Jamala Rogers
The Naked Truth/Jamala Rogers
U.S. Democracy Hangin’ on by a Thread
We got to the end of a painful year with 45 without a nuclear explosion — literally and figuratively. But we have to prepare for our democracy taking a beating in 2019.
We can assume that more domestic violence is in store as this accidental president continues to unravel.

There’s a lot of acting going on in this White House including the president. We have an acting chief of staff, acting secretary of Homeland Security along with general
counsels, agency heads and ambassadors. About 400 key positions remain unfilled in the trump administration and acting staff have stepped up whether qualified
or not. Folks have voluntarily quit, others forced out and some have been indicted. The scenario has been called unprecedented by presidential scholars.

This president has shunned U.S. allies in favor of known dictators like Russia’s Putin, North Korea’s Jong-un and Philippines’ Duterte. The isolationist actions have
resulted in allies re-thinking their relationships with a country headed up by a raving maniac. Can you blame them?

The stock market just experienced the deepest plunge in its history. I’m not an economic expert or financial forecaster, but Treasury Secretary Steven Munchin was
not assuring in his projections. The president attacked the Federal Reserve as being the “problem.”

trump, his family, his administration and his businesses are all under the judicial microscope with a Robert Mueller hammer waiting to drop. To date, the Special
Counsel has indicted and charged 33 people and companies. trump cronies are going to jail.
In his childish fit, trump has shut down the government until he gets his way (the border wall).
The government shutdown threw about 800,000 employees and their families under the bus.
It will cost the nation billions in non-productivity.

Hate and misinformation are trump’s favorite weapons. We see the zealous use of them as
45 pits citizens against one another based on race, class, gender, sexual orientation and
religion.

It’s no doubt to anyone halfway paying attention that this country is in deep trouble. The
calvary is us. There are several actions that woke people can take in 2019.
First and always, we must get better organized. The way we respond to the actions and
policies of the trump administration must be swift and bold. Any protest or direct action must
be strategic in its impact on the problem, not just an outpouring of anger. Our organizations
and places of faith must educate and engage citizens who can proactively rally around
strategic goals.

Second, candidates and office holders must be held accountable with an emphasis on racial
equity and corruption. Racism and political corruption are the enemies of genuine
democracy. These are the people who are making decisions that affect our lives and our
futures. They need critical support to do their jobs, meaning praise them when they’re doing
public good and pull their coattails when they veer off the track.

Third, this a time for self-care for those of us who do this work on a regular basis. Be realistic
in your personal and professional expectations as you take on the important work of building
this democracy and protecting human rights. Stay grounded by your associations with
positive and progressive thinkers and doers.

I truly believe this country is at a critical crossroad. It’s not like we haven’t been in similar
situations before, but we haven’t always made the right choices. It’s no time to retreat. If ever
there was a time to make a New Year’s resolution, it’s now: I give my best self to promote
democracy.

In the words of poet June Jordan, “we are the ones we have been waiting for.”