HERE’S WHAT WE HAVE TO DO IN 2024
THE CHOICE WILL BE CLEAR
It sure is looking like a Biden/Trump rematch coming in November of 2024. And, if you believe the polls, Trump and Biden are neck and neck in most of the key states that matter for the Electoral College despite 4 criminal indictments (91 counts) as well as numerous civil cases and a hefty judgement in the second defamation case involving E. Jean Carroll launched after Trump continued to defame her just as Rudy Guiliani did with the election workers in Georgia. Despite all of that, if our election were held tomorrow, Trump could win.
Trump 2.0 is a far more dangerous prospect compared to the first Trump presidency. He is shamelessly sounding more and more every day like Adolf Hitler and other dictators and strong man leaders. He has been trash talking immigrants, saying they are poisoning the blood of our country (which is straight out of Mein Kampf) and praising Putin, Viktor Orban, Kim Jung Un and other dictators. If he gets back in power Trump would not just be a wannabe dictator, he WOULD BE a dictator– and a vindictive one at that. Trump has told us he will use the Insurrection Act on day one to put down any unrest- which means he will use our military against American citizens in cities across the country to solidify his authority.
Sane Americans need to pay attention to the stakes here. We need to understand how to leverage our impact to prevent the potential disaster of a second Trump presidency. Read to the end of the post to find out how you can make a difference.
THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE JUMP SHOT
If there is a Biden/Trump rematch it will come down to the Electoral College just as it did in 2016 and 2020. When it comes to the Electoral College, the battleground states are the ones that matter if you want to be president. We already know the outcome of every single state based on tribal political affiliations that are baked in the cake and kept that way with disinformation, voter suppression and gerrymandering. The purple or battleground states are the ones that tip the balance of power. There are about 7 of these critical battleground states. They are the key to winning the Electoral College and the presidency.
Here are the states that will make or break our democracy in the 2024 presidential race: Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Arizona.
THERE IS A BIDEN ROAD TO VICTORY
The good news is that at least two of these states (Arizona and Nevada) will have abortion as well as the presidency on the ballot. Other states that could have abortion on the ballot such as Florida and Montana could get a Democratic bump effect up ballot that could help to get MAGA Republicans out of power or keep them from getting elected to power. Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania all have excellent Democratic governors and many strong, active grassroots groups that are working on relational organizing and will shift to getting out the vote as the election gets closer. Wisconsin, a hugely unfairly Republican gerrymandered state, will get new maps before the 2024 election which should help the outcome to be fair instead of baked in the cake for Republicans.
The single most important motivator in American politics today that favors the Democrats and progressive electoral energy is the issue of abortion. Abortion is activating women across the political spectrum to get out and vote in huge numbers. We have seen the abortion effect in special elections. Women, including religious, Republican women, are furious about the loss of their freedom of choice and their right to make personal health decisions. They are motivated by fear, hate and anger to vote for Democrats not Republicans.
How dare these white male Republican politicians take away our right to medical care! How dare Republican lawmakers play doctor when they don’t know the first thing about being medical providers?! Women should have the right to make decisions about their own bodies. Even devout Christian women understand that. Forcing women and girls to give birth is regressive, un-American, and is a form of torture and punishment especially when there are health risks for the mother or child or if the pregnant person is herself a child or the pregnancy is the result of rape. Republican lawmakers need to stop pretending they are doctors. They don’t know jack about the human body and medical issues. They should stop practicing medicine and do what they were elected to do- namely, help Americans have better lives by passing laws that do that instead of turning America into the Republic of Gilead.
THE TEXAS CASE THAT IS CHANGING EVEN MORE MINDS
The recent Texas case getting lots of coverage in the news involved a 31-year-old woman, Kate Cox, who was carrying a fetus that could not survive and whose own life was at risk unless she got an abortion. She asked the court for permission. The court granted permission. Then Ken Paxton, rightwing Republican AG in Texas threatened the doctors and hospitals if they dared to perform an abortion for her. And then the Republican Texas appellate court denied her permission. So, she fled the state of Texas and got the medical care she needed in another state that does allow abortion. This case will be used as a prime example of the fallacy of the idea that lawmakers can regulate abortion by allowing “exceptions”. It just doesn’t work.
