I’m grateful for many things, but this season in particular I’m grateful that our Democratic system was able to bend but not break. At least thus far. Sure, Democracy has been warped and deformed by a wide array of right-wing attacks, including gerrymandering, voter suppression, voter purges, onerous ID laws, selective under-funding of districts & a decrease in polling places, disinformation campaigns, etc, but none of these dirty tricks were enough to keep us from an historic midterm win.
I’m especially grateful for the many, many volunteer activists who spent significant portions of their free time over the past two years organizing, protesting, agitating and advocating. The midterm success would not have been possible without a broad grass-roots movement that transcended both the Democratic party machinery and the individual candidates’ campaigns. The hard work of dedicated activists will be vital in the months ahead as we continue working to dump Trump.
I’m also grateful for the many concerned citizens who stood up and answered the call to service. Running for office can be a brutally difficult and all-consuming endeavor, so I’m glad many of our best and brightest put themselves out into the public square and became candidates. We will need their energy and spirit in the years and election cycles ahead.
I’m also grateful that the elected representatives of the Democratic party reflect the diversity of our great nation. We have more work to do in this direction, but we continue to make wonderful strides toward a government that looks like the people it represents–and shares the values of the people it represents.
Finally, I’m grateful that so many of our fellow citizens now see engaged activism as a crucial life-long endeavor. Democracy only works when we participate, and one of the lessons of the Trump catastrophe is that we can never “sit this one out.” We have to be active and engaged in our local politics, and we have to vote in each and every election. Otherwise, we hand our power to people and interests who–to put it kindly–don’t care about our health or welfare.
Here’s wishing all of our friends, neighbors and families a safe and Happy Thanksgiving…