Democrats have much to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day.
Democrats who did their duty to the American people in the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives delivered major legislation, policy initiatives, appropriations, and regulations that help restore American leadership in the world, set the stage for prosperity at home, protect the environment, combat a pandemic, and embrace science as the determining factor in public policy.
Just 323 days ago, armed insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol Building, killing and injuring Capitol police officers and intent on killing or taking hostage elected U.S. Representatives in order to nullify a lawful election. They were fueled by the rhetoric and collusion of a disgraced president and inflamed and abetted by right wing extremists, including members of Congress, in the Republican party.
Fast forward to 2021. In just the past few days, Democrats have passed and the President signed a major bill that will fund essential repairs and improvements in our nation’s critical infrastructure, creating both a sound footing for continued economic prosperity and good-paying jobs for American workers, secured approval for COVID-19 booster shots for all adults, helping to combat an ongoing pandemic, and brought about policy changes that have achieved huge strides in slashing poverty, especially among children, addressing the climate emergency, cleaning up our water, regulating toxic chemicals, making life-saving drugs more affordable, protecting wild lands and more. Even more ambitious goals focused on making government work for the American people are in the Build Back Better bill passed by the House early this week.
Is everything perfect now? Of course not. Ours is an imperfect system for solving problems and responding quickly to challenges. As Winston Churchill famously said, “democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried.” Our Democratic leaders are imperfect people working in that imperfect system.
But think back to the conditions that existed last year at this time. In addition to a violent coup, daily deaths from COVID were near their highest levels, the economy was in shambles, America’s status in the world was at its lowest point since World War I, and a lawless, corrupt president spent 54 days playing golf in 2020 – the modern equivalent of Nero’s fiddling while Rome burned. According to NC Policy Watch, “only Abraham Lincoln and possibly Frankly Roosevelt entered their presidencies under more difficult circumstances.” And even they had large congressional majorities that we do not currently enjoy.
So Democrats need to take some time on this Thanksgiving holiday to reflect with gratitude on the accomplishments of Democratic leaders in our communities, states, and nation for all they do to make government responsive to the needs of the people. And we need to offer special thanks to all of the good Democrats who knocked on doors, addressed cards, made calls, sent texts, registered voters, got out the vote and contributed to the Democratic Party and our candidates.
We know that the way we change the decisions that are made by government officials is to change the people making those decisions. This weekend, make a personal commitment to help elect more Democrats in our local, state and national elections. As we have seen in the last 323 days, that is our best hope for reclaiming America for the hard-working people who built this nation.