As a moderate liberal, there’s an awful lot happening in government that makes me frustrated, angry and sometimes demoralized about where our country is headed.
I could (and eventually will) talk about things like the crazy and unfair tax plan, the dismantling of laws and agencies designed to protect us from financial, health and environmental harm caused by business and government, attacks on personal freedoms, freedom of the press… and lots more.
But today, I offer up a humble proposal to protect one of our fundamental rights – a free and unfettered ability to vote – that has come under attack. I am not talking about possible collusion with Russia by the Republicans and specifically the campaign of our sitting president, although that certainly needs continued investigation. Related to that, however, is the broader issue of foreign interference in our elections.
There is mounting evidence that Russia had been playing games to impact the 2016 election, and there’s no reason to assume this will only continue in future U.S. elections. Despite the total lack of interest or concern about this from the Oval Office, both houses of Congress have committees looking into what may have happened. And since both investigations are controlled by the ruling Republicans, the investigations are in jeopardy of being shut down without any real conclusions drawn or any recommendations for actions to prevent future foreign meddling in our elections.
What can we do? What should we do?
If the Congressional committees fold with no real conclusion and/or if the president foolishly fires Mueller and tries to end the special counsel and FBI investigations, Democrats in the House and Senate should simply take matters into their own hands. Even without official Senate or House support or sanction, Democrats (and possibly moderate and fair-minded Republicans) should continue to conduct their own independent and honest investigations. It will be difficult at times, since they won’t have official power to call witnesses, but they should continue nonetheless.
And as they do so, information should be made public, directly and via the media, even in the face of claims of fake news, partisanship and worse sure to fly from presidential tweetstorms.
Hopefully, it will not come to that. But if Senate and House and FBI investigations are shut down by a White House that is seemingly more and more authoritarian – actually, more Nazi-like – by the day, drastic actions will need to be taken. Short of anarchy and storming the White House and Capitol, a Democrats-led investigation may be a solution, however imperfect it may be.