GUEST LETTER: Why is this election important?
As of writing this, three women have accused newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Jeff Flake could have singularly stopped his nomination using his role on the Senate Judiciary Committee, or Susan Collins could have been a voice of dissent, preventing a likely sexual predator from defining the core laws and values that govern us all. The most we can depend on Republicans for at this point is merely concerned brow-furrowing, like when deficit hawk Bob Corker voted for a tax cut for the wealthy that would add $2 trillion to the national debt, despite his vowing not to.
Yes, the actions of the executive branch, such as the disastrous planned family separation policy and abdication from our role as the leader of the world order, are reprehensible, and it is unlikely that we can change this until 2020. However, as young people, we can contribute to the momentum of the expected blue wave to elect a legislature that will serve as a bulwark against the more nativist and odious impulses of the Trump administration. The Republican majority in the Senate is precariously thin, and the Senate fight here in Arizona has become arguably the most important race in the entire country.
If you find the family separation policy abhorrent, or were disgusted by the events in Charlottesville, you have a moral imperative to vote for Kyrsten Sinema this November. Martha McSally was once a political moderate and maverick fighter pilot. In 2016, she refused to endorse Donald Trump and called his boasting about sexual assault “disgusting.” Those days are long gone. Now a Trumpian sycophant, McSally has gone on the offensive in her Senate campaign in order to present herself as someone who agrees with the repugnant views of the Trump administration and its cronies.
So no more “both sides are the same” or complaining about how neither candidate is perfect. The stakes are too important this time to degrade the election with that kind of petulant apathy. One candidate will vote for a Senate President who will not let a sexual predator receive a lifetime appointment to the SCOTUS bench. One candidate will support efforts toward an investigation into the Russian attack on our core democratic values, elections, that took place in 2016. One candidate will not support an executive branch that implemented literal baby prisons. That candidate is Kyrsten Sinema, and she needs the youth turnout this fall.
Of course, there is a slate of other candidates that also need your support. Once a classic, business conservative, Doug Ducey has denigrated his political discourse into dog-whistling and calls for a boondoggle wall on our southern border. Again, regardless of how you feel about David Garcia, it is about refusing to accept the racism, sexism and, frankly, idiocy that has overtaken the GOP under Trump.
Ann Kirkpatrick could likely take back the House seat vacated by McSally, serving as a stronghold of common-sense leadership in a House dominated by the ideological warriors and Devin Nunes’ world. But it all comes down to voter turnout, which is historically low among young people. If you do not vote, you share personal culpability for the abuses and excesses of the Trump regime as it enters its death knell.
Regardless, voting is simply just plain fun. Not all the world gets to live in a liberal democracy, and individuals in Venezuela and Iran are deeply envious of your right to vote. As repeated attempts by the GOP to undermine our core democratic institutions and discourage political participation show, we need to appreciate our democratic freedom while we still can, which is why I expect to see you at the polls this Nov. 6 — stop complaining about the current state of things and start changing them.
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