Last week was a doozy. In short, I think we’re inspiring a lot of people in Wisconsin by standing up to the Trump Cult, but I still have a sense of impending doom.Let’s start with some inspiration.
Our lawsuits to protect school children, teachers, and communities from the anti-masking zealots overtaking school boards in Waukesha and Fall Creek made national (MSNBC) and international news (Guardian) news, and here are more links to some other great stories from NPR, Time Magazine, CNN, and ABC News.
Not surprisingly, the VAST MAJORITY of media stories have been positive. It’s almost like the reporters exuded joy that someone was finally giving Wisconsin’s cast of "Lord of the Flies" a long overdue "time out."
And holy cow, parents across Wisconsin and the nation have sent us hundreds of “thank you’s” for giving them hope that our suits will start a wave of sanity among their own school districts to mitigate the spread of Covid until kids under 11 can get the vaccine.
And most inspiring of all, we’ve been getting calls from lawyers and groups of parents from other (red) states asking how they can replicate what we’re doing. We have a feeling you’ll be seeing other suits just like ours popping up soon around the country.
One issue that keeps bothering me is that we’re not fighting hard enough for teachers themselves. I’ve heard too many stories about teachers being forced to teach in front of full classes of unmasked students with no recourse to protect themselves from the virus. Because of that, I’ve called on the Teachers Union of Wisconsin (WEAC) to strike until school districts do more to protect them. If you agree, here’s their contact info.
Now here’s what keeps me up at night.
I was fortunate to be invited to join a zoom meeting with Senator Cory Booker last week, and the gathering was intimate enough that I was able to ask him some questions.
“Senator Booker,” I asked, “Isn’t the Senate’s inability to pass the ‘For the People Act’ that protects voting rights due to Senator Manchin and Sinema’s refusal to kill the Filibuster an existential crisis for our country?” and “Doesn’t the Senate realize that its inability to pass practically anything on President Biden’s agenda while having the majority in both houses will cause them to lose those majorities in 2022, which will lead America to yet another existential crisis given the fact that the other side is hellbent on authoritarian rule?”
His answer is what scared me. He basically said that he too went to bed full of anxiety thinking about both of these questions, and he often questioned whether Senators Manchin and Sinema thought about how history books would tell their stories if their obstinance led to the fall of our democracy. He then went on to say that the way out of this problem is to elect more democratic senators so we don’t have to solely rely on those two.
I kind of had a “deer in headlights” moment after he spoke, and thus didn’t have the presence of mind to shake my computer in order to virtually shake him and say “THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH…DEMOCRATS AREN’T GOING TO SHOW UP IN 2022 AND VOTE FOR MORE DEMOCRATIC SENATORS IF Y’ALL CAN’T PROVE THAT YOU CAN LEAD WHEN WE HAVE A MAJORITY.”
Man I wish I had said that.
I believe with all my heart that Americans and humans in general have the ability to dig deep when backed into a corner and perform Herculean acts of heroism when needed to help each other.
I also believe that, by nature, unless Americans and humans feel an imminent existential threat to their way of life, they will avoid having to dig deep because moving mountains is not as fun as watching your kids play soccer or laughing over a game of “Cards Against Humanity” with friends.
I think there is an imminent existential threat to America coming in the next election, and that if our U.S. Senate Democratic majority doesn’t DIG DEEP and pass existential legislation, the America we all grew up with may not exist after 2022, and the only way we get it back is through civil war.
The Democratic Party, however flawed, is the only bulwark we have against this existential threat, and it has to DIG DEEP RIGHT NOW and LEAD. We have to have people willing to perform Herculean acts of heroism to move the mountains necessary to make democracy work and pass the legislation that MOST AMERICANS WANT.
That, Senator Booker, and EVERY DEMOCRATIC U.S. SENATOR, is what is required of you. There is no option to fail right now. You have to figure out a way to LEAD, and bring Senators Manchin and Sinema with you, kicking and screaming if you have to.
Phew. That was a lot.
But if rattling cages now with doom and gloom prophesies is what it takes to avoid potential violence or war later on, then I say it's worth it.
And while our U.S. Senate figures out a way forward, our “little Super PAC that could” will keep doing what we can to make sure that Northern Wisconsin is progressive enough to help defeat our historically awful and traitorous Senator Ron Johnson in 2022 and give them one more sane Democrat than they have today, which may end up being that pivotal vote to save American democracy.
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