This is the country we live in: a wildly diverse and energetic mix of peoples and communities; a history of generational slavery based on African ancestry; a tradition of genocide, ethnic cleansing and land theft; the enduring and deeply entrenched system of white supremacy; a massive military machine regularly asserting its exceptional power (in effect, a rogue state) against peoples in every corner of the globe; a large and consistent base of racists newly animated, energized, and mobilized.
Progressive people, reformers, radicals, and revolutionaries know all that—we are neither surprised nor are we resigned. Because we also know that an election is a door, not a destination.
The main-stream narratives spinning the recent election miss most of this. Yes, this election represented an historic turnout—136 million in 2016 and close to 160 million in 2020—but, for example, white voters went from 100 million in 2016 to 103 million in 2020, a modest increase, while LatinX voters increased their numbers by 8 million, a 65% increase from 2016, and an astonishing 2/3 of eligible LatinX voters cast ballots. And significantly, the percentage of white people, including white women, voting for Trump this time increased! Sit with that for a minute.
For organizers and activists, there is work to be done—we don’t elect a king or a savior, after all, we elect a target for organizing and mobilizing.
Back to work.