By Emily Hill, Stephanie Hilbert and Alicia Soliz
Rep. Garamendi, we your constituents have a simple request: on Tuesday, Feb 28, when Donald Trump gives his first address to Congress, we want you to call him a liar.
As you’re no doubt aware, and as discussed in detail in this Washington Post article, many of your colleagues are trying to decide whether or not to be seen shaking hands with Trump as he walks up to the front of the chamber. Hopefully you’ve already recognized that shaking hands with Trump is a terrible idea. How could you possibly help normalize a president who wants to ban a whole religion, who scapegoats immigrants, who openly brags about sexually assaulting women, who won’t release his taxes or recuse himself from tremendous conflicts of interest, who most likely was coordinating with Russian intelligence services to get himself elected, and who tells lies like other people breathe… how could you shake hands with that? A photo of you smiling and shaking hands with Trump would haunt you –absolutely haunt you – for the next 15 months until the Democratic primary, and probably for the rest of your life.
But Rep. Garamendi, simply avoiding Trump is insufficient. And we don’t want you to cower in the back hoping that nobody notices you’re in the same room as Trump.
No, we want you to call Trump out on his lies. When he gives his address, and when he gets to his first tremendous lie, whatever it is, we have three simple words that we want you to yell out: “Trump, you’re lying!”
That might strike you as extreme – what about the rules of decorum, you might ask – but Republicans have already set the precedent. You might recall that in 2009, during President Obama’s address to Congress, Republican Joe Wilson yelled out, “You lie!” It didn’t matter that President Obama was actually telling the truth. Wilson not only was not penalized for this “breach of decorum,” he actually used the video to raise a tremendous amount of money from the Tea Party.
So please don’t claim that “it’s against the rules” or “impolite.” The future of our republic is more important than your sense of politeness. When Trump says that he had the biggest inauguration crowds in history, speak for your constituents: “Trump, you’re lying!” When Trump says that his attempted ban of Muslims went “extremely smoothly,” speak for your constituents: “Trump, you’re lying!” When Trump mentions the Russian investigation and says “the leaks are real but the news is fake,” speak for your constituents: “Trump, you’re lying!”
Rep. Garamendi, we your constituents won’t be in the chamber on Tuesday, but you will be. We want you to be our voice. Call Trump a liar.
Emily Hill, coordinator for Indivisible YOLO. Stephanie Hilbert, coordinator for Indivisible Yuba Sutter. Alicia Soliz, coordinator for Indivisible Fairfield and Vacaville.