Abrams’ vision of power to, for, and by the people

Dear President Trump,

I think Stacey Abrams did a really good job in her response to your SOTU. Yes she tried to cover a boatload of topics in a very short amount of time and the transitions were sometimes choppy, but she stayed true to her central message – we can come through this dark chapter in our collective history if we cooperate with and care for one another. Her examples of bipartisan cooperation in the Georgia State senate were especially terrific.

I also liked that she called out your government shutdown for the stunt that it was and that she offered a solid alternative to your weird combo of “rah-rah, we can have bi-partisan cooperation as long as you do what I want” and “you are all doomed to having your throats slashed by illegal immigrants if you don’t give me my wall” rhetoric.

However, the parts of her speech I liked best were the parts about voting rights. She was spot on there and has given us a wonderful phrase that will be (should be) quoted even beyond when we need to be reminded of it. Here it is:

“The foundation of our moral leadership around the globe is free and fair elections, where voters pick their leaders – not where politicians pick their voters.”

“Not where politicians pick their voters” – full stop. Not only did this highlight the awful situation in Georgia around voting access and rights in the 2018 election, but it was also an awesome rebuke of Mitch McConnell’s whiny, disgusting complaint that ensuring that all eligible voters are able to vote would be a power grab by the Democrats.

Actually having Mitch say those words out loud in public was really a gift because we can be done with the charade that he and much of the GOP are just worried about the sanctity of our voting system and don’t want ineligible people voting. Now it’s on the table that you all don’t want all (or even most) eligible people to vote because that would be a disaster for the Republican party. We’ve known this for years, but he actually said it out loud. Hah! And Abrams rightfully put that front and center in her message last night.

May we all be safe to have our votes counted and our voices heard.
May we be happy that so much of the electorate wants to be involved.
May we do the needed reckoning to ensure proper power sharing.
May those of us who need to make peace with having everyone at the table get busy on this.

Tracy Simpson

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