Thursday, November 10, 2016

An Obama 2008 Staffer Reflects

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Our daughter was a Field Coordinator for the Obama campaign in 2008. Obama carried her territory - Bay County, Michigan.  Trump carried it by 11 points in 2016. How does it happen that the same voters embraced such drastically divergent visions? This passage from a letter from an Ohio Obama regional field director (now a reporter) to other 2008 Obama campaign staff  alums captures much of our daughter's feelings. We like her are deeply saddened. - gwc
 We are painfully aware of an inescapable reality: the same people who voted for Obama twice—the people you spoke with on the phone and the doors on countless occasions—are the same people who elected Donald Trump.
In the face of this horrific fact and all that it implies, it seems perfectly natural to despair. Lord knows that’s how I spent much of last night—and this morning.
There is no way around it: We live in dark times.
I recall hearing your jaw-dropping stories about what inspired you to participate in our rare and special campaign, and how each of you were fighting for someone other than yourself.
And most important of all: I am reminded that y’all didn’t vanish last night. You’re are still here, still fighting the same fight in your own way. And that can—and has—made all the difference.
Donald Trump will almost assuredly strip away most if not all of the legislative achievements of the Obama administration, many during the first few hours of his presidency. He will undoubtedly weaken the institutions at the core of our republic, ruin America’s standing on the world stage, and give political power to hate groups. He will deport our friends, and erase the fruits of our work.
But he cannot erase our spirit, or the work we have yet to do.
Mark my words: They will tell us, over and over again, that our time is over. They will tell us that the world has rejected us, and that our spirit of decency and compassion doesn’t “resonate.” They will tell us that winning again is unlikely, and that a resurgent revolution of hope is impossible.
But we’ve heard all that before, haven’t we?
They forget that we’ve already seen the impossible made manifest through our own hands; that we’ve seen voters from all walks of life take a risk on the dream of a world rooted in hope instead of fear; and that we won the White House—with a much larger margin than Trump, mind you—not by using derision, disenfranchisement, and expulsion, but under the banner of “Respect, Empower, and Include.”
And they forget that we already have a response to those who say we can’t: Yes we can.
The days ahead will be hard, and it would be irresponsible to pretend that things aren’t awful at the moment, or that they won’t stay that way for a while. It is proper—and important—for us to take time to recover, recoup, and mourn. Some of us will take more time than others.
But I do not believe any of you are giving up today. If my time with you is any indication, that is not your way, nor is it what our broken nation needs right now. Others may wallow in despair, but I’m confident you won’t—at least not for long. Instead, I imagine you'll do what you always do: dust yourself off, hold your head high, and manhandle the moral arc of the universe toward justice in your own way.
And I promise I’ll be right there with you, for we are Scrappers, and we fight on.
And we will win again.

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