Four years ago today, I was anxiously awaiting the election of our first woman president. I was ready for us to continue the progress of the Obama administration, fill a vacant Supreme Court seat, and push back on the ugly voices of bigotry and greed that grew stronger through Trump and his band of sycophants. I thought if we could just make it to the other side of election day, everything would be fine.
Obviously, it didn’t turn out that way. And Trump’s election was not simply a loss for our party, it was a crisis of democracy. It quickly became clear that we needed to mobilize. My life took a very unexpected turn, along with many of yours, as we asked ourselves: if not now, when?
I wish I could say that our worst fears were unfounded. But day after day, we grappled with a reality that would have felt imagined just 5 years ago. Muslims banned from traveling into our country. Children in cages. Unqualified right wing ideologues swarming our judiciary. Nepotism, self dealing, and ethics violations abound. Lies, disinformation, and gaslighting from the person with the nuclear codes. And now, a mismanaged global pandemic that has killed 230k+ in our country, with no end in sight.
This all felt surreal, but we did not sit idly by. We marched in the single largest protest in U.S. history. We elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in Alabama. We defeated the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. We took back the House in 2018 and elected more women to Congress than ever before. We dug in to state and local races with funding, field, and good candidates to win back hundreds of seats we lost under Obama. And as I write this, this election is on track to have the highest voter turnout on record.
Now, on election eve, I find myself once again anxiously awaiting the results of a presidential election. But this time, the feeling is different. If we win, I will be more relieved than joyous. Because this time, I know that there is no “making it to the other side.”
Winning elections up and down the ballot tomorrow is necessary, but it is just the beginning of the journey. We cannot unsee what we’ve seen, and we can no longer pretend that this country will make progress on autopilot. Not only do institutions like the electoral college and the senate radically undermine the will of a clear majority of voters, but there is a significant portion of our population that is still buying what Donald Trump is selling. In short, we have a lot of work to do.
But our objective in this moment, and over the next couple days, is to take that first step. To remind ourselves of the values we cherish, and what we are fighting for. To show gratitude for what we have accomplished even in the most dire circumstances. To have resolve that no matter what happens, we will keep moving forward. And above all, to have hope that the future we envision is possible, if we do the hard work to get there.
Join us tomorrow night at our election night watch party, where you can drop in any time. You can also receive SMS results for our races by texting NOV3 to (833) 602-8124, or check our results on this tracker.
I’m sending everyone courage, resilience, and my eternal appreciation for what you have given and sacrificed these long four years. Take heart! Whatever happens tomorrow, I look forward to working with you on the next chapter.