Trump and the Feeble Democratic Party’s Resistance to a Grassroots Activism

In This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein wrote in 2014 that climate change created an urgency that could lead not just to climate justice, but to international economic and social justice. The UN’s IPCC report gives us an even more urgent deadline, but Trump and Democratic leadership show no taste for real solutions. It is all about profit.Actions & Opportunities. Before launching into a discussion of our desperate need for bold leadership in Washington, a few actions and opportunities to promote.

Journey with Paul & Roxanne Talking About Our Road Trip. Podcast for Those Who Missed the Talk. Click here to listen to the Journey podcast.

KSFR. 101.1 FM Saturday, Oct 20, 8:30am. A solo show in which I discuss Reverend Barber, Austin Tiny Houses, climate change, the urgent need for grassroots activism, and how you can be part of it.

Sunday, October 21, Precautionary Principle Workshop  10:00 am to 3:00 pm – Lunch will be provided. Location: Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Center, 848 State Rd. # 68, Alcade.  One in a series of events intended to increase public awareness, education, and empowerment around the issue of the hexavalent chromium plume originating from Los Alamos National Laboratory that has been found in our watershed. Hope to see you there. Click here for more information and to RSVP (not a Facebook link). TEWA. This is the only reason I won’t be canvassing for Abbas this weekend.

Canvass or Call for Abbas Akhil in NM House Dist. 20. Roxanne and I are working with Progressive Dems of America, ABQ, DSA, Indivisible, and the Progressive Caucus of NMDP to organize two days of canvassing for Abbas Akhil in District 20. We are planning canvassing from 12-3pm on Saturday and 1-4pm on Sunday October 27 and 28 and the following weekend, as well. This is a huge opportunity and we need as many people as possible.
This is one of the most important races in the Roundhouse as Akhil–an energy storage scientist– would become the Roundhouse expert and leader on all things energy, renewables and making the just transition from a fossil fuel economy to a more sustainable economy. He could be our best antidote to lobbyists for PNM and gas and oil.  Polls show the race is a virtual tie, so turn out will decide this. And canvassing is the single best strategy for building turnout.  We will meet at Abbas’ home, 1727 Soplo Rd, SE a few minutes before start time.
If you can join us, please email me at and tell us which day and if you have room in your car. Please also email Doug Small the Field Director at so they can have routes cut for you. Afterwards those who want to, can head over to the Tractor Brewery at 118 Tulane Dr. SE for snacks, beer and conversation.  This is a great opportunity to support a tremendous Democrat and get to know a bunch of like-minded people.  Likely we will organize a similar round of canvassing the 2nd and 3rd of November, the weekend before the election.  If you just can’t do the canvassing, phone banking is the next best way to help. Contact to find out more about phone banking. Please, share this notice with others and try to get one or two friends (or more) to join you.

We have about 20 folks who have signed up to canvass next weekend. So we have a tremendous start. I was told by the Campaign Manager that the race was so close that a commitment of  40+ canvassers each of the last two weekends of the campaign, we can flip this district and put a climate scientist in the Roundhouse. Let’s Do This. Email me today if you can do this and ask a couple friends to join you. 

For more information about Abbas, his campaign, and other ways to be involved:
For more on the events above and other opportunities, click here.

Trump Ignores All Facts, Pursues All Profit While National Democratic Leadership Fiddles in the Dark

Right now we face some enormous challenges, all of us. The UN report has given us a pretty firm deadline 12 years to get serious. Twelve years to go well beyond what is proposed in the Paris Accord and we have a President who scoffs at any and all evidence of climate change and most anything else that might threaten US profits. Impervious to facts, research or the truth, in just the past week:

  • When asked if he was influenced by the UN IPCC report, he replied it was just a report, one of many and who knows what really will happen, but that he is not willing to give up hundreds of thousands of jobs and immense profit US economic growth because of “some report.” Profit trumps the planet and science.
  • When asked if he will follow up on his threats of consequences if the Saudis are to be found guilty of killing a Saudi journalist in Turkey, he replied, ‘we shouldn’t rush to judgement,’ despite there being abundant evidence, including film that a team of assassins had carried out the work and that some of those assassins have direct connections with the Crown Prince.  He followed up his equivocation by indicating that the Saudi’s had committed to buying $450 billion of “things” from the US, $110B of which will be weapons in support of their evisceration of Yemen. Trump crowed about this being the “largest deal in the history of the world.” Profit trumps principles and size really matters.
  • When asked if he worried that Kavanaugh may have been guilty, he replied “who cares, we won.” It is all about winning..Truth, justice and the voices of women be damned.

