“What’s At Stake”
What’s at stake this Tuesday, November 6th, in the midterm elections? The answer is as simple as it is true: everything.
Everything our forebears fought for in creating, shaping and defending this country is at stake: a democracy of the people, by the people, for the people dedicated to freedom and equality for all. A welcoming, tolerant and diverse nation controlled not by autocrats or oligarchs but by citizens under the rule of law.
Everything that our parents and grandparents built out of the ruins of two world wars is at stake: a liberal world order of peace and prosperity.
Everything that the great movements of the last half century fought for is at stake. Civil rights. Women’s rights, including control of their own bodies. LGBTQ rights. Restoration and preservation of the environment.
Everything that still needs to be done is at stake. None of the progress has been definitive. Peace and prosperity weren’t widely enough shared and were too often built on injustice. The rights of people of color, women and those with different sexual orientations have never been thoroughly established and safeguarded. And our environment is teetering on a precipice.
Our whole country as we know it – and our whole planet that supports and give life to us – is at stake in this election as never before. Well, that’s not quite true. They were at stake this way one time before: on November 8th, 2016. That day we failed – and the results have been catastrophic.
We got a raving, lying, narcissistic autocrat in the White House whose only interests are himself and unlimited power. His rule exalts white, patriarchal nationalism and in this echoes the very fascism our parents and grandparents fought so hard to vanquish.
We got a complicit Republican party that abuses democracy to seize and keep power and to enrich themselves as they, too, adopt Trump’s toxic mix of hate, paranoia, and grievance.
And we got a judicial system that is being packed with judges at record pace by the Republican Senate to lock in their hold on power, their misogyny, their racism for a generation.
So what’s at stake, likely for the last time, is: everything. Because once we lose our democracy, there won’t be any getting it back. This time we can’t trust to others to do the work for us, to fight this fight. This is our time. This is our battle. This is our calling.
How many times have we heard, over the last year, that “history will not judge the Republicans kindly”? No, it won’t. But how will it judge us? Let us be glad, then, that it’s our turn to give everything we have to the preservation of our country and the assurance of its future. When the stories are told, let one be that when it mattered most, we stood up, together, and did what was needed, all that was needed, and more. When the stakes could not have been higher.
We have forty-eight hours. Let’s get this job done!
– Tom Benthin
A reminder: a key resource for tracking all the abnormal events from the past week of the Trump presidency is Amy Siskind’s Weekly List: theweeklylist.org .
Before the disaster of the 2016 election we could follow the events that affected our lives by checking the news or seeing occasional posts on Facebook. Since then, with Trump’s erratic, aggressive and autocratic behavior and the Republicans’ unceasing attacks on our government and their efforts to transfer ever more money from working Americans to the rich, it has become much more difficult – and more important – to find our way through the weekly onslaught of news. To get ourselves grounded in the facts and to prepare for the week of action ahead, we provide this weekly summary of critical events to help us cut through the distractions and stay focused and informed as we fight to preserve our democracy.