Political Journal Entry #1: Why We Fight

August 12, 2019

This past week has been a dark one for many of us.

All of us have been dealing with the despair of witnessing over 30 people being murdered in two mass shootings a little over a week ago. In the aftermath of those shootings, we’ve witnessed the man who’s supposed to be our President go even further off the rails than he already has.

Before going to visit the survivors of these horrific acts, the President attempted to falsely blame “both sides” for the shootings that took place, and refused to look at his culpability for being a potential inspiration for the El Paso shooter.

When he arrived in El Paso, he tried to have two patients brought back to the hospital for a photo op since none of the patients at the hospital wanted to meet with him. One of the people brought back to the hospital for a photo was an infant who had lost both parents in the shooting when they tried to shield the child from bullets. You can see the vile photograph he took with this poor child in the link.

He also spent his time in-between visiting victims in Dayton and El Paso tweeting attacks against his political opponents. He also lied to the press by claiming that Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, misled the media about the reception he received from victims at the hospital.

This is what the person who’s supposed to be leading our country was thinking about. Rather than feeling and showing empathy for those who lost loved ones, or barely escaped death themselves, our President was only thinking about himself, just as he always has. The contrast between him, and the way that some of the Democratic Presidential Candidates have interacted with these people (Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Yang) couldn’t be more stark. Our President is a vile person.

Mass Shootings Strike Close to Home

The psychological harm that stems from these shootings isn’t just felt by those directly affected by them. It affects the public at-large.

Last week Tuesday, I hosted an event for Elizabeth Warren’s campaign in Cedarburg to recruit volunteers to our campaign. One of the people who came to the meeting told me that she used to be public school teacher. When I asked here why she’s no longer working as one, she told me that a big part of the reason why is that she fears becoming a victim of a mass shooting herself if she were to go back to teaching now. The Gilroy shooting , in particular, had struck close to home for her because she used to attend the festival herself.

Her story works as a reminder of why we need to take action on gun control now. All of us feel less safe because of what’s happening. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Threat at the Ozaukee County Fair

For the second year in a row, our Ozaukee County Democratic Party had a tent at the Ozaukee County Fair in Cedarburg. For the most part, our volunteers had great interactions with people and had a good time at the fair.

It’s a great way for us to show people that they aren’t alone, and that the Democratic Party is working to earn their votes and listen to their concerns. We’re also building real momentum on the ground, something that will be crucial to helping flip the State Assembly and the State Senate in 2020 and beyond.

One bleak moment, however, is worth discussing. One of our volunteers wrote an editorial to the local News Graphic last week detailing an incident where a man came up to our tent and said “I don’t mean to be rude or mean, but in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, all Democrats should be wiped from the face of the earth.” He quickly ran off after saying this.

Hearing offensive comments isn’t something that I’m unaccustomed to. I worked as a Summer Organizer here in my home county in 2011. I heard my fair share crazy talking points at doors, and from people who came up to me or others at local events. I even recall a few people telling me that they could not volunteer for President Obama’s campaign because they feared that their neo-Nazi neighbors may find out and do something to them.

This particular comment, however, is different from anything we encountered back then. Here is a man invoking his religious beliefs to tell us that he wishes we would be “wiped from the face of the earth.” This is hate speech.

It’s also sign of how far some have been pushed to the extreme by the environment Trump, Scott Walker, and the GOP has created. This will not deter us. It only makes our work that much more important.

Wrapping Up

All of these brief stories work as a reminder of why I’ve gotten back into the fight. Our country and our state are in a bad place, but it doesn’t have to be like this.

The work we are doing right now is vital. It won’t be easy, and may not be rosy sometimes. However, there’s still much more than unites us than divides us. We can overcome this, but only if we work together in confronting those who seek to divide us.

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