This is about so much more than just another election. While the media focuses on the presidential race, the stark reality of our country and its current crises are ignored. This election occurs at one of the most crucial points in the last century. We are asked to weigh the decision of who should lead our nation out of this crisis during a time when all our communities are simply, and quite literally, just struggling to survive.
“A democracy cannot thrive where power remains unchecked and justice is reserved for a select few. Ignoring these cries and failing to respond to this movement is simply not an option — for peace cannot exist where justice is not served." —John Lewis
Right now, living in a country with one of the highest virus death tolls and millions of people living in poverty, it can be difficult to see what relevance this year's election has in our day to day struggles. We’ve heard it from both sides: what difference does it make? Democracy appears a joke, an illusion driven by profit incentives and authoritarian leaders. However, while it is true we are in a time of crisis and great division, fueled by a president who weaponizes racism, sexism and inequality for his own gain and reelection, we cannot lose hope.
This election is about so much more than Trump. Our economy and our democracy are at stake. We are in the midst of one of the most significant economic crises in US history, and despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, thousands of people remain uninsured and underinsured, and then there are the people who have insurance but can’t afford to use it because prices have become so outrageous. Our neighbors and friends, people across our country who are not lucky enough to inherit wealth or join the ranks of the elite who claim America is great as it is, are dying of preventable causes, and it doesn’t have to be this way. Last year, corporations like Amazon brought in billions in profits, paid next to nothing in taxes, and spent billions lobbying against raising the minimum wage. That’s not right. We have the opportunity to make a difference with this election. We have the opportunity to say enough is enough and vote for a better life for ourselves and our communities.
No matter the results of the election, the systemic issues that have always been embedded in the US way of life will remain, and our movement building work will be more critical than ever. No single leader or policy will be able to fix all of the structural racism, sexism, transphobia, and other barriers to economic equality, now or ever. We must always stay vigilant, because it is up to us to voice our concerns and fix these problems. And we must vote, because having even just a few more leaders on our side means more victories and a better quality of life for everyone in the nation, not just the rich and wealthy.
UFE stands against fascism, voter suppression, white supremacy violence, election tampering, and all attempts to undermine democracy.
We believe everyone should have the right to vote, and that recent threats and intimidation by the highest offices in the nation intended to scare voters away are incompatible with democracy. We encourage everyone to be safe and alert at the polls this year.
Staff at our North Carolina office are in a swing state that could determine the outcome of the election. They’re also in a deeply purple state that Trump has targeted in particular. He’s laid the groundwork for his potential contestation of a Biden victory claiming that mail in ballots are untrustworthy and has asked for his supporters to vote twice. These acts intentionally undermine the legitimacy of our democracy and put the nation in great peril. Our staff have great insight and experience with the electoral process in the state, and say that lawyers will be particularly important after the election results come in and for monitoring the polls.
We don’t know how the election could play out, and we will not know for a while. But we do know that every vote must be counted. Our call is “Every vote counts, and count every vote.” And if Biden should win, our job will be to hold him accountable. Many politicians love the status quo, and will credit the moderates for victory, so the question becomes one of how do we keep moving people left?
Here are some ways to take action:
- Get trained up and join an official group of “election defenders”
- Partner with organizations on the frontline
- Join direct-action trainings
Also, register for our upcoming post-election training space: SIGN UP NOW!
And here are some additional resources:
- Contested Election Outcome Proposal v4 (3).pdf
- Stopping the Coup: Disruption Guide for 2020
- Join The Frontline - a new project from the Movement for Black Lives Electoral Justice Project and the Working Families Party: “The Frontline is a powerful coming together of people across differences to defeat white nationalism, protect our democracy, and demand that those in power advance a people’s agenda. You can be a poll worker in a neighborhood, a protestor for justice, a worker ready to strike, or you can connect others with needed and critical information— there is a role for you in the most important movement in a generation. Text ‘FRONTLINE’ to 30403”
- Protect the Results is building a large coalition to respond to any attempt to steal the election
- Shut Down DC has many resources for people outside of the DC Area
- Non-Violent Direct Action Trainings
- Hold The Line: A Guide to Defending Democracy is a helpful guide for understanding some of the scenarios we need to be planning for in the case of a contested election.