Electoral mobilization is an indispensable form of mass action. And for the next two years it should be the primary terrain of political, mass engagement. It is, I would argue, the key link in pushing the whole chain of social struggle forward.
When Republicans win congressional seats that they should, as they did in November, that isn’t a Red Wave. Saying that doesn’t minimize the danger of right wing, anti-democratic Republican control of the House (and large swathes of the country for that matter.) But it is to say that the balance of forces didn’t shift in a qualitative/decisive way in their favor.
Had the outcome been different, that is, had the GOP taken control of the Senate out of Democratic hands as well secured a bigger majority in the House, it would be fair to speak of a Red Wave and a qualitative turn in the balance of forces toward right wing authoritarian, even fascist rule of the country. But that didn’t happen.
Thus the ground on which the anti-Maga coalition fights for democracy, equality, and social progress and against an anti-democratic authoritarian takeover, while less favorable for sure, isn’t one in which at every turn Democrats are in a hasty and steep retreat. Nor is it out of the question to think that they could win back lost ground in two years when voters once again cast their ballots.
Only a few weeks into the new Congress should be enough to remind us how important it was that Democrats won the Senate. Just imagine if Republicans won both chambers! And while the Democratic loss of the House could have been avoided, especially if the anti-MAGA coalition in New York had performed better, the actions of the Republican majority in the House might come back to bite them as the most extreme members of its caucus – and there are a lot of them –play Russian roulette with government solvency, the economy, and people’s lives in the months ahead
In an election newsletter, Sochie Nnaemeka, NY Working Families Director, writes “In this past election, we saw the impact of this overlap and coordination in the Hudson Valley, with strong field energy and progressive momentum behind WFP-endorsed Assembly candidate Sarahana Shrestha helping to fuel Pat Ryan’s successful election bid to Congress.”
Actually, having lived in Kingston, I believe Pat Ryan’s successful bid for Congress, not once, but twice, fueled and brought Sarahana Shrestha across the finish line, not the other way around. Ryan is a very popular, well respected political leader in the Hudson Valley. Prior to running for Congress, he was the county executive of Ulster County. And in that capacity he executed his responsibilities skillfully and in close consultation with county residents.
Am I making a big deal out of whole cloth? I don’t think so. An understanding the dynamic, interactive, and mutually reinforcing nature of the relationship between the left and others in the anti-MAGA coalition is crucial going forward. As an old comrade of mine loved to say, if it only took the left to change the world, we would have done it a long time ago.
Don’t let the past, remind us what of we are not now … Listening to CSN and CSNY … Great Harmonies/Great Songs