This Election Day the Trump name may technically only appear at the top of the ballot, but know that every candidate with an “R” beside their name has embraced his values. We’ve waited four long years for Republicans to break with The Donald and only when their own political life is on the line have we seen GOP candidates try to put any distance between themselves and the president.
After months of ridiculously and falsely claiming Democrats want to burn down cities, Republicans like John Cornyn and GOP Statehouse candidates are now running ads touting their willingness to work with Democrats. It’s too late. They know the score. Their ideas are unpopular — which is why while simultaneously claiming bipartisanship in ads — party leaders tirelessly try to reduce voting options nationwide and invalidate legitimate votes cast in Texas and other battleground states like Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
The efforts to question the legitimacy of the post office and postal workers, and false claims of widespread mail-in fraud by foreign agents and Democrats all indicate that Trump, who lost the popular vote in 2016, knows he and his party are deeply underwater with voters. They know they can’t stop your vote from counting so these tactics are meant to erect psychological barriers that will demoralize, discourage and delay you from casting your ballot.
Hopefully, voters and potential voters recognize its only an indication of how important our votes truly are. We must take that negative energy and use it to fuel our efforts on the last day and leave it all out on the field. That could mean a few extra hours canvassing, calling, poll watching and texting into competitive districts down ballot or simply standing for hours in a line to vote.
There aren’t many undecided voters this cycle, most people know exactly how they feel about Trump. That’s why the most important thing to remind voters is to vote all the way down the ballot. Trump’s legacy can not be left to linger in state legislatures and courts around the country or we will continue to see the lapse in empathy and leadership that has marked his time in the White House.
The Grand Old Party is now, undeniably, the party of Trump. It will take more than one election cycle to undo the damage to America’s institutions and you can bet that the grievance politics of the Make America Great Again movement won’t disappear when Trump leaves the White House either. It isn’t just the lying, or the profiteering, or the bigotry, it’s also the gutting of our intelligence community, our health infrastructure and the loss of institutional knowledge and experience by those career diplomats and scientists whose only fault was to put their better judgement over the whims of Donald Trump.
We hold the power to stop the political pandemic that is Trumpism. On Tuesday, Nov. 3rd vote to restore decency, civility and optimism for America’s future in every elected capacity.
Photo: Loren Elliott/Getty Images
Joe Deshotel is originally from Beaumont, Texas, but a combination of live music, politics, and natural beauty brought him to Austin in 2010. He has over a decade of experience in public policy that covers federal, state, and local government and has worked on a number of successful election campaigns. He continues to consult on Democratic campaigns and serves as the Chair of Austin’s Community Development Commission which advocates for affordable housing and solutions for homelessness.