Women can’t be begging courts to let them have lifesaving abortions only to have the court decisions knocked down by GOP lawmakers and Attorneys General like Ken Paxton in Texas. Pregnant women cannot wait to see what appellate courts will uphold or deny or what will happen with a Supreme Court ruling. It is madness to think abortion exclusions can work for women who are pregnant and must make personal medical decisions as fast as possible to avoid such things as: future infertility, a baby that will die a horrible death within hours after being born, or the possibility of one’s own potential death unless there is an abortion.
This Texas case is a lot like the case in Ireland that ignited changed laws in that country from anti-abortion to prochoice. The big difference with that case was that that woman in Ireland died. Unlike Kate Cox, who could flee the state of Texas to get an abortion, the Irish woman could not. When she died, that set off a firestorm that altered the abortion laws in Ireland. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2022-06-27/the-story-behind-irelands-abortion-ban-and-its-reversal.https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2022-06-27/the-story-behind-irelands-abortion-ban-and-its-reversal
I talk with reasonable people every day who say they have turned off their televisions and radios and stopped listening to anything political. The news is too upsetting for them. That is a serious problem because if we don’t stay aware and active, we really could lose our democracy and be forced to live under a vindictive dictator who will NOT give up power after a term of 4 years. If you think the news is bad now, just wait. If Trump wins in 2024, he has told us he will rule like a king or a dictator. His mission will be revenge and retribution. He will gut our government agencies, eliminate our rights, and replace anyone who would abide by the rules and laws currently in place with loyalists who will only follow what he says.
He will also find a way to avoid future elections. Many dictators do this by claiming there is an emergency and calling out the military. If Trump is re-elected, he has already said he will use the Insurrection Act on day one to call out the military to put down any unrest resulting from his election. We will lose our free press and our free speech. Dictators do this by forcing buy outs of news outlets they don’t like. No more MSNBC, CNN, New York Times or Washington Post. No more Rachel Maddow, Nicole Wallace, Heather Cox Richardson or other pro-democracy voices. We will also lose the right to abortion nationally. Vindictive Trump 2.0 will refuse to help blue states after natural disasters occur until they pledge loyalty to him. He will reward only his loyalists and punish anyone who is not loyal to him.
How do we avoid this outcome?
Biden needs to be elected. No matter what you think about him. He is the only choice that will allow us to continue with a democracy that will provide freedoms and rights for all Americans. Sure, democracy is imperfect. But these days it is often because of the extremists in the GOP- a party that has become too extreme, rigid, too unwilling to compromise and that wants to prove government doesn’t work so they make sure it doesn’t work.
IT WILL COME DOWN TO TURNOUT- It always does!
Negative emotions like anger, hate and fear are the greatest motivators of all these days when it comes to voting. The right-wing currently is making the border and crime issues that get Republican and Republican leaning voters riled up enough to vote for Trump even if he is convicted before the election. House Republicans claim the border is a terrible problem. So why don’t they try to work with Senate Democrats to try to come up with a solution? Especially since Biden and blue state governors want to get realistic solutions too. Biden is open to adopting more of the right-wing remedies because he can see that Americans want stronger border protections.
The truth is that Republicans don’t really want an agreement. They want to use the issue to get votes especially now that the economy is doing so well and recession has been avoided. If they have a bipartisan agreement, Trump has told them it will take away his strongest motivator to get votes in 2024. Biden was able to pass bipartisan legislation that has been helping middle class Americans and rural America, and he has done everything he could do to relieve students of their loan debt even though both the GOP and Supreme Court prevented Biden’s more generous plans. If it weren’t for Biden’s age, the GOP would have almost nothing to attack Biden for.
