From Civic Action’s Newsletter, Election Lookback <[email protected]>
Subject 2020: The good and the bad
Date February 18, 2021 6:04 PM
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"Because conventional wisdom stinks"

Could the 2020 election finally be in the rearview mirror? Could the election that felt endless - due to an unprecedented amount of turbulence, trials, and (at the bitter end) tribulation - actually be finished?

Kamala Harris gif: We did it, Joe.

You bet it is. We did it. It's over. We're a full month and change into 2021 - and so we think it's safe to, at last, look back on the election and take a deep dive into all the good and the bad that came out of it.

We beat back fascism

81,283,361 people rejected the authoritarianism of Donald Trump and his backers throughout the Republican Party. While the election results were certainly closer than they should have been, a trifecta of Democratic control in Congress and the White House proves that the majority of America rejected the fascist behavior of Donald Trump and the insurrectionists he encouraged to storm the Capitol. The election was a mandate in favor of democracy. And thankfully, democracy survived.

More people voted than ever before

Thanks to the expansion of vote-by-mail - and thanks to efforts like Stacey Abrams' in Georgia, where hundreds of thousands of voters were registered and where organizers fought and rose above racist voter suppression tactics - more Americans voted in the 2020 elections than in any election in our history. And they did this in spite of all the hurdles and disinformation that Republicans at the state and federal levels put in their way. This is a massive success. As we've always said, when more people can participate in our democracy, our democracy is better for it, and the results of this election bear that out. It will be incumbent upon organizers, activists, party officials - everyone, really - to build upon this progress and expand voting rights.

Progressive policies PASSED (even in the most unexpected of places)

Our neighbors in Oregon saw one county vote to institute universal childcare. Across the country, states continued the growing trend of legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana. And in Florida - Florida of all places! - residents voted to increase the minimum wage to $15, even as they voted for Donald Trump. This shows that progressive policies have widespread, bipartisan support, and it proves that Democrats should embrace them if they want to be popular and win elections.

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Fascism. It's still rearing its ugly, dangerous head in the Republican Party.

The majority of Republicans in Congress turned their backs on democracy, attempting to overturn a free and fair election. Others were actively involved with Donald Trump's incitement of insurrection upon the very Capitol they serve in. This was the low point (so far) of a growing tendency in the party to choose power over democracy. We must continue to remind our Democratic representatives that we need to expand the vote and show people the benefits of democratic government - by passing laws that help everyday people.

Professional lying continues to turn a huge profit. Just ask Fox News and Sinclair Broadcast Group.

From the beginning of Donald Trump's refusal to concede and his baseless attacks on the election to the culmination of such lies in the insurrection on the Capitol, conspiracies, distortions, and dangerous editorializing was furthered by the far right's allies across the media. And it hasn't stopped. Spin-happy pundits on Fox News, Newsmax, and across Sinclair's empire continue to fan the flames of conspiracy that are leading to, at the very least, division, and at the very worst, violence, across our country.

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It's the economy, stupid. Or at least it should be.

Horse-race headlines, Electoral College math, far-left socialist this, far-right extremist that - as the election coverage descended into the typical flurry of red vs. blue, the economy continued to suffer. So why wasn't there more coverage about how the election outcome would affect everyday Americans? Politicians have long known that voters make decisions largely based on their personal economic conditions, but there is a real lack of intelligent analysis on how their day-to-day lives are likely to change depending on who is elected. We're trying to do our part to change that, and we plan on encouraging more media outlets to do the same - or calling them out when they don't.

Trickle-Down Clown of 2020

What better way to usher out the Trump administration than naming Donald J. Trump the Trickle-Down Clown of 2020? Quite honestly, we almost gave this award to Mitch McConnell, who did his part to advance the trickle-down agenda by blocking stimulus bills, pushing COVID-19 relief for wealthy corporations, and hitting the brakes on government spending as soon as Democrats took power. But Donald Trump failed to control the pandemic, which has now infected over 27 million people and resulted in over 460,000 deaths; he led attempts to make voting harder and had his cronies across the country put roadblocks up every step of the way; and, of course, he was the kingpin for an insurrection on the U.S. Capitol that resulted in a total assault on our democracy and five deaths.

As the pandemic continued to ravage our country, the economy slid deeper into a recession, millions lost their jobs and people were going hungry or losing their homes while Trump spent his time trying to tear down our democracy. It's clear that his disastrous presidency makes him the biggest Trickle-Down Clown of 2020, and who knows, maybe we'll bestow upon him the ultimate honor: Trickle-Down Clown of the Decade.

Donald Trump: Trickle-Down Clown of 2020

Hey, while you're here: At Civic Action, we're trying to buck the status quo and expand the middle class through activism and education. We're not afraid of making a little trouble, but we can't do it without your help. Will you pitch in to support our efforts? We promise to put every penny toward ending the neoliberal stranglehold on our economic and political system. Pitch in now:

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