Our 2018 theme was “Midterms Matter.” This year the midterm election may determine whether we have democratic elections in 2024. So, in 2022, the Midterm Election really matters.
We must and we can win our statewide offices: U.S. Senate, Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer. The Republican candidates, whoever wins the primary, will be radicals who believe authoritarianism is a better form of government because it is the only way their unpopular policies can rule. As we campaign, we must never lose sight of this fundamental fact: There is only one pro-democracy party and that is us.
Our Congressional and Legislative campaigns will be more difficult. The misnamed “Independent” Redistricting Commission drew maps giving Coconino County an uphill battle to retain a Democratic Congressman and we will be fighting in two heavily weighted Republican legislative districts (the new LD7 and in the Sedona portion of LD1). The Republican candidates in these races are likely to be some of the most radical, conspiracy-touting members of current legislators. While our candidates may lose, the campaigns in these races are important because of the pro-democracy message we will spread.
Our messaging must be tough. Republicans will fight a scorched earth, Constitution-be-damned battle and we must clearly call them out for their anti-American, anti-democracy, anti-justice stances. It’s time we suppress their moderate voters by pulling back the curtain on what the “R” next to these candidates’ names on the ballot has come to mean.
There will be no pro-American Republicans in the 2022 General Election in Arizona. If voters cannot bring themselves to vote for the only pro-democracy, pro-American candidates on the ballot — who happen to be affiliated with the Democratic Party — they should sit out this election because otherwise, they will be voting to destroy the government Americans have cherished for 246 years.
This will be a discouraging year. Roe vs. Wade will die in the Supreme Court. Arizona abortion laws already on the books are among the worst in the nation. Attorney General Bronovich will eagerly enforce them as part of his campaign for U.S. Senate as soon as the Supreme Court lifts the 50-year ban on enforcement.
The Climate Crisis will get worse with forest fires and extreme weather. COVID is not going away soon. Extremists on the right will continue to exploit crime, migration, and cultural differences. Commonsense gun restrictions may vanish. Supreme Court reform is unlikely. We must fight through these events, keeping our eyes on our goals — preserving democracy and advancing justice and equity.
Winning elections in 2022 will not be enough. But our failure to win would be enough for the opposing forces to take control for many years to come. Our ability to work toward “a more perfect union” would be gone for generations.
We cannot control how the national party runs this election, or the state party, or individual candidates. But there is something we can do, and individual Democrats and local parties all around the country can do, and that is to speak clearly for democracy and loudly against the people and forces opposing it.
Welcome to the 2022 Campaign.