From the publisher … The countdown

by Joe Courter

In less than a year, in all likelihood, votes will have been counted in the 2020 Presidential election. The road there is not clear, in fact it is uncharted. But the calendar pages will turn, and we will be there.

Last month the Iguana’s headline was “Impeach,” as we went to the printer just days after Nancy Pelosi set the process into motion. As predicted, it has taken over the news cycle, an easy story to fixate on while other events in the country and world are moved to back pages or just deleted. Investigations continue, hearings are held and testimonies are given (or not), denials and accusations are made, and speculations abound.  

Widely published journalist Arun Gupta said the following in a Facebook post a while ago, prior to Pelosi launching the impeachment hearings:  

“This brings us to impeachment. ‘But the Senate won’t impeach.’ No shit. That’s not the point. The point is to have the legal authority to uncover all of Trump’s illicit activities. What will result is a torrent of scandals. And yes Trump will create more crises and get more extreme to distract. He will also become more and more unhinged, but that is the strategy.

“The more chaos and the more unhinged he becomes, the more likely he will trigger a recession and create chaos that will make it difficult for him to win, or even steal, the election. Plus, Senate Republicans will be forced to defend the criminality. Yeah, they will vote against impeachment, but the more Democrats dig up scandals, the more they put the GOP in a no-win situation. They either go against Trump and risk the wrath of his base or defend him and risk the disgust of independents. Impeachment will make it more likely the Senate can be flipped in 2020.”

This must be the long-term goal; yes, the impeachment hearings are the glittery object that captures the media, but our work as citizens, for those that have the stomach and can make the time for it, is to work to elect better people, to push for better legislation, to work on local issues and endeavors that appeal to you and do what you can to make the world a better place.  

What the 2020 election holds for us we know will include voter suppression and domestic and foreign meddling. We may very well be seeing what is left of our democracy slip further into an authoritarian state, as many citizens here in the U.S. seem so hypnotized by all their media options that civic responsibilities seem an outmoded quaint thing of the past. (And all these damn right-wing judges being appointed!) But in reality there is an upsurge in union organizing, and if you see the Warren and Sanders campaigns as running on near parallel tracks going in the same direction, and all the youth and energy especially in the Sanders campaign, there is reason for hope. And around the world there are many uprisings against government repression, income disparity, and neoliberal policies, which stiff the poor and aid the rich. We could use at the least some awareness here that what we have now is not what we need to be stuck with forever.

The pages in this issue are filled with examples of resistance and fight back. There are organizers and activists doing what needs to be done as best they can, goodhearted people, young and old, mostly out of the headlines, defending and educating, standing up to the powerful, and fighting the good fight. There’s a brave whistleblower, there are young people and senior citizens. There are tributes to two great folks who we lost last month, but fear not, there’s an awakening, and recent elections have had positive results. We are many, they are few. Do what you can; apathy and hopelessness are the real enemy. And the countdown is on.

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