Election 2016: Reflections from a Progressive Grassroots Organizer for HRC

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I feel a tremendous grief for what has been and will likely be lost, as well as fear for what is likely to rain down on the most vulnerable in our society as a result of this election.

I strongly supported Hillary Clinton, in the primary and the general, and spent countless hours organizing volunteers in Malden and Melrose, knocking doors here and in New Hampshire. I had the pleasure of working with a large group of volunteers -- some veterans from other campaigns, others new faces.

I didn’t support Hillary Clinton as the lesser of two evils -- far from it. I firmly believe she would have been an incredible President.  I supported her because she was a strong progressive candidate and I am a progressive. While I knew that even if she won, it would be an enormous battle to enact progressive policies, I had high hopes that she would go toe to toe with the Republicans to address poverty, inequality and college affordability, repeal the Hyde Amendment, remake the Supreme Court, address the climate crisis, and forge a national conversation on racism and criminal justice reform, among many other areas. Now all that is dashed and the next many years will be a defense of what we have and very likely losing much of it.

I also supported her because she was the only force standing between us and a fascist. It pains me how many Americans didn’t feel enough urgency, faced with this stark choice, to even bother to vote.

I also despair that we may never see a woman elected to the Presidency in my lifetime. I know there are many who assert that “Well, if it was only some other woman, she would have won.” I’m not so sure. The toxic stew of bigotry and misogyny that this election emboldened would have been unleashed on any Democratic nominee.

In terms of what’s next, I hope we as progressives will listen to each other and work together as we push back against Trumpism. I hope we will realize that we are one slice of a much larger coalition of liberals, moderates and Democrats -- and we all need to work together. If that coalition falls apart, there is no defense against what’s coming.

We will have to choose our battles carefully. We will have to accept some very painful losses. And we must stand with those who are the most vulnerable to the coming wave of hate crimes, deportations, and other assaults.

We will likely spend years, maybe decades, repairing the damage. Once I'm done with grieving, I am very much on board to be part of that effort.

 


Amanda Smith is a long-time Progressive Mass member and grassroots organizer. Her advocacy for equitable taxation and a fair share economy has appeared in the Boston Globe. Read an excerpt here

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commented 2017-03-15 21:53:12 -0400 · Flag
“I also despair that we may never see a woman elected to the Presidency in my lifetime. I know there are many who assert that “Well, if it was only some other woman, she would have won.” I’m not so sure. The toxic stew of bigotry and misogyny that this election emboldened would have been unleashed on any Democratic nominee.”

First of all, ‘despair’ is what we should feel at the fact that we have no real Democrats anymore, least of all HRC. That someone with two X chromosomes is not yet in office is not the thing to despair over. THAT is laughably – laughably! – misguided and reflecting poor judgment.

Secondly, believe it. Another woman would have won. HRC didn’t win because of who HRC is, not the fact that she’s a woman. Misogyny was there. It didn’t help. But it is NOT why she lost. She lost because of herself and her Republican-lite, disingenuous politics.
commented 2017-03-15 21:47:08 -0400 · Flag
HRC is not a Progressive.
commented 2016-12-05 15:51:41 -0500 · Flag
Eh
commented 2016-12-01 20:18:27 -0500 · Flag
Thanks. I’m ready also.
commented 2016-11-15 14:25:01 -0500 · Flag
Thanks, Insa, I’m glad it resonated with you. Take good care. — Amanda
commented 2016-11-15 07:14:55 -0500 · Flag
Amanda – Thank you for giving voice to everything that I feel, both the grief over the election results and the need for a coalition. We need a really big tent. The alternative is too dire.
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