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Vote Like Your Vote Matters and Your Democracy Depends on It.

Democracy Is On The Ballot

​​​I long for the days when every election was not the most important of our lifetime and yet it seems it will be many election cycles before such a statement won't be true. The sad state of American politics and its elections is that we have a continuing contest between one party who does not believe in democracy and another party who cannot bring itself to honestly criticize and fight their opposition. Now we find ourselves only a week out from the first nationwide electoral contest since 2020 and the attempted coup of the presidential election, and there are hundreds of election deniers, comprising over 50% of general election races, running for office across the country. While this might be a cynical genuflection by many politicians to show their loyalty to Trump and the Republican electorate, there is real potential to undermine election integrity with positions like Secretary of State in election-denier hands. This is not an idle threat either, the Republican Party how shown itself to be openly hostile towards the democratic process itself for multiple election cycles, with many now openly looking to depress voter turnout, or even question the need for elections. In many ways this is unsurprising given the unpopularity of their views, and was a sentiment likely shared by many conservative leaders behind closed doors. Yet it marks a dangerous, qualitative turning point when those discussions leave the backroom dealings and enter the campaign trail. The brazenness itself is a measurable step in the decline of our democratic institutions and in the corresponding rise of authoritarian tendencies. Americans are not stupid, they can see that this is happening. In a recent New York Times/Siena College poll, 71% of Americans think that democracy is in jeopardy. Disconcertingly, however, the poll also revealed that only 7% of voters view these threats to democracy as their top line issue. Instead, as we covered last week, polling finds voters driven by their immediate material and economic needs, like gas prices, inflation and wages. This disconnect is tragic, as we at DSOT point out each week, defending and strengthening democracy is inextricably bound to the economic prosperity of the 99%. The economic capture of our political system by an unrepresentative, elite, donor class, insulating politicians from their constituencies, is the very reason our government perennially fails to meet the needs of the people. A healthy, representative democracy naturally responds to the needs of its people and passes policies supported by super-majority constituencies. In this sense, the fight for our democratic institutions is a fight for higher minimum wages, and abortion rights, universal healthcare and student debt relief, prison reforms and action on the climate crisis. Consequently, as milquetoast and disappointing as Democrats are, the party’s public adherence to the forms of democracy mark an absolute difference in kind between the two of these political parties, especially during an election. Put plainly, a vote for Republicans next week is a vote against a say in controlling your own future. The results of next week’s elections is not just about what party is in power, but whether authoritarian or democratic norms find more fertile ground in American society. We must remember, however, that while these elections are important, action at the ballot box is necessary but insufficient to foster a representative democracy. No matter the election results our job remains to organize and to grow a movement that builds not just political, but economic power, one that speaks the only language the donor class and oligarchy respect: money. So join us, each Tuesday in collective action as we build an economic cudgel that can stand up to the donor class trying to steal our democracy and turn the tide back towards a future that is representative of all of us. #DSOT #UPM

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