Updated: May 10
Many Americans, both Republican and Democrats, agree on one thing. The Russia investigation should be allowed to be completed. As we concern ourselves with a president who attacks our institutions as he seeks to satisfy his base, we need someone to trust and give us an unbiased analysis of what happened with the Russians. That person is Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.
America’s democracy is being challenged by partisan politics that are designed to maintain a white superiority in our fast-changing, ethnically diverse nation. The 2016 election was not about voters feeling economic deprivation. It was about their cultural fears that their status was at risk as a result of the changing racial demographic trends of the nation, according to a study published by PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).
America is projected to be a “minority-majority” nation by the year 2044, according to numerous demographers. This cultural shift contributed to Donald Trump’s election as president. Trump and other Republican elected officials are using this racial and cultural anxiety to their advantage and to the detriment of the nation — a nation of immigrants. A quick look at recent history illustrates the fierce dismantling of democratic processes and fair government in our country.
North Carolina is considered a political microcosm of the country’s hyper-partisan politics and growing mistrust among political parties, according to Duke law professor Jedediah Purdy.
When you examine the political warfare in North Carolina, the list of issues the state has faced, including Republican racially motivated voter suppression, voter ID laws, gerrymandering of voter districts, and the push to end Sunday and same-day voting, has resulted in Republicans holding supermajorities in both the N.C. House and Senate.
Progressive pastor and former North Carolina NAACP President William Barber says “systemic racism” in restricting voter participation is a threat to our democracy. Barber goes on to say that 22 states passed voter suppression laws since 2016. Moreover, the political maneuvers to restrict the authority of newly elected Governor Roy Cooper with regard to his responsibilities as governor of North Carolina are also meant to keep power with the Republicans.
Trump has demonstrated authoritarian tendencies by attacking America’s institutions, including the media, the courts, the justice system and anyone that he sees as a threat to his authority. Trump has demonstrated that he will not tell the truth and is embolden by a weak Congress that refuses to execute their responsibility to hold the executive branch accountable. The president has refused to acknowledge the Russians impacted our elections and continues to call the investigation of the Russian tactics a “witch hunt.” He fired FBI director James Comey and on national television admitted that he fired him because of the Russian investigation.
Trump’s actions and those of his elected supporters should give American’s pause. U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, closed off the House Russia investigation without allowing a minority dissent report, and U.S.. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), is pushing attention away from the Russian investigation and calling for an investigation into the FBI in an attempt to distract from the issue. These activities and many more, including the president’s infatuation with dictators and strongmen, call for an evaluation of the direction of the nation.
Trumps supportive comments of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has positioned himself as president for life, demonstrate his infatuation with dictators. Trump was quoted by CNN as saying, “And look, he (Jinping) was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.” Another example: Trump called Putin, America’s chief opponent, to congratulate him on his re-election, drawing bruising criticism from members of his own party, including a leading senator who scorned the election as a “sham.”
The nation needs Mueller, an American icon, a man who has served the nation as a decorated soldier. He served as the sixth director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 2001 to 2013. A Republican, President George W. Bush, appointed him. President Barack Obama gave his original ten-year term a two-year extension, making him the longest-serving FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover. He is our best hope to help our country find out how the Russians attacked our electoral process and what we need to do to prevent it from happening again.
We also need a Congress that lives up to its constitutional responsibilities as an equal branch government. Enablers such as Rep. Nunes and Rep. Meadows should be voted out of office.
Our president is challenging America’s democracy and Congress is not holding him accountable, while he continues to attack our institutions of government and our sense of checks and balances. America needs Mueller to complete his work and to provide answers to the role Russia had, if any, in the president’s campaign.