Home > Uncategorized > What Happened Yesterday and What Should Happen Next

What Happened Yesterday and What Should Happen Next

January 7, 2021

I am taking the day off from writing about education policy to write about the uprising that occurred yesterday in our nation’s Capitol. Yesterday’s reprehensible display of demagoguery was the predictable result of the President’s refusal to accept reality and his efforts to stir up his supporters to rebel against the will of the majority of voters. The public’s support for an individual who offers easy solutions to complicated issues and leads followers who ARE entitled to rebel against government programs designed to help those who ARE NOT entitled is just one of the Alice-in-Wonderland elements of our country’s derangement and derailment. The bands of white males who invaded the offices of Congress look like the same white males who cheer loudly at Trump rallies when the Presidents complains about “entitlement programs”. That they do this with no awareness of their built in entitlement is maddening.

So… what should happen now? Here’s my thinking:

First, I believe President-elect Biden should stay out of the fray. in the coming weeks and during his tenure he should help restore credibility to the press by holding regular press conferences, praising the media for their accuracy and tenacity in covering politics, and underscoring the good work that government CAN do if it is fully staffed and funded. He needs to be a steadying influence, an advocate for democracy, and an advocate for government in general. I think he can pull off in a way that a rabble rousers like Warren, AOC or Sanders can’t.
Second, I believe the President’s use of Twitter contributed far more to the toxic media environment than FaceBook or any other social media outlets. President-elect Biden can’t control what people are going to post on social media and can’t control how various stations will spin the news…. nor should he or any government official attempt to do so But Biden CAN determine how or if he uses Twitter and how and when he interacts with the press. If he provides information in something more than 280-character soundbites he will go a long way toward uplifting the level of discourse in the media.
Third, I think that Merrick Garland, once he is appointed as Attorney General, should launch an investigation into the disparity between the treatment Trump’s followers received from the DC Police and the treatment, the protesters received in D.C. when Trump wanted to do his photo op with the Bible… or the treatment the protesters in Portland OR received when they were shunted off in SUVs by unnamed and unknown law enforcement agents dressed in camo… or the treatment protesters got in Kenosha WI when police allowed a 17-year-old armed with an automatic weapon to walk past them after a curfew was declared. We need to restore faith in law enforcement and that cannot happen if protesters are treated differently based on their skin color or the object of their protests.
Fourth, I think that the DNC should find and underwrite the campaigns of strong candidates to run against every single House member and Senator who supported the de facto overthrow of our government and our democracy. The DNC should identify and widely publicize the names of those who donate to the re-election campaigns of the House members and Senators who supported ignoring the will of the voters in other states who lawfully cast ballots. At the same time as they call out donors who support the re-election of anti-Democracy candidates, the DNC should seek the support of the Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable for donations to support pro-Democracy candidates. They need to make it clear that a vote for someone opposing the overthrow sought by over 100 elected officials is a vote for democracy.
Finally everyone should also do what we can locally to restore sanity to politics. In NH we’re going to have to keep an eye on the crackpots with guns who have threatened GOP Governor Sununu for mandating mask wearing to the extent that he is calling off his inauguration ceremony! Those of us who favor voting access and other elements of democracy that some in the GOP oppose need to monitor the legislation that will be proposed this session and do whatever we can to make certain our State and local governments have the resources they need to be successful. Anyone whose State House member or Senator supported the Trump insurrection he should be vigorously opposed in 2022 and replaced with someone who values democracy.
There are things public schools can do to prepare students to thrive in and understand democracy, most crucial by empowering student governments to make decisions that affect them. More on that in a future post.
%d bloggers like this: