The day came and went. We exercised your political franchise by voting and are on the brink of recalling Mia Love back to Utah. During the course of this election season, we volunteered, we gave money, and we became friends. Some of you -including me- have come out forever changed and will never look at elections the same –we’re ultimately better off for it.
No question the campaign season running up to the 2016 election carved the nation’s dividing lines like trenches on a battlefield and as politics has electrified everything ranging from the shoes we wear to the sports we watch –you have changed.
You have evolved from strictly presidential election voters -if you showed up at all-, to volunteers for candidates running for both state and federal elections. Both young and old have been conscripted into an army of constituent activists and have faced the first battle head-on.
This war of ideas will need further soldering and will only withstand the test of time if you, we, continue to throw ourselves into the political theatre that has gripped the nation. While we wait to determine what face will represent “the fourth” in the 116th congress you need reminding that your work is not done.
As a farmer tames their field by removing fruitless growth that chokes and mangles the landscape, we are close to removing a member of congress who has garroted our district with party fervor instead of representing the diverse views we share –we don’t lead single issue lives after all.
A planter murmurs calmly to themselves that plowing lines is not the end of the labor but instead merely one of many steps ahead. It is necessary to sow seeds, by hand and by broadcast in order to cultivate necessary crops. America’s great harvest isn’t set until 2020, and each of you -good farmers that you are- must tend to the landscape. Your hands are still needed.
The fury that has fired your bellies these last two years or so should not be quelled for we still have a great threat in the White House. Do not bank on collusion, conspiracy and ultimately impeachment proceedings to end this presidency. Plan on staying lockstep in this fight by continuing to support candidates who you feel represent your values and who won’t sell you out for short term political wins. Now and then you will need to protest, you will need to show up for each other.
Official primary season starts again on March 3, 2020, but unofficially it’s begun now. The enthusiasm we have at this moment with record voter turnout predicted cannot be wasted –it must be harnessed, focused, and pointed in proper direction. Just as you went out to election parties yesterday and chatted it up with people that you met for the first time in person -most of us only know each other online- the conversation must continue.
We have shown that our numbers are many and that our resolve has staying power -proof positive last night’s results in these elections. I’ve seen a good many of you send letters to The Salt Lake Tribune and just as Dr. Benjamin Franklin drew up his Join or Die cartoon, this colony of active, muckraking, busy bodies must continue to write their opinions to stir the county and the state -think it, write it, share it.
Yesterday former Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned. In any normal time the news cycle would stay with this story, but I predict that the news flashes will continue to bright up the dark sky with new weather. Since that’s the case, we must not be distracted by the goal at large -Trump must be a one term president.
As I mentioned earlier, do not rely on the institutions of justice to place the president at the scene of the crime, this would be folly and ultimately disappointing. Instead we must remember that elections are 726 days away, and in that time, you must stay engaged with the work ahead and recruit your friends and family to get involved. Utah’s CD4 Coalition needs you, Alliance for a Better Utah wants to inform you, VOTER RISE wants to make sure you’re ready to fight with your vote.
I’m no one to adorn you with pride, but I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t proud of my fellow citizens who left it all on the pavement they tracked and the doors they knocked. Let’s keep spreading the word, we’ve become great messengers after all.