We have so much going on in the world right now, but this morning I want to really hone in on some good news.
With every single day that passes, it becomes increasingly clear that what we experienced last week on Election Day was not only a blue wave, with Democrats picking up more seats in Congress than any election since Watergate, but it’s who was elected and what they stand for that I want to celebrate this morning.
In the past 48 hours alone, as more votes are continuing to be counted all over the country, Democrats have picked up several more seats in the House and won a very important Senate seat in Arizona. But on Election Night all of this was hard to see. So many of the elections were super close and it’s taken over a week for us to really understand just how well Democrats did.
Beto lost. And that hurt. Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams are still behind in their races in Georgia, and that hurts, but Democrats crushed it everywhere else.
And listen, I’m not a blind supporter of the Democratic Party. I have real beef with the party on a regular basis, but this new group of Democrats that was elected is different. They are bold, progressive, diverse, and are highly skilled organizers.
In fact, exclusively because of Democrats, this was the most diverse incoming class of Congress in American history. It not only had more women than any previous Congress, crossing over 100 women for the very first time, but it has more Black elected officials, more Muslims, more Native Americans, more LGBTQ folk, more first generation immigrants than any Congress in American history.
That’s a huge deal. And Republicans had nothing to do with that. In fact, for the first time in decades, the Republicans got whiter in Congress. They just went from 87% white to over 90% white. In the few races they won across the country, it was almost always white men. The Republican Party is the party of white men. And as much as Donald Trump or Kanye want to say otherwise, the results from Election Day prove it.
More and more, the Democratic Party is starting to actually look like America. We’re not even close, because with 535 people in the House & Senate combined, we shouldn’t have 100 women in Congress, we should have 268 women in Congress. We shouldn’t just have two Muslims, or two Native Americans, or just a few immigrants, we should have dozens and dozens of each – until Congress truly looks like this country.
Listen – let’s start organizing for 2019 and 2020. Because here’s what I know, over the next few weeks and months, I think between 15-20 people are going to announce that they’re running for President and we need to be smart about this. We don’t all have to support the same candidate, but we have to be smart about who they are and what they stand for. We can’t just accept whoever they throw at us. And we can’t just accept who we are familiar with, because we did that in 2016 and lost.
In fact, back in 2008, we weren’t all that familiar with Barack Obama – and many Democrats rushed to endorse Hillary even back then – and made a mistake doing so – so let’s take a breath and be smart about how we do this moving forward with the 2020 presidential election.
Let me give you all two quick updates on the governor’s races in Florida and Georgia because some important deadlines are coming in the next 48 hours.
Stacey Abrams has fought like a champ in Georgia. She is literally now only 17,000 votes away from forcing a runoff election, but Republicans controlling the state government are doing everything they can to make sure the number doesn’t go much further. In the past 4 days alone, 4 different federal judges have ruled against Brian Kemp and Republicans and ordered that more absentee and provisional votes be counted. Whatever happens, Georgia wants to end it all by tomorrow evening.
Very similar story in Florida. Whereas Stacey Abrams and her team saw all of this coming, I honestly think Andrew, and his entire team, and even people like myself, truly thought he was going to win in Florida – so the results I think first knocked the wind out of Andrew and it took him a day or two to get his feet under him so that he could really fight back.
And Andrew is in a very similar spot as Stacey Abrams. It’s so close. Out of 8.2 million votes cast in Florida, Andrew is now down just 33,000 votes. This much I know – had Republicans not had so much voter suppression in Florida and Georgia, Stacey and Andrew would’ve won outright. Period.
Let me close with this thought. Andrew and Stacey both know that they might ultimately lose these races, but they know that for their own dignity and for the dignity of every election that comes after this, they must fight for every single vote to be counted.
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Shaun King: Congress Is Becoming More Diverse was originally published on blackamericaweb.com
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