In the fight for liberty, we can’t afford to fight each other

We must embrace everyone who is willing to vote blue in 2022 or we won’t have any independence to celebrate next year

I saw this on Twitter and thought it encapsulated the way a lot of us are feeling on this holiday.

It’s hard to celebrate our country’s independence when the Supreme Court has been taking a sledgehammer to Americans’ right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

Everyone knows that we’ve gotten off-track as a nation, although people may argue on when we jumped the rails: Was it when Trump was nominated? When Trump won the 2016 election? When Trump falsely claimed voter fraud? When Trump incited an insurrection at the Capitol?

Maybe you think Trump was the culmination of something that began much earlier. Should we go back to “weapons of mass destruction” or Reagan’s “trickle-down economics” to pinpoint the beginning of the end? Should we go all the way back to when European settlers first stole land from Native Americans or to when slave traders brought Africans against their will to this country? 

I’m sure a compelling argument could be made for any of these examples, but assigning blame  isn’t going to solve the problem at hand. We’re in a full-blown constitutional crisis and what happens in the next few months will literally determine whether we continue to live in a democratic country or one that is ruled by a minority faction of Christian, white-nationalist fascists. 

So, where do we go from here?

Here’s another recent tweet that spoke to me:

My goal isn’t to thoroughly depress everyone on a holiday weekend. We can still reclaim our country, but it requires working together to ensure that Democrats win as many seats as possible in 2022, so they can pass the laws needed to help shore up our fundamental rights. And then we need a repeat victory in 2024, to make sure it sticks.

To succeed, we must:

  • Make sure we impress upon everyone we know how important it is to vote blue. We need to make sure friends, family and acquaintances understand HOW, WHEN and WHERE to do that.
  • Encourage everyone to double-check their voter registration status. (Even if they’ve lived in the same place and voted previously, many people—yes, even in Minnesota—are finding that their registrations are disappearing as various communities clean up their voter rolls. Don’t take it for granted that you’re good-to-go.)
  • Accept anyone who is willing to finally turn away from the GOP to join in the fight for democracy. Even if you personally dislike them, think they are hypocrites, want to say “I told you so,” etc., refrain from alienating those who finally want to do the right thing. Welcome them back from The Dark Side and reinforce their decision.
  • Let go of individual objectives and get behind whichever democratic candidate has the best chance of winning a given race. In some races, this may mean that dyed-in-the-wool liberals need to back a candidate who is more centrist, since we need conservatives and independents to help tip the scales in our favor. We can’t have another presidential election like 2016 where Bernie syphoned votes from Hillary, because we literally won’t be able to recover from it. (And if you think Hillary wasn’t liberal enough to earn your vote in 2016, then you’re REALLY not going to like a Trump or DeSantis “presidency” that continues into perpetuity.) At the same time, we need to make sure that those we elect understand what’s at stake and will vote accordingly (unlike Manchin and Sinema, for example).  

This Independence Day, it’s imperative that we (the sane, ethical majority) work to eliminate the current, imminent threat facing us before we go back to our petty bickering about what’s a fair tax rate for the wealthy, whether student loans should be forgiven, and how to get inflation under control. There will be plenty of time for arguing those finer points of policy after we’ve secured our basic human rights, but to do so right now is akin to rearranging the proverbial deck chairs on the Titanic. 

Those seeking power in the GOP have demonstrated a complete disregard for democracy, so it’s going to take all of us—working together—to ensure that we still have a free nation to celebrate next year and for many years to come.       

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