As 2024 Voting Begins, Democrats Should Be Optimistic About What We Can Do Together This Year
Joe Biden is a good President. The country is better off. The Democratic Party is strong.
Fellow optimists, got a few things for you today:
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“I Would Much Rather Be Us Than Them” - My Thoughts on Where We Are As 2024 Voting Begins - Think about what we’ve seen in the past few weeks: the US economy remains strong, best recovery in G7, best job market since the 1960s, wage growth/new business starts/prime age-worker participation rates historically elevated; inflation is at/near Fed target rates, some prices are falling, rents/mortgage rates/gas prices are down, the soft landing appears to be happening; crime and murder rates have come down substantially over the past year, and remain a fraction of what they were 30 years ago; we have the lowest uninsured rate ever recorded, and ACA signups this year have set records; we’ve seen record domestic oil and renewable production, making America more energy independent then we’ve been in many decades; the President has forgiven over $130b in student debt, by some measures Gen Z home ownership rates are outpacing Millennials and Gen X, years of minimum wage increases across the county has created a much higher entry level wage for young and new workers; consumer sentiment is rising, and measures of life/job/income satisfaction are at elevated levels right now; the historic investments the President has made will create opportunities for American workers for decades to come, leave America far stronger and by dramatically accelerating the energy transition from fossil fuels make it far more likely we prevent the planet from warming; polling out this week has the President with sturdy leads in MI, NH and PA, and gaining 3 points and leading now in one important national tracking poll; after a great 2022 election, Democrats just saw a blue wave in 2023, as we won elections of all kinds across the country and outperformed our 2020 results - an election we won by 4.5 pts - by an average of 5 points in almost 40 state legislative special elections; one of the third party/rogue party candidates are getting serious traction, while the NeverTrumpers, aligned with us, are gaining strength.
I feel good about what we’ve done, where we are, and our chances in 2024. There is no question we have an enormous amount of work ahead of us, and it’s really important the Biden campaign is scaling up, engaging now, working to take greater control of our daily discourse. His two speeches this past week were powerful, strong, important, and created an early election narrative we all can work within and spread through out networks.
My summary of where we are now:
Joe Biden is a good President. The country is better off. We have a very compelling case for re-election. The Democratic Party is strong, winning elections across the US and our “bench” is the most talented it’s been in many decades.
Republicans, on the other hand, are making an enormous mistake in sticking with Trump, who is far more degraded, extreme and dangerous - and further away from the electorate - than he was in 2020 when he lost by 4 and a half points. His performance on the stump is far more erratic, and he keeps making hugely consequential political mistakes (calling for a repeal of the ACA, saying he wants the economy to crash - WTF?). Donald Trump 2024 is an historically awful and terrible candidate.
Can we get to 55 and make the 2024 elections a clear repudiation of MAGA, sending a loud and important signal that America has rejected this horrible politics, and has chosen democracy and freedom over illiberalism extremism? Yes, I think making 2024 a big election, a big win, high single digits even, is something that is possible for us, and something we must be working towards every single day. For by doing so it far far more likely we can send MAGA back into the dustbin of history where it so clearly belongs.
I talked about my optimism with Lawrence O’Donnell on Tuesday:
Look, all is not well in America. The Republican Party has metastasized into something truly dangerous to America and the world. Bibi needs to go. Gun violence remains an outrageous imposition on our liberties. The viciousness of the assault on women’s reproductive freedom, I will admit, overwhelms me sometimes, and I wish I felt we were making more and faster progress here. Declining life expectancy here in the US is a warning about our collective health we must heed. The degradation and poisoning of our daily discourse is a far greater problem than many of us understand or will admit. I could go on.
But that’s not what we do here at Hopium. We do more, worry less. We channel our anxiety, our fear into concrete action. We postcard, canvass, call, text, donate and spread the good news about Joe Biden and the Democrats through our networks. We win elections, kick their ass, take things like the six week abortion ban in Ohio, Jacksonville, the Virginia Assembly, A Wisconsin Supreme Court seat and years of rancid gerrymandering away from them. We are proud patriots, who love our country, and are doing everything we can to make sure the remarkable world of “possibilities” that was available to us is there for our kids and grandkids. When they talk down America, we talk it up. We are Democrats. We are part of the most noble and consequential organized political force for good in human history. We’ve been called to defend freedom and democracy before, and answered the call. We are now being called again - and we are answering the call, together, again.
I don’t really know how we got to this point that freedom and democracy is on the line here in America; how the party of Lincoln and Reagan became the party of Trump; how they could have become so unhinged, barbaric, reckless, cowardly, and dangerous; how they could so brazenly act like a Russian fifth column and serially betray their country. But here we are. And we just have to keep our head down, keep doing the work and keep beating them. It’s what we do.
Have a great weekend all, and make sure you do something to honor Martin Luther King on Monday. He made our nation far better, and there will be no better way to endure the Iowa Caucuses on Monday night than by evoking his inspiring life, mission and memory.
Looking forward to winning this election this year with all of you - Simon