Thanks To Everyone Who Got Their Butts To The Polls
November 4, 2015

There was a lot of bad election news last night, a fairly typical off-year slaughter. It doesn't help turnout when some progressives keep up a constant drumbeat of "why vote? It doesn't matter anyway" or "There's no difference at all between Republicans and Democrats." I just can't take people like that seriously, because voting does matter. It has real effects on real lives.

And that's why I am absolutely thrilled that Democrats took advantage of a rare opportunity yesterday (three open seats on the PA state Supreme Court!) to take majority control of the court. It was a battle of the titans, with more than $16 million in superPAC money flowing into the race. But we won!

Since the Republicans took control, we got crazily gerrymandered districts, far too many Republican wins and decisions that upheld the worst legislation of the wingnut-controlled legislature. Barring any tragedies, we control it this time.

And now we have it back. Thank you, voters.

It only takes one election cycle of "Ah, why bother voting?" to put them in the driver's seat. Not voting is like pulling the goalie in a hockey game -- quite a gamble.

Good news in Maine, too. They passed an initiative that will strengthen public campaign financing. (Although in Portland, a chance to raise the minimum wage to $15 failed.)

Seattle's "Honest Elections" initiative won by 60%.

There's a new Democratic mayor in Indianapolis. And strong progressive Jim Kenney (supported by many of you via Blue America) is now the mayor-elect in Philadelphia. Woo hoo!

I don't have time for the blame game over the big losses. It's silly and pointless. This kind of class-biased ridicule over elections is indicative of elitism -- worse, elitist ignorance. And the people with the most to say are invariably people who are spectators, not activists.

When we lose elections, it means bad candidates and/or bad campaigns. Don't blame, organize!

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