The 245th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the United States this Fourth of July, the first since Donald J. Trump is not president, is a good time to reflect on how things are going as a country, as a society. But especially about where we are going and how the elected Democratic administration, after the traumatic management of Trump—and emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic—has the enormous challenge of producing palpable results on diverse issues.
This challenge is just, necessary, and urgent. Not for an easy way out of a set of promises, but as part of a commitment and a mission that is no longer located in the political realm, necessarily, but which has transcended into moral, humanitarian, and historic terrain.
We are not referring to the strict patriotic sense of the celebration of Independence but how, after these two facts that have marked us as a nation, the Trump presidency and the pandemic, it is time to free ourselves—that is, become independent—from the many walls that have impeded progress on so many things.
Let’s take, for example, the Democrats who took back the White House and Senate, by a close margin, and maintained the majority in the House of Representatives. Despite this, they continue to be involved in a fight against Republicans in order to advance the legislative agenda of President Joe Biden. Yes, it’s true that there are rules in the Senate and that in an ideal world, measures would be approved in a bipartisan fashion for the common good. But we don’t live in this ideal world.
That is precisely why we have to keep our feet on the ground, at least in this moment in which we have to confront the possibility of historically transcending a presidential administration, which also offers the opportunity to engage in the most concrete application of power to serve the common good.
The steps Biden has taken, of course, seem to be in the right direction, eliminating in five months some of the barriers that had been imposed, for example, on immigrants to keep them from entering the country or, failing that, discouraging their attempts to seek refuge here.
But the biggest delay in this issue, the thing that has stolen the dream of millions of immigrant families over years, seems eternally stuck due to the ineffective political negotiations they have seen transpire over generations and generations of people hoping to be considered part of this society.
This pending matter, for example, is a litmus test for any government that considers social policies to be part of its most American essence, committed to their own history, their homeland.
It would be marvelous if the Democrats would declare their independence from the hesitations and fears that keep them from acting and recognizing the power that they have. Because they do have power. They should be freed from the negative influence that Republican pressure has over them. No matter that they are the minority, the Republicans continue acting like they are the majority.
On the migration issue, how beneficial it would be for the future to have a reform that would legalize eleven million people, that the Democrats overcome the paralysis that is created in them when the Republicans pronounce the magic words “border security” as a prerequisite for any legislation. In reality it’s just the same old Republican song to obstruct and block progress.
This strategy is so obvious that it has even risen to the category of an insult to the nation’s intelligence. That is, it’s an insult like the insufferable Republican obstructionism, as well as the prophylactic contemplation of the Democrats.
On the other hand, how productive would it be if at least a handful of Republicans break free—become independent—of Trump’s yoke, which the Party has assumed at the expense of its dignity and integrity. Let’s hope that at least a smaller Republican sector will shake off the prejudice, racism, sexism, xenophobia, evil, and cruelty left by Trump, because with just this handful any legislation could advance. But it seems like they are stuck in the mud that will take its toll—both political and historic, in that order—sooner or later.
In the end, would that in place of the parades and patriotic speeches, they really put into practice what the The U.S. Declaration of Independence says: “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Maribel Hastings and David Torres