I keep reading articles and opinion pieces about the end of Democratic politics. Far too many journalists and pundits are leading with “It’s Over!” as the headline. I am thoroughly confused as to how an entire Democratic Party strategy can be over when there are weeks left in the campaign cycle, there are several debates on the horizon, and we know we cannot predict the future—and with an erratic president, anything could happen.
The recent death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has sent Democrats into a tailspin. In some ways, this a nightmare scenario for Democrats. That is, giving the president, and more specifically Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the opportunity to fill yet another Supreme Court seat with a conservative justice—even though the Republican senators blocked President Obama from nominating and voting on Merrick Garland in March of 2016. Their argument was that a president should not have the opportunity to nominate a judge to the Supreme Court in an election year and so close to an election.
Well, the tables have now turned. The election is just weeks away and Republican senators have largely abandoned that argument. They have pledged to push through a conservative judge to the Supreme Court bench despite arguments that a judge who will be on the bench for life should be vetted and debated for more than a few days or a few short weeks. Republicans are quite eager to appoint a conservative judge who will help decide important issues such as abortion, immigration, affirmative action, climate change and many more policy issues of great import to us.
With these challenges and frightening scenarios, it is imperative that Democrats reject the defeatist attitude so close to an election. We must remember that there are races on the ballot besides just the presidential contest at the top of the ticket. All of our members of the House of Representatives are on the ballot, one third of Senators, depending on the state—governors, state senators and representatives, and some smaller races depending on your locale.
Now is the time we must “run through the tape” as my father likes to say. The election has yet to be decided. We know there will be rampant voter disenfranchisement efforts and international interference. That being known, we must mobilize friends and family, especially in swing states, that is, states that have voted Republican but could turn to Democratic states during this electoral season.
This election season is far from over and we must not forget that we can contribute to the future of our democracy. A democracy is not a stagnant entity. It is a living and breathing idea that must be worked toward and tended to on a daily basis. So, let’s erase the attitude of defeat and get to work.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC.