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Democracy/Actually Not Losing But Needs to Win More

Holding On To Democracy

Last week's election results were a win for sanity. Instead of following modern historic trends voting against the party and power during an off-year election, the American people delivered a harsh rebuke of anti-democratic and anti-majoritarian candidates on the Republican side. Rather than retake the Senate and smash the Democrats in the House, Republicans failed entirely to take the upper chamber and will only have a handful of seats margin in the House of Representatives. It appears that the Red Wave was in fact a ripple. What's more, thankfully many of the fears around election day violence and election denying candidates challenging voting results did not materialize in this round. Election deniers in general were rejected by voters, especially for the important Secretary of State position. There is no denying that this election turned out far better for the American people than we’d feared. The results are even more stark, when one considers the dozens of voter suppression laws passed across the country in just the past two years, to say nothing of the decades of additional voter purges, gerrymandering, and voter suppression enacted previously. This means that structurally, Republicans have to win fewer votes to maintain control of the levers of power, a perverse reality that somehow is collectively forgotten during every election cycle. Another mostly bright spot were the ballot initiatives, where voters were able to directly make their voices heard on issues, rather than filtering these demands through the proxy of politicians. On abortions rights the American people couldn’t be clearer, with the pro-choice position winning everywhere it was on the ballot. Cannabis legalization, labor rights, and voting expansion measures were more mixed, but all also had major victories. For a fuller breakdown of elections results see here. While the mid-terms were certainly a defeat for Republicans and the authoritarian right, the Democratic party still managed to snatch some defeat of their own from the jaws of victory. The massive incompetence displayed by DCCC chair Sean Patrick Maloney in failing to defend not only his own seat, but house races across his home state of NY may very well be the difference between Democratic and Republican control of the House of Representatives. As is too often the case, corporate Democrats, like Maloney, spent more time worrying about defending against the left, than fighting Republicans. Regardless of the exact reason, we now likely have split control of Congress, and little hope of further legislation. The upcoming gridlock is a real tragedy, as the election once again showed how eager the American people are for a government that takes meaningful, action on material issues. The success of more pro-worker candidates, Fetterman, Lee, Frost, etc. when combined with a strong pro-choice stance shows the way forward for the Democratic party. Candidates like Fetterman greatly overperforming in red areas of PA once again show what Bernie Sanders has been saying for decades: economic policies on behalf of workers are not a partisan issue. In this political climate, however, the authoritarian forces on the Republican side have little incentive to give Biden and the Democrats legislative victories on their own, this sort of obstructionist politics has been their bread and butter for years. The narrow margin of Republican house control does open some hope to peel off a few vulnerable Republicans to reach a voting majority. If we’re being realistic, though, the type of pressure campaign needed to convert these votes is likely beyond this current Democratic party, and any legislation created would likely capitulate to Republican demands. We cannot allow this unlikely opportunity to continue delivering for the American people to pass us by. To get past gridlock will require, strong political and economic organizing to create the outside pressure campaign needed to continue building back towards a representative democracy. In times like these we need the United Protest Movement and #DSOT more than ever. So join us each Tuesday in growing solidarity, as we build an economic cudgel to spur Democrats and vulnerable Republicans alike into fulfilling the clear mandate the American people just delivered. #DSOT #UPM

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