Gun safety reforms. Election security. Net Neutrality. Voting rights. The House has passed all sorts of bills that the American people overwhelmingly support, yet they’re dead on arrival when they get to the Senate.
As awful as Donald Trump is, he’s not solely responsible for our terrible state of politics today, and getting rid of him won’t alone fix what ails America.
I grew up in a blue collar family. My dad was a union mechanic and I was the first in my family to go to college. According to family lore, my grandmother lived for a time in a boxcar. One generation later, my parents were homeowners on my dad’s income. The next generation, I’m a U.S. Senator. Here’s the thing: I still live in that same working class neighborhood, but my neighbors don’t have those kinds of opportunities to get ahead that my family and I had. It’s not because they’ve changed. It’s because America has changed.
The great vision of this country– one we certainly have never fully lived up to, but that has been our motivating goal– is providing opportunity for everyone, no matter which side of the railroad tracks they live on, where they come from, or what they look like. But with the help of people like Mitch McConnell, the super-rich have systematically rigged our economy and our democracy so that the huge corporations and the people who run them do very well, and everyone else struggles.
Instead of giving working people a chance, McConnell’s government gives giant tax cuts to the wealthiest, tries to take away working Americans’ health care and reproductive rights, and aims to cut Social Security, Medicare, housing, and education. Instead of addressing big problems that face our kids like climate chaos, the polluters get free rein.
Then McConnell’s party systematically blocks African Americans and others from voting with restrictions we left behind with Jim Crow, and he practically invites Russia to hack our democracy again, because he knows Republicans’ best chance at winning elections is making sure they’re not fair.
McConnell has time and again shredded our institutions to rig the system, going so far as to steal a Supreme Court seat.
We must fight back. We know the way to fix this country is a blue wave, a grassroots tsunami to overwhelm the special interests’ money and manipulation.
When we come together across race and religion and geography to stand up for our values, the American people have accomplished great things and we can do it again.
We have to elect a new president, hold the House, win a bunch of statehouses, and we must take back the Senate in 2020 and fire Mitch McConnell as majority leader.
We have to be all in and we have to fight like hell. To put it bluntly, we are in a battle for the soul of our nation and we have to win.
Betsy Sweet, the progressive Democrat running for the Maine Senate seat held by Trump enabler Susan Collins, is a big admirer of the way Senator Merkley does his job. She told us that
“the thing about Jeff is that he’s absolutely fearless. Whether facing corporate polluters’ destruction of our planet, the NRA’s attacks on our communities, Mitch McConnell’s desecration of the Senate, or Donald Trump’s abuse of migrant children, he stands his ground– our ground, really– in defense of progressive principles. I’m looking forward to fighting alongside him in the Senate.”