In a past Chair’s Corner, I expressed my personal frustration that since the 2016 election, I have had a hard time rebooting my energy to keep leading the charge to fight for what is right. The 330+ days of the Trump administration have assaulted just about every subject that matters to me personally.
I’m sure that you can list off any number of frightening and overwhelming horrors coming out of the Trump administration. On any given day, I am worried about the impact of the Gorsuch Supreme Court seat on women’s freedom, the mounting evidence of Russian hacking in our election, maintaining meaningful access to health care, the ugly truth about our country’s epidemic of sexual misconduct in all arenas and at all levels (starting with our Commander in Chief), and this execrable tax “reform” bill that will make the poor poorer while adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt.
And, of course, our State’s financial forecast is not good.
But other things are.
How can we get some “goods”?
So with all these “bads”, how do we stay positive, to keep up the resistance against the right wing insanity, and fight for Democratic progressive ideals and win, so we can get some “goods” to offset the “bads”?
First and foremost, I take time to celebrate every victory, so – WAY TO GO, ALABAMA!!
Moreover, I see two longer term positive trends that make me hopeful.
Women coming to the fore
We are over 50% of Americans, but from mayors to governors, state legislators to U.S. representatives, women make up approximately 20-25% of elected officials. That is an enormous pool of mainly untapped talent.
I and many others believe that if more women had a greater voice in elected positions, our municipalities, states, and nation would see much more compromise and willingness to work together to get things done. Gratefully, there is positive headway being made in that direction!
A new organization in Alaska, Alaska Women Ascend, is training progressive women to run for office. Over 80 Alaskans women are participating in the training, and at least a handful of them are already running or have registered to run for office at the municipal and state levels.
My guess is that more of the training participants, upon completion of their training, will decide to run for office and lead the way to getting more Alaskan women in political positions, helping to move things forward for the betterment of all Alaskans. To keep up with AWA’s success, Like their Facebook page.
Additionally, we are seeing numerous stories about women running for office throughout the country, primarily in opposition to President Trump and his ilk: Women Line Up (New York Times); Women Are Running (The Hill); Trump opened the floodgates (CNN).
More women running for elected office…. I consider that very good news! If they’re qualified and stand for our Democratic values, we need to elect them!!!
Democrats and Independents outnumber Republicans
The other positive is that, according to a November 2017 Gallup poll, more people in the U.S. affiliate themselves as Democrats than Republicans, and Independents are nearly double Democrats and Republicans combined!
These percentages have remained consistent over the past several years. While it will take work to mobilize this energy – after all, somehow our mostly progressive country managed to elect a narcissistic, unqualified and unbalanced misogynist as President of the United States – seeing the actual numbers is impressive.
But I have hope that given President Trump and the Republican Congress’s failures on all levels, Democrats and Independents will rise up en mass, will work on progressive campaigns, will run for office, and will VOTE in 2018 to turn the political tide in a much needed progressive direction.
As I stated in my last Chair’s Corner, we Democrats have got to engage a “boots on the ground” campaign starting immediately, to fortify the party’s progressive message among the electorate, to educate voters as to what Democratic candidates stand for, not just what we’re against, and what voting for Democrats will mean for the betterment of our state and nation.
That means we need more people, working hard. And that means that there is room for you to make a difference. And given what I know about you – my fellow local Democrats – I know that we have good reasons for our hope!
Until next time.…
Chair, Tongass Democrats
The views in this opinion piece are those of the author. They are not official positions of TongassDemocrats.com or the Tongass Democrats.