Week 22: Unfit for Office

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It is the solemn duty of every president to protect the American people. But this week, President Trump decided to put our citizens and the world at risk. By recklessly live-tweeting threats of nuclear war from his private golf course, and amping up his bellicose rhetoric in the following days, Trump has shown once again that he lacks the temperament to be Commander-in-Chief.unnamed

This loose talk of war undermines America’s credibility and endangers our national security. The serious threat posed by North Korea will not be solved with 140-character fits of bluster, but with reasoned dialogue, consistent diplomacy, and coordination with our allies.

We need new leadership to deal with the serious threats and difficult challenges we face as a nation. That’s what’s at stake in every upcoming election, and that’s why we must be a unified Party. I sat down with Now This to talk about the direction of the Democratic Party and how we can heal our divisions and win elections in the coming weeks, months, and years.

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On Thursday, I spent the day in Richmond, Virginia, to rally organizers and kick off a phone bank for their upcoming election this November. Ralph Northam, our candidate for governor, has a plan to create economic opportunities for all Virginians, no matter who they are or where they live.

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That’s why we recently announced an initial investment of $1.5 million in the Virginia governor’s race — one of the largest investments to-date by a Democratic group. As part of that investment, we’re immediately doubling of the number of grassroots organizers on the ground and significantly growing our digital, data, and tech infrastructure.

Our work as a Party is already paying off across the country, even in districts Trump won heavily last November. Just this week, Dr. Phil Miller was elected in Iowa’s 82nd legislative district.

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As a small business owner, president of the Fairfield school board, longtime resident of the district, and a Democrat, Dr. Miller will stand up for the most vulnerable and help build a brighter future for Iowa’s working families. The tide is turning against Trump and Republican lawmakers. Trump won this rural district by more than 20 percent last year, and Miller carried it by about 10 points. That’s a 30-point swing against Republicans since November, and shows that rural Iowans are rejecting an agenda that prioritizes the wealthiest at the expense of hardworking families.

The reason we’re seeing these swings is simple: the American people just don’t trust Donald Trump or the Republican Party to fight for them. They know that Democrats have an agenda that prioritizes working families instead of the wealthiest Americans.

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But a strong Democratic agenda is not enough. We also need to be protecting people’s right to hold their elected officials accountable at the ballot box. Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s Justice Department continued this week to chip away at the fundamental right to vote by changing their position in a critical voting rights case at the Supreme Court. Ohio’s voter purge was unlawful before Donald Trump was elected and it’s unlawful now. But by re-interpreting the law to fit Trump’s bogus claims about ‘voter fraud,’ Trump’s political appointees at the Justice Department are making it possible for states to purge more voters from the rolls and deny millions their right to participate in our democracy.

Our democracy is stronger when more people have access to the ballot box – not fewer. That’s why the Democratic Party will keep fighting to protect and expand the right to vote for all Americans, even if Trump’s Justice Department won’t.

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Just this week, the DNC announced a new, permanent voter hotline to help protect the fundamental right of every American to participate in our nation’s political process.  This year-round hotline is one of the many steps we are taking in response to the real threat to democracy posed by Trump’s sham Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

 

As we celebrated the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act this past Sunday, it’s important to remember that we can never take our democracy for granted. The moral arc of the universe bends towards justice, but not on its own. We are heirs to the legacy of countless activists and organizers who have bent that arc, and it’s our responsibility to carry on their fight.

 

Best,

Tom

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Tom Perez

Chair
Democratic National Committee