Dear Friends and Supporters,
As I write this, we are well into the 3rd week of the Trump Presidency. Some call it the Trump Monarchy; others have gone so far as to call it the Trump Reich. But whatever your preferred characterization—harsh or simply critical—it is clear to most of us that the 45th President of the U.S. has little regard for the will of the people, is eager to attack the independence of the federal judiciary, and relishes in childish slurs and insults—frequently conveyed by Twitter.
Meanwhile, the Republican-controlled Congress remains largely mute, paralyzed either by fear or silent acquiescence. Presidential lies, falsehoods, “alternative facts”, assaults on the news media and rhetorical admiration for Vladimir Putin are treated as normal behavior by too many Representatives and Senators, including the Congressman from California’s Fourth District, and my opponent in 2016, Tom McClintock.
The stream of dictatorial orders emanating from the White House seems endless, and many will certainly be overturned in court. And while a few judges and other legal authorities have taken tepid swipes at some of these orders, it was not until last Friday that a brave Federal Judge in Seattle, Justice James Robart, said “No!” to President Trump’s Muslim travel ban. Judge Robart’s ruling was upheld the by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday. The battle may yet go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Regardless of the outcome in this particular case, however, we all must support any judicial effort that stands a chance of derailing the Trump runaway train toward an American autocracy!
Our Founders warned of the danger of autocratic rule, believing no people nor nation is immune to its possibility. Knowing that, they built into our Constitution a series of checks and balances among the three branches of our federal government. Those checks and balances are now being challenged by a headstrong and dangerous chief executive to an extent not seen in recent memory.
Regrettably, one of the three branches—the legislative—is not holding up its end of the bargain. And that means the precarious balance engineered by those who met in Philadelphia nearly 230 years ago is at risk. So far, the legislative branch has failed in its mission, and I harbor little hope that it will step up to its responsibilities given its composition.
But, here too, the framers of the Constitution anticipated stormy inter-branch waters, and they provided a life vest: Every two years the people can throw out and elect an entirely new set of the 435 representatives in the House. And our singular mission must be to replace Republicans with Democrats in 2018.
I was delighted to see so many caring residents of this district attend Congressman Tom McClintock’s town hall last Saturday in Roseville. One of the photos of the events was seen around the globe on a New York Times website. That photo showed a young women holding up a sign that read simply “Resist” as the Congressman was escorted out of the building by (an unnecessary) phalanx of police officers. And I am particularly proud of that young woman, Nicole, as she was one of the many enthusiastic, committed supporters of my own recent campaign for the U.S. Congress.
To resist the impending tyranny, many new groups of concerned citizens have been formed throughout the district, including several in my home county of Tuolumne. Their goals, including the election of progressive Democrats at every level from School Boards, to County Boards of Supervisors, to the State Legislature, to the Congress and ultimately to the White House, are right and they are achievable. Along the way, we will actively and continuously confront those already in office with the truth about healthcare costs, Wall Street Robber Barons, the need to protect and preserve Social Security and Medicare, to defend the rights of all Americans, and to stop and then reverse the disastrous global climate changes threatening our very existence.
I encourage everyone to be active in this fight. I want to again thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the tremendous support you showed in my 2016 Campaign for the US Congress in District 4; and I thank you for what you are doing now—and will do—to help preserve our right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness;”