The 2018 midterm elections will test whether resistance to President Trump and anger over his policies can turn out enough progressive voters to buck both the orchestrated assault on voting rights and historic midterm election voting trends.
From partisan and illegal gerrymandering to onerous voter-ID laws to the absurd Presidential Commission on Election Integrity, the Trump administration and red-state lawmakers are working on many fronts to prevent and dissuade large numbers of eligible voters from exercising their most fundamental constitutional right. The target of these efforts—single women, millennials, and minorities—are the three groups of Americans most at risk of disenfranchisement and the most likely to support progressive causes and candidates—but only if robust registration efforts reach them.
Single women, millennials, and minorities—the Rising American Electorate (RAE)—make up nearly 59.2 percent of eligible voters. But these citizens don’t register to vote or turn out in proportion to their share of the population. In 2016, even though they accounted for nearly six in ten members of the vote-eligible population, the RAE made up a little more than half (52.6 percent) of the total electorate.
He’s ranting and raving and tweeting a storm and making his hatefilled incitements the norm. Complicit Republicans holding the reins are holding their tongues too while counting their gains. No need to revisit each trumpian word their quiet subservience clearly occurred. Where silence is deafening, people take note, our loudest resistance is heard when we vote.
I didn’t fully grasp the scale of the civic revival until I went to Georgia in April to write about the special election to fill the House seat vacated by Tom Price, who had become Trump’s secretary of health and human services. (Like many Trump officials, he has since resigned in disgrace.) Jon Ossoff, the Democrat, lost that race, but the energy of the district’s previously apolitical suburban women was astonishing.
Galvanized by disgust for Trump, they had thrown themselves into local politics, using organizing skills learned in the PTA. I was with some of them the night Ossoff lost, but instead of despairing, they were already planning their next campaigns. In December, they helped the Democrat Jen Jordan win a State Senate seat, breaking the chamber’s Republican supermajority.
Indeed, Democrats have triumphed all over the country, as Trump’s approval rating keeps sinking. The progressive Working Families Party endorsed 1,036 candidates in 2017; almost two-thirds of them won. Due in large part to grass-roots organizing, Democrats won a landslide in Virginia and took Jeff Sessions’s old Senate seat in Alabama.
While Trump has given his followers the liberal tears they crave, that victory contains the seeds of its own reversal. Trump has done more to spur progressive political organizing than Bernie Sanders, George Soros and Saul Alinsky combined. The president once warned that if he fell, he’d take the entire Republican Party down with him. Thanks to the Resistance, he might still have the chance.
I want to take the time to say
Despite the bleakness of the day
That this is not the bitter end,
That time has seconds to append
And seconds build to days and years
While all this madness disappears.
For life is like a pendulum
There’s something lost and something won
And then it swings the other way
Despite the bleakness of the day.
That massive spike in American women wanting to run for office following Election Day? It wasn’t a ripple—it’s a wave, says Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily’s List. The organization that supports pro-choice Democratic women is releasing new numbers Wednesday on just how many women have inquired about entering politics following the 2016 election. The results are rather staggering: Since November 8, over 10,000 women have contacted the organization about potential runs for office—roughly ten times as many as reached out during the entire 2016 election cycle, from January 2015 to last November.
“Hate is contagious. A few seconds after Donald Trump has told me something hateful, somebody else repeats it. He has legitimized what people only dare say in their kitchens and bedrooms.” – Jorge Ramos
When there’s hatred unraveling threads
encircling love, it embeds
in the heart and the mind;
there, entirely entwined,
like a virulent virus, it spreads.
I do believe that we have to make resisting our own creeping feelings of hatred a part of the resistance.
“We wondered if Palm Sunday might have been an act of civil disobedience. We imagined a prophetic Jewish teacher mimicking the pomp and slender of Roman colonizers in a parade dedicated not to himself, but to the outcasts who had gathered to hear a message of grace. We asked if the parade may have been a celebration, not of Jesus’ ego, but of his love of all the people who were colonized, disabled, rejected, humiliated and oppressed. Perhaps he was illustrating that love can build a temple from all the stones other builders have rejected.
“We remembered the words of Rumi: ‘Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again , come , come.’
“Then, we imagined what such a parade would mean in our day. Surely it would call us all out of our allegiance to the death star of capitalism where human worth is calculated by what we have instead of who we are. It would call us out of any of the world’s empires where we are forced to participate in the slaughter of innocents. And it would call us out of artificial living where human temples, pipelines and skyscrapers displace the sacred temple of nature.
And by doing so, majority Republicans just handed the liberal firebrand a megaphone — further elevating President Donald Trump’s fiercest and most prominent critic in the Senate and turning her into a Democratic hero.”