President Biden is prone to gaffes, none more embarrassing than the recent mistaking the war in Ukraine for the one in Iraq and the nature of his son’s death, but one thing that he is consistently right about is the imminent destruction of our democratic rights. The insurrection at the Capitol Building on Jan. 6 is perhaps the most dramatic and deadliest aspect of this devolution, however we have had earlier manifestations—the evisceration of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, Charlottesville in 2017, the murder of George Floyd in 2020. Each of these terrible moments were harbingers that most of us took for granted as customary experiences of American “exceptionalism,” to give that term a more menacing flip. Many of you have already voted but a majority of you have not, and no matter where you are in the republic, the midterm election should not be pooh-poohed.
As Biden has said on many occasions we are at an inflection point in our history, and this election is a critical part of it as the Democrats are in danger of losing control of Congress. The senatorial race in Georgia where the Republican candidate Herschel Walker is trying to unseat the incumbent Raphael Warnock is once more of paramount importance. And there is no need to tell you where we stand on this contest, particularly after hearing Walker’s denunciations of Stacey Abrams. Abrams’ gubernatorial challenge in Georgia is just as significant in U.S. politics as the senatorial race there, and her win would make her the first African American woman governor in the nation’s history. That is not an impossibility, given that we have historic breakthroughs most recently on the Supreme Court with the arrival of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. And closer to home, we need to keep Attorney General Tish James in her post, a position from which she has demonstrated remarkable visionary leadership. Yes. Black women can take the lead, and we gladly follow them as we march into a very dark and grim stage of American history. An inflection point could be a destructive end.