Searching For Things To Be Thankful For

2016 is going to be a tough Thanksgiving for progressives. Election night was shocking disappointment in most cases. Trying to find a silver lining in the cloud that the Trump administration appears to be is exceedingly difficult! With that in mind let’s look at some things progressives can be thankful for.

Donald Trump not Ted Cruz is the President-elect. As bad as Trump appears to be America has a better chance of surviving him than Cruz. The bottom line most Americans are hoping for is that Trump is greedy while Cruz is plain crazy. Trump can probably be bought off. If he can figure a way to divert money to his interests he can be persuaded to go along with a deal. Therefore there is a chance, albeit slim, of getting some good things accomplished.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: RBG, as she is affectionately known is one tough cookie! Don’t let her age or petite stature fool you. It certainly appears that the Court will once again be 4-4-1. Since Justice Kennedy more often sides with conservatives it is almost 5-4. Whether writing a majority opinion or one for the dissent, Ginsburg fiercely defends her positions which can be used as legal precedent in the future.

I felt I had to single out Justice Ginsburg because of her tenacity and leadership but we need to give thanks for Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. You never know how a justice will rule until after they have been confirmed, but with the election of Donald Trump things don’t look good from over here. The part that bothers me the most about this entire process is that the American voters did not punish the Republican Senators who willfully violated the Constitution by not acting on the nomination of Merrick Garland in the hope that the election would turn out the way it did. Remember the results were almost universally viewed as an upset.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren: She is a fierce consumer advocate who will bring attention to anything that hurts consumers that the Republicans try to get passed in Congress. The numbers are such that Warren (and the American people) will often be on the losing side but at least she will expose the evil intentions of legislation perhaps amending or even prevent a few bills from becoming reality.

Considering Trump’s election we have to be thankful for a four year term. In 2020 Americans will have the opportunity to put a qualified, intelligent and patriotic American in the Oval Office.

Speaking of 2020, the Democrats (who are the progressives’ only viable choice) have the advantage of not having an heir apparent for the nomination. Who knows what will happen on the Republican side, but the Democratic contest looks wide open. Hillary Clinton’s political career, great as it was, is over. Joe Biden coming out of retirement looks extremely unlikely. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were both two term Presidents. Bernie Sanders (more about him later) is getting long in the tooth. There is a plethora of talent but none that fits the billing of crown prince or princess.

November 6, 2018: That is the date of the mid-term elections. While we can’t do anything about the White House until 2020, we can start to diminish the ranks of the Republicans in Congress on that day if we don’t do our usual mid-term disappearing act.

Bernie Sanders: The Vermont independent Senator brought several issues of inequity to the forefront of the American conversation this last cycle and in the process both recruited and energized a generation of young progressives. Senator Sanders needs to remain a significant and outspoken part of the movement! I don’t see him running again and I hope he keeps his powder dry until a nominee emerges at which time he helps that nominee to his fullest ability.

Today’s article was longer than I expected it to be. Now go spend some time with football, turkey, friends and family in whatever order and proportion you deem prudent.

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