So we have 12 years and for two of them we will be forced to labor under a delusional, unprincipled president. And so the path is tough. We have a very steep climb. And it would be far, far more doable if we had a Democratic Party that had formed in clear opposition to Trump’s policies. But alas, as the Nation’s “Autopsy One Year Later” reveals, we have no such party, no such leadership. The first iteration of Autopsy was published as a cover article in The Nation in Oct 2017. Its intent was to dissect the catastrophic election collapse of the Democratic Party in 2016. Autopsy pointed to innumerable instances of the Party failing to support grassroots efforts to get out the vote in poor communities and communities of color, of ignoring the rust belt, of assuming that Democrats had no options other than Hillary and that caution should guide the Party in its selection of issues to discuss and of centrist candidates to support.

In “One Year Later,” the same researchers who analyzed the Party’s failures in 2016 examine the degree to which progress has been made.  The Cliff Note version:  Nothing of significance has changed. The Party is not learning from the extraordinary number of successful grassroots candidates: women, women of color, and LGBTQ candidates. These  candidates often had to overcome Democratic Party neglect or opposition because they spoke boldly about issues and policies that resonate more with the poor, the young and the working class that with the Party’s corporate donors. Instead of adapting to a clear message from the heart of the historic Party base (labor, women, communities of color, youth) “One Year Later” documents the repeated failure to invest in grassroots organizing and canvassing in communities of color in favor of spending huge amounts on ads targeting white voters who the Party hopes will turn away from Trump. This strategy failed in 2016 and it appears that the Party has learned very little.

In some instances, the Democrats have actually regressed since 2016. “One Year Later” points to Chuck Shumer’s all-in endorsement for Trump’s bloated military budget and I would add to that Shumer’s caving to the GOP on a list of regressive judicial appointments last week so Democratic Senators could go home to campaign is but another example of failing to lead the opposition and colluding with a GOP that is out of control. If they can’t stand against regressive Federal judicial appointments, what on earth can they campaign on? That they are a GOP light version of the opposition?  When Bernie Sanders introduced a censure resolution in opposition of Saudi Arabia’s slaughter in Yemen, fully ten Democratic Senators refused to sign on to the bill. So Democrats can’t even mount a unified opposition to genocidal slaughter of a helpless population. How is this different from Trump’s cowing to Saudi Arabia because they want to buy our things?  How is this the kind of principled leadership that could inspire voters to turn out?  The entire Nation article is well worth review. Click here to read it.

So where does this leave us? An unprincipled racist President and majority Party and a milquetoast Democratic opposition. It leaves us with only a few options: to work locally to reform the party, to work at a state level to advance leadership in the Roundhouse that will work for state and local climate action, despite our lack of national leadership. And perhaps more than anything, it means continuing to organize locally, building a base of informed, outraged and active communities. On the Retake radio show that I taped today and that airs Saturday at 8:30am, I discussed these options, I discussed how easy it is to buckle under the daunting challenge, but then concluded that there are so many inspired leaders in politics and in local community battles across the country. They are heroic. But they need more heroes. They need you. The planet needs you. And we can start by working together to elect Abbas Akhil to the Roundhouse so we can have a climate scientist as our advocate for the future and for our planet.

Please listen in to the show and if you want to become more involved in Retake’s local and state activism, just write to me at One person can make a difference and that person could be you.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne








Categories: Climate Change, Agriculture, Land Use & Wildlife, Election, Political Reform & National Politics

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3 replies

  1. The situation with the Democratic Party is reaching unprecedented levels which I have never seen the likes of in my life. Certainly their abandonment of Carter in the 70’s was more than indicative of what would become their move to the right, but now we are facing something entirely different; a reluctance to even accept the monumental task of overthrowing this Republican Coup. The performances of Perez, Biden, Schumer, Pelosi and the unprecedented display of incompetence by Elizabeth Warren and her desire for Native blood, giving both Trump and the Republican Party more footage is a continuing display of a lack of any recognizable leadership. Even Bernie has gone underground, with the exception of emails and FB posts! We can only hope that despite their intransigence, lack of a systematic and overall plan and sheer somnambulance, they can win enough seats in November to allow for us to have two more years to ward off this scourge. Every poll taken that I have read states that the number one issue for voters is Health Care and yet there is no talk of a National Health Care plan by Democratic leaders! Are they just old and tired or just ignorant and greedy, much like the opposition?

    • I couldn’t agree more and couldn’t have put it more clearly. And you omitted the tasteless and ill-timed Clinton tour. Who is our champion in 2020?

    • It is perhaps not that hard to understand why many Democrats are a bit shy about going all in on comprehensive health care reforms since the most extreme losses by either party in midterm elections since WWII were suffered 1996 and 2010. In 1996 the Democrats lost 54 house and 9 senate seats and with that control of both houses. In 2010 they lost 63 house seats (and control of the house) and 6 senate seats as well as a huge number of state level seats.

      What both these elections have in common was that the primary issue pounded by Republicans was opposition to a health care reform (Hillarycare in 1996 and Obamacare in 2010).

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