Our economy has rebounded from the pandemic. The stock market just hit an all time high. Will Americans realize that once again the Democrats have been better on our economy than the Republicans? Will Americans understand that Biden’s economic policies of building up the middle class actually work because a rising tide carries all boats? Do Americans understand that so-called trickle down Republican economic ideas and Libertarian goals of dismantling government are really just excuses for helping the rich get richer? There are issues that Republicans can use to get votes: crime, the border, and how Israel is messing up in the middle east are the most likely issues that will rob Biden of votes. Even with all of that, the Dems have a path to victory.
Biden should be able to win in the Electoral College if he can just get his message out about all that his administration has done to help Americans and how disastrous Trump will be if he wins again. Think of it this way- Trump narrowly lost the last election in the Electoral College but now, nearly 4 years later, has he won himself more of the votes of Independents that he needs to beat Biden in the battleground states? The answer is no. But only if people who voted for Biden last time vote for him again this time.
Democrats also need younger voters to show up in greater numbers for Biden. And much will depend on whether there is a 3rd party candidate. A vote for any of the anticipated 3rd party candidates so far would be a vote for Trump whether it is Joe Manchin showing up as a “No Labels” candidate, or it’s conspiracy theorist and anti-vaxxer Robert Kennedy, or it’s Jill Stein who dined with Vladimir Putin prior to the 2016 election. Younger voters need to get real about who they are planning to vote for.
The only way to end this oppressive right wing Christian Nationalist/MAGA movement in America is to show them that they cannot win elections.
USE YOUR WORRY TO ACTIVATE YOURSELF
If you are worried or fearful then you are being realistic. You should be worried and fearful. But don’t close your eyes to the threat. Take that energy and put it to work getting out the vote for Joe Biden and Democrats up and down the ballot.
Here are more steps you can take to use your energy to save our democracy.
1) Know the facts about our economy- ours is the 3rd strongest economy in the world (after Greece and South Korea) based on data you can read about in The Economist. Biden achieved the soft landing they said was impossible without a recession. The stock market just reached an all-time high under Biden not Trump.
2) Be willing to canvas, cure ballots, text, be judges of election and do the work of foot soldiers for democracy.
3) Support groups that are using relational organizing to create trust and turn that into votes. Groups like Working America, Mi Vecino (in Miami-Dade County, Florida) and others are on the ground every day to engage and educate voters in the key battleground states.
4) Help to spread the positive news about what Biden has done to invest in Americans. Read Hopium Chronicles by Simon Rosenberg to get that information. Support The American Independent which gets accurate news to rural voters in battleground states.
5) Help pro-democracy organizations like Media Matters for America, American Bridge PAC, Courier, Democracy Docket (Marc Elias), The States Project, WisDems, Democratic Governors Association, and many others that are actively combating mis and disinformation and working to keep our democracy. I have written about many of them in this blog and will continue to write about them.
6) Stay aware of news developments. Instead of turning off our TVs because the news is so upsetting these days, we need to stay informed because our democracy matters more than our feelings of disenchantment or disgust with government and politics.
7) Become an agent for change by talking with everyone you interact with: Lyft drivers, Uber drivers, workmen, friends about politics especially why the Republicans are not the same as Democrats. Why what Hunter Biden did is not the same as what Donald Trump did. Help people overcome the cynicism they have developed about politics by being a voice for factual information. There are persuadable people out there. They have been lied to and they watch TikTok and read social media posts and get filled up with garbage information. That can be challenged by asking people to imagine what they would think if the tables were turned. What if Joe Biden had lost to Trump and encouraged a mob to storm the Capitol to stop the Electoral College count? Flipping the script can help some people understand the “other side”.
8) Be aware of the tipping point races that will flip state houses from red to blue and races that would help congress to be more sane- and support those candidates with donations, amplification of their messages, and help with texting and calling etc. I will be writing about those races.
9) Tell people that a vote for any third party candidate is a vote for Trump.
10) Share posts and other information that help people know the truth and stay informed: especially Simon Rosenberg’s Hopium Chronicles and Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters from an American. Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg | Substack