Former president Donald J. Trump is the Republican frontrunner and will more than likely win his party’s nomination next summer. That means there will be a repeat of sorts at the ballot: President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris running on the Democrat ticket. Donald J. Trump and a yet to be announced vice president candidate. Not Mike Pence. If it has not already been apparent for some, the upcoming year is where the battle lines will be clearly drawn in the sand. On one side, democracy as we have understood it to be, hangs in the balance. On the other side of that line in the sand is the end of democracy, the Constitution, and the solidification of authoritarianism and its chief supporter, white supremacy. Was the last statement an extremely exaggerated attempt at fearmongering? Not at all because the radical white nationalistic rhetoric of the last twelve months, in fact the last three years, has all pointed to this showdown and if there is an American left that cannot feel the winds of war churning rapidly, then they are sadly comatose.
But what must be different from the 2020 and the 2016 campaign season is the way the media reports on Donald Trump and his cohorts. In the years leading up to Trump’s announcement of his candidacy for president, he could be found blustering his way across media lyingly making the claims that then President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. That caused such a headache for Obama and created what would be known as the “birther movement.” Even when Obama released his official birth documentation that clearly stated that he was born in the United States, in Hawaii, Trump wondered publicly if Hawaii was really a state. It was the assumption that Americans would never pick a womanizing, socalled billionaire businessman turned reality television star, with a stiff toupee’ over the more than qualified former Secretary of State and senator Hillary Clinton that led to a large segment of voters to stay away from the polls that fateful November in 2016. Who could have predicted that? It was our own arrogance that caught us slipping that year. The arrogant belief that our fellow Americans would do the right thing in our absence.
However, in 2020, at the height of covid, which simply devastated Black and brown communities, a different story emerged. It is because of the tremendous force of the tide of Black American voters turning out at the polls, or by mail-in ballots, in waves that evicted Trump from the White House. To say he is salty about it is an understatement. His response was to plot and set in motion events that would test the strength of democracy. The attack was not a mortal one, but it was a substantial, direct hit. Trump loyalists and cohorts are still going about their day-to-day business as usual in Congress as if nothing happened. Or as if they did not help plot the possible overthrow of democracy. Scott Perry. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson. Marjorie Taylor Green. Every Republican in the Senate that refused to vote to impeach Trump… not once, but twice. All the one hundred or so Republicans who voted alongside House Democrats to oust George Santos last week. This is what we must keep in mind as we report on Donald Trump and the Trump campaign in 2024. We must keep our pens, typewriters, and microphones on the necks of Trump cohorts and loyalists in the media, in Washington, and in the state of Florida. We cannot let up for a second.
Journalists cannot become sluggish or complacent in reporting on Trump and become indifferent to the myriad of nonsensical lies that he feeds to his supporters, American voters. The amount of manure that Trump shovels onto the American public daily by way of his rallies, emails, and Truth Social is by the ton. But we cannot let the drudgery of sifting through the ridiculousness day by day, sometimes hour by hour, turn into a chore without an endgame. We must remember that Trump has an enormous leaky mouth and itchy fingers. He gleefully loves to expose his heart’s desire and his plans for America if he wins the 2024 presidential elections. Trump has said that he wants to get rid of the Constitution, the judicial systems in New York and Georgia that have indicted him, and he wants to release the insurrectionists from January 6. Demolishing the Constitution would mean that Donald J. Trump could decide to remain in the White House…indefinitely. And guess what? He would have the power to do so, and have the support of House and Senate Republicans, and possibly Republican governors across the country. Triple that allegiance by millions more factoring in layman Americans who are in step with Trump’s lightly cloaked nationalistic platform and pulpit.
We must actively expose Donald Trump. We cannot afford to sit this one out as journalists and as voters. We cannot be lackadaisical in reporting. That is how the voters of Rhode Island found themselves sending an alleged con artist to Washington. George Santos, here’s looking at you. That was a hard lesson to learn. This time around, something greater is at stake. Our liberty. We as Black Americans have fought for our liberty in some way or another since we arrived on the shores of the Americas from Africa. The fight for liberty continues with the caveat that in its wake we will truly taste the promise of the Constitution of the United States.