shows that Mcmullen’s doing it. He will stand for a principled and inclusive conservatism we should all hope becomes the Republican Party’s future.
— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) December 4, 2016
I know for a fact that conservative Christian and former South Carolina Representative Bob Inglis of RepublicEn voted for McMullin. Folks like them along with John Huntsman, John Kasich, Carlos Curbelo, and even Lindsay Graham we can hope do the country a great service by joining McMullin’s lead. Graham has already pledged to use his position in the Senate to investigate the Russian hacking and potential manipulation of our political system. He’s also openly stated that he fears Trump’s impact on international affairs.
For all of our disagreements we believe in some version of the common good, institutional checks and balances, and the possibility of working together even through deep conflicts. If you look at those men–and they are all men I know–we see people who are fundamentally open to evidence, to governing with your opponents at least some of the time and that we do have the better angels of our nature. Trump is antithetical to this. It’s very clear in what he is DOING through his appointments. While he has a dog and pony show of listening to Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio about climate change he’s about to appoint a science denying ideologue to be the head of the EPA. He tells Time magazine that that he’s done nothing to divide while bringing the Jew-baiting, Mormon-mocking, bullying Steve Bannon with him into the White House.
So I concur with McMulllin’s steps and with author David Michigan that they may be insufficient. But we have to join with others to stitch together a big tent and hold it up.
If Trump governs as an authoritarian like he has promised, it will be critical that Americans do the following 10 things:
1. Read and learn the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Know that our basic rights are inalienable.
2. Identify and follow many credible sources of news. Be very well informed and learn to discern truth from untruth.
3. Watch every word, decision and action of Trump and his administration extremely closely, like we have never done before in America.
4. Be very vocal in every forum available to us when we observe Trump’s violations of our rights and our democracy. Write, speak, act.
5. Support journalists, artists, academics, clergy and others who speak truth and who inform, inspire and unite us.
6. Build bridges with Americans from the other side of the traditional political spectrum and with members of diverse American communities.
7. Defend others who may be threatened by Trump even if they don’t look, think or believe like us. An attack on one is an attack on all.
8. Organize online and in person with other Americans who understand the danger Trump poses and who are also willing to speak up.
9. Hold members of Congress accountable for protecting our rights and democracy through elections and by making public demands of them now.
10. And finally, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, have “malice toward none, with charity for all” and never ever lose hope!
In particular, we need to add an addendum to #2:
Respect the scientific enterprise, safeguard it from political interference, and act on our values based on its finding.
Add to #8:
Give your money and time to those who will be most affected, including the poor, historically marginalized, and those who protect them.
Add to #9:
You may well need to hold our elected officials accountable by running for office yourself.
I believe, like people across the political spectrum, that the health of our free democratic republic depends on these steps. Thank you Evan.