Democrats must perservere

Emma Walz, Managing editor

My fellow progressives,
While booking a one-way flight to Canada may seem tempting, it is our duty as Americans to have a say in our government’s decisions. Our only choice moving forward is to work with President-elect Trump when he offers reasonable options and to stand firm on our morals when he does not.
It has been made exceedingly clear that Trump plans to spend his first few days in office repealing and removing any evidence that Obama was even there.
After watching Trump’s Nov. 13 interview on 60 Minutes, I was surprised by the number of concessions he made. While Trump fully intends to repeal and replace Obamacare, he said in the interview that we will still make sure that healthcare is accessible to those with pre-existing conditions, as well as children living with their parents for extended periods of time.
Yet Democrats must stand firm on certain progressive issues, like climate change.
A September 2009 New York Times article details the collaboration of Democrats and Republicans on environmental issues, starting with Nixon’s presidency and the creation of the Environment and Public Works Committee.
With a problem that grows more critical each day that it continues to go unresolved, we cannot let a president who believes that climate change is a “hoax” undo all of the progress we have made and dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency.
We cannot let Trump hinder our fight for a more socially progressive America. We cannot let him ignore the issues surrounding race relations, gender equality, and LGBTQ+ rights. We must keep the pressure on him high and continue having open conversations about societal issues like race and gender.    This is how we must work with him: by making sure the people’s voices are heard.
Democrats need to become an opposition party. Progressives need to put up a fight. According to an August 2012 Washington Post article, Republicans of Congress met and made it one of their top priorities to prevent Obama from succeeding at any legislative action, and the National Republican Congressional Committee began running attack ads less than two months after Obama’s inauguration. Let that determination be our model in the coming years.
It is clear that the truest form of influence in a democracy is voting. At the end of the day, without a cooperative legislative body, the president does not have that much power.
That’s because every two years, citizens get the opportunity to elect representatives to the House or Senate, but voter turnouts are tragically low. According to a November 2014 Time article, only 36.4 percent of eligible voters participated in the 2014 midterm elections, the lowest turnout since 1942. People care so much about the presidential election, but fail to put the same amount of effort into researching their local candidates.
It’s all right to be angry and upset. We just need to channel those emotions to make sure our voices are heard. We are doing our best to come to terms with an outcome that is, quite frankly, terrifying for most people. It’s like trusting a 3-year-old to cut your hair: you just hope to goodness that it doesn’t end in disaster. And if you see those scissors heading towards your eyes, you put your hands up and block them.