Common Dreams, March 24, 2019
Amid widespread speculation over the weekend stirred by the submission of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report to the Department of Justice—and the 4-page summary of it released on Sunday—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says the most important dialogue at this point should not be about what happens next to President Donald Trump, but one focused on the "root causes" that made it possible for such a person to ascend to the White House in the first place.
"This is the REAL conversation we need to have as a country," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Sunday. "As horrific as this president is, he is a symptom of much deeper problems."
Ocasio-Cortez was responding to actor and activist George Takei, who in a tweet on Saturday stated: "Let's say Trump goes down in disgrace from Mueller or the SDNY or Congressional investigations. We're left with a big question: How did a guy like that get elected? Why do so many still support him? We can’t just say 'Fox News' or 'Russians.' We have serious issues to sort out."
The Twitter thread on Sunday afternoon arrived just prior to news that U.S. Attorney General William Barr had delivered his summary of the Mueller report to members of Congress. According to the Associated Press' initial reporting on the summary, Mueller "did not exonerate President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice," but neither did it "find that he committed a crime."
With numerous outlets earlier reporting that Mueller's office will seek no further indictments based on its exhuastive nearly two-year investigation, many legal analysts and political observers have shifted to the idea that President Trump, as well as his family members and other associates, could still face jeopardy from congressional oversight, criminal probes underway by the Southern District of New York, or possible action from other jurisdictions.
However, as Ocasio-Cortez, argued in a follow-up tweet, the focus on Trump's potential criminal problems or impeachment by the Democratic-controlled Congress misses the larger point when it comes to solving the nation's deeper crisis.
"He can stay, he can go. He can be impeached, or voted out in 2020," she tweeted. "But removing Trump will not remove the infrastructure of an entire party that embraced him; the dark money that funded him; the online radicalization that drummed his army; nor the racism he amplified+reanimated."
"In order for us to heal as a nation," she concluded, "we ALL must pursue the hard work of addressing these root causes. It's not as easy as voting. It means having uncomfortable moments convos w/ loved ones, w/ media, w/ those we disagree, and yes - within our own party, too. It's on all of us."