Our state is stepping up in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election.
In November, over 1,000 Rhode Islanders gathered at Hope High School in Providence and committed to resisting Trump’s dangerous and corrupt agenda. The next week, hundreds rallied at the State House calling on elected leaders to do everything possible to protect our communities and values, helping push the governor to step up with a promise to “work tirelessly to prevent President-elect Trump from enacting any policy that stokes division and hurts Rhode Island’s working families,” while Providence Mayor Elorza has reaffirmed that Providence will continue its policy of supporting immigrant families, pledging, “We will not sacrifice a single resident.”
Our state is sending a strong message that we will be a leader in the fight for tolerance, economic fairness, and equal justice. And Democrats expect that same fierce leadership from our federal delegation.
The President-elect received two million fewer votes than the Democratic nominee – he has no mandate for his extreme right-wing agenda. Yet Trump’s appointments show he intends to follow through on the worst aspects of his campaign rhetoric, with picks like Senior Advisor Steve Bannon, the bridge between the Republican Party and the neo-Nazi “alt-right”; Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a career racist who’s spoken positively of the Klan; Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a committed school privatizer and anti-gay advocate; EPA transition leader Myron Ebell, a climate denier and shill for the fossil fuel industry. Each day brings a new billionaire or bigot onto the team.
With this unprecedented threat to our communities and values, Democrats are not looking for our leaders in Congress to collaborate in passing Trump’s agenda. We are counting on them to refuse to give an inch. In fact, a recent Pew Research Center poll found that nearly two-thirds of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters would like to see their party stand up to Trump rather than work with him.
Our Democratic Party is at a crossroads. We can choose to appease Trump and be complicit in the coming attacks on our community and our values. Or we can call out Trump’s bigotry and corruption and fight for the real populist change – affordable college, $15 minimum wage, paid sick time, an end to corporate welfare, and more – that working families of all races and backgrounds are demanding. Here in Rhode Island, our federal delegation should know that their Democratic supporters will not accept appeasement or compromise with Trump’s corruption and bigotry. We are looking for fierce resistance to Trump’s dangerous agenda, and when our Congressmen and Senators do the right thing and fight for our values and communities, we will have their backs 100%.