• Sona Chaturvedi

Democrats Must Now Focus on 2022

Graphic Credit: Stratos Brilakis/The New Republic. Our very democracy could be on the line in the midterm elections.

For roughly 4 years during the Trump era, we heard experts warn us about the former president’s fascistic tendencies and the dangers of autocracy. Professionals tell us it all happens slowly. It’s a process of normalizing what was once unthinkable and taking away our rights at a gradual pace, so we don’t notice what we are losing until it’s too late. For the better part of 40 years, the conservative right wing of the Republican Party has been steering us in this direction. The slow burn is over. We have arrived. There is no denying it’s here. The question now is what are we going to do about it? Many people thought 2020 was the most important election of our lifetime, and it was up until that point. We needed to rid ourselves of the malignant narcissist in the White House and replace him with a man like Joe Biden, an empathetic, seasoned professional, who has already righted many wrongs perpetrated by Donald Trump and his merry band of misfits. However, something has happened since then. Aside from the terrorist attack on January 6th, the Big Lie never ended. It continues to live on social media, Fox “news” and other conservative outlets. It hasn’t lost any traction since Biden assumed the presidency. It has become worse. The conspiracy theories and untruths aren’t going away. In a recent survey, 70 percent of Republicans believed the false allegation that Biden did not legitimately defeat former President Trump; just 23 percent said Biden legitimately won the election. The GOP has reached a point of no return, and they are throwing down the gauntlet. Today’s Republican Party is defending the indefensible January 6th terrorist attack, criminalizing abortion in Texas, willingly denying their constituents access to fundamental health-saving measures to deal with COVID-19, actively encouraging violence and shamelessly promoting unabashed racism. This will not end unless every citizen who cares about our democracy becomes involved to put a stop to it. The upcoming midterms will effectively seal our fate as a nation. According to Chauncey DeVega of Salon: “The Trump-controlled Republican Party will in all likelihood impeach President Joe Biden if they win control of the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterm elections. They will not be able to convict Biden in the Senate and remove him from office — just as Democrats were unable to convict Trump — but that's largely beside the point.” He continued: “there are many conditional qualifiers to that prediction, but given the Republican Party's escalating embrace of fascism, Biden's impeachment is more likely than not.”

In modern history, we have never had a more important election than this. This is not the time to acquiesce to the “pendulum” theory, that the president always loses the midterms following his two years in office, without a fight. If the GOP manages to win, American democracy as we know it is effectively dead. This is our last chance to save our union from the Putin-owned Republican Party that will change America forever. It’s urgent to support every local-to-national Democratic politician running in 2022. From grassroots efforts to volunteering and fundraising, Democrats need all hands on deck. The GOP will use voter fraud as an “emergency,” and every other underhanded tactic they can. They will attempt to convince us that the only way to preserve the American way of life is to elect them as supreme leaders and never question it. They will control all the courts, the information we are allowed to receive and how we are educated. They will attempt to overturn every advancement made with regard to civil rights for all. They will silence us. Many, including our forefathers, saw this as a possibility. If America was left to the unscrupulous to exert absolute power and corruption, it could bring down a nation. As Dana Milbank for the Washington Post said during the Trump presidency: “James Madison prophetically warned that tyranny could triumph under ‘some favorable emergency.’ In 1933, Hitler used the burning of the Reichstag to do just that. Trump/the GOP now appear to be aiming to do likewise.” He went on to plead with us: “America, this is our Reichstag moment. We have the power to stop it. Don’t let democracy burn to the ground.” He is correct. It’s in our hands. Vote and organize as if this is the last free-and-fair election we may ever have, because if the GOP has the power, it will be. If we don’t, the will of the people will be behind us, and we will have no idea what our future will hold. Using the past as a guide, we know it won’t be pleasant for the majority of Americans. Karl Marx said, “history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” Let’s not let it happen here.