Much of the news last week was nearly enough to redline even the most durable blood-pressure monitor.
Media reports detailed the continued and callous mistreatment of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, threats of terror-inducing raids by the federal Immigration, Customs and Enforcement agency, federally approved environmental degradations, and a set of stomach-churning, incendiary and arguably racist Twitter rants by the President aimed at four minority congresswomen.
In a Twitter torrent last weekend, Donald Trump excoriated the congresswomen saying they should “go back” to the countries they came from. As is often the case in these Twitter tantrums, he was flat wrong. Only one of the four women was born outside the United States. And she has been a naturalized U.S. citizen for nearly 20 years.
His seething complaint? The four congresswomen — all women of color — are hyper-critical of the president’s policies and willing to be very vocal about it.
But even as a national furor over the breathtaking range of insulting and inaccurate Twitter comments slung at congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib consumed most national and social media, a famous, oft-spoken line from the popular 1970s television program “Kung Fu” kept surfacing in my mind.
Patience? What? This is all so infuriating! We need to take action.
Yes, a lot of what’s coming out of Washington D.C. and elsewhere is enough to strain the good will of even persons imbued with the legendary patience of the Biblical figure Job.
But invoking patience does not mean issues should be ignored.
The patience suggested here means that for people who want to get the Tweeter-in-Chief out of office — and his many enablers in the U.S. Senate and House — all eyes should laser-focus on the 2020 election.
Patience means pay attention to planning, creating effective political strategies and committing to the hard work of the campaign, from today into November 2020.
But more than anything it also means resolving to quit chasing every morsel of red meat Twitter bait the President throws out to distract and inflame political foes. The recent attack on the four congresswomen is part of a larger, morally reprehensible, race-baiting strategy to win re-election. But it will only be effective if people continue to focus on the stream of vitriolic statements spewed from Mar-a-Largo or the White House, rather than replacing the incumbent.
The 2020 Presidential election is the big enchilada. It isn’t which minority group or person is this week’s White House Twitter target.
At a discussion group in Hector a few weeks ago, a campaign donation strategy popped up in a conversation about the Electoral College and how it could factor in a second Donald Trump term as president.
Donate campaign dollars to organizations and candidates in swing states rather than in states like New York where the outcome of the 2020 election vote is so predictably overall Democratic at the national level.
A handful of states like Ohio teeter between red and blue in their politics and will likely be where the race will ultimately be decided.
The exception to that swing-state campaign donation strategy in the Finger Lakes might be to take good look at the 2020 race in the 23rd Congressional District, the seat held by incumbent Tom Reed.
Disappointingly — but not surprisingly — Reed voted against a House resolution condemning Trump’s incendiary attacks on the four congresswomen, even after calling the Tweets “offensive” and “inappropriate.” Voters should think hard about whether that’s who they want to represent them.
Quit reading Twitter and get to work.