April 25, 2018 at 3:05 pm EDT | by Peter Rosenstein
Let’s march to the polls and #takebackourcountry
March to the Polls, gay news, Washington Blade

Women’s March (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

It’s time to come together for the March to the Polls #takebackourcountry on Nov. 6, 2018 to prove we not only resist we will VOTE to take back our country.

Republicans are clearly counting on the people not coming out to vote as they continue to pass legislation, talk about and initiate destructive policy, and do everything they can to screw the majority of the American people. Whether they continue to get away with it is up to us.

For some reason it is easier to get massive numbers of people out to march in the streets in all kinds of weather than to get them to a voting booth. So I am calling for a March to the Polls on Nov. 6, 2018. We must begin immediately to register march leaders in every congressional district in the nation to ensure a massive turnout at every polling place. The logistics should be in place and the momentum in full swing in time for the beginning of early voting. If the people don’t come out to cast a ballot this year, immigrants, women, the LGBTQ+ community, African Americans, Latinos, and every other minority, will all continue to suffer at the hands of this administration and Congress.

In recent elections in New Jersey, Alabama, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and many other communities it’s been proven when the people come out to vote, when elections often turn on local issues with great local candidates, we the people win. We know we can win on Nov. 6. The only question remaining to be answered is whether we have the will and commitment to do it.

These mid-term elections are the most important in decades and maybe ever. They are about taking back our democracy from a runaway band of ultra-right wing zealots led by a president who often appears to be deranged. Even once moderate and reasonable Republicans have capitulated and are voting in a way that shows how much they fear this president, his tweets, and his die-hard supporters. It’s as if they have given up any semblance of a backbone and decency and have given in to the worst instincts of the president and his supporters.

Examples of how important it is to participate in the March to the Polls is a recent poll from Quinnipiac showing the Ted Cruz-Beto O’Rourke Senate race in Texas at 47-43 and within the margin of error. A look at the results of the primary in Texas show 500,000 more Republicans came out to vote for governor than did Democrats. A second example is Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema’s race for the open Arizona Senate seat of retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R). She is leading in all match-ups against Republicans at the moment but no matter what the polls say if Democrats don’t come out to vote, then Republicans will continue to win and nothing will change.

We have seen millions of people come out for a series of marches beginning with the Women’s March the day after Trump’s inauguration. They have come together in Washington, D.C., and countless cities across the country. We marched for immigration, science, voting rights, LGBTQ+ equality and most recently in the March for Our Lives when approximately 800,000 came together in D.C. to march for common sense gun control with sister marches in more than 850 locations around the nation. If we can do that and get people out in every kind of weather we must do the same on Nov. 6, when we will make a lasting difference.

The March to the Polls will succeed if we have the support of major organizations — unions, environmental groups, Change.org, EMILY’s List, the LGBT Victory Fund, HRC and others. We must form coalitions at the local level in every congressional district in the nation. If the awesome students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., could put together the March for Our Lives in less than six weeks from the Valentine’s Day shooting at their school, surely we can successfully organize the March to the Polls in the six months we have until the mid-term elections.

Decent, committed and wealthy activists like Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney and billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg among others should commit the necessary planning money to fund the basics of the March to the Polls. Those include both a national and local website in every district and the grassroots organizers in every congressional district who will recruit the millions of volunteers to make this happen. The March to the Polls will not endorse candidates, it will leave that to others. It will be the mechanism to get people to the polls and we trust when the decent people of America come out to vote in huge numbers they will do the right thing and vote to #Takebackourcountry.

We know we need to excite people to get them to the ballot box. We need everyone who has ever marched this year to come out again on Nov. 6. We need everyone who has ever tweeted using the hashtag #resist or #strongertogether; everyone who has ever spoken out or stood up to the Trump administration or Republican leadership in Congress. We need all of them to sign up for the March to the Polls. If they do and get all their neighbors and friends to come out with them to march and vote, we win. Decency wins, the nation wins and the world wins. March to the Polls #takebackourcountry on Nov. 6, 2018.

 

Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.

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