While nonpartisan get-out-the-vote efforts are admirable and necessary for democracy as it is practiced in the United States, I am not going to tell you to simply vote on Tuesday — but to vote Democrat.
I implore you to vote Democrat, even as someone who voted against Obama in 2008 because he was not progressive enough (I voted for the Green Party ticket). I implore you to vote Democrat because it is the best use of your time on Election Day to protect what’s left of our democracy. This is not just about putting the other party in power.
If you have even glanced at the news lately, you know what is at stake. We have a president that is threatening to eliminate birthright citizenship in clear violation of the 14th Amendment. We have a Republican Congress that brazenly and cynically pursues an unpopular legislative agenda, which to date has handed billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy, curbed Obama-era health care coverage expansion, and recently threatened to cut Medicare and Social Security. With the deplorable confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh, far-right ideologues now control the highest court in the land, and there is no hope that they will provide a much-needed check to the other two branches. This is not to mention the violent, racist rhetoric that Trump spews or tweets almost daily — rhetoric that emboldens our society’s worst elements, who have recently claimed innocent lives in Pittsburgh and Jeffersontown. This is also not to mention the mobilization of soldiers on the southern border of the United States. This move is not only a distraction meant to scare xenophobic Republican voters to the polls but also a calculated show of force meant to terrorize immigrants and their supporters.
These are just a handful of legitimate reasons to vote for the Democrats whether you’re Libertarian, Green, patriotic Republican, or unaffiliated.
Renowned journalist Alan Nairn, speaking on Democracy Now, made a similar case for voting Democrat when he said, “You have to, at this moment, vote in the warmongers who will preserve democracy to block the warmongers who would abolish it.” We are in full agreement that achieving lasting progressive and egalitarian social change, saving our children’s environment, and preserving or even strengthening our fraying social safety net are all far more likely once the Republicans are voted out of office.
This is not about blind allegiance to the Democrats but about damage control. When a vein is severed, the first order of business is to stop the bleeding. We are nowhere near finding a cure to our ailing democracy, but we can nurse it slowly back to health. Short of miracle cure in the form of a sweeping nonviolent democratic revolution, the Democrats are the best option we have.
Matt Johnson, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is co-author of “Trumpism.”