If you don’t know me, hello, I’m Evan. I’m a smalltime freelance journalist, and until today I’ve written primarily about LGBTQ issues for Slate. At one time this space was a comic, which I’ve left up on the site for those who followed it. I started a politics blog because recently I’ve observed that my own personal thoughts, opinions, hunches, and biases have suddenly become as relevant and reliable a source as any mainstream political writer. (You can take that as a boast, but really it’s intended more as a terrifying commentary on the state of our mainstream political opinion writers.)
Before the election, even before the primaries, way back in the halcyon days of the Obama presidency, I was the guy who worried all the time about the state of our democracy. When I looked at the political situation in our country I saw few contested races at all levels except for the presidency, and a presidency that was growing in power. Most states and districts were solidly red or blue, and most voters didn’t participate in primaries or local elections. At the same time, economic trends seemed to be acting to the disadvantage of more and more Americans. Students were graduating with a ton of debt and unsatisfying employment options while hard working high school grads’ path to the middle classes was narrowing almost to the point of nonexistence. My thought—my hunch—was that the erosion of the people’s political power and economic stability at the same time was a toxic combination that threatened the survival of America’s constitutional democracy.
I thought American democracy was threatened regardless of who won the 2016 election, but that if Hillary Clinton were elected there would be a little more time before things really got bad. (I didn’t have much hope that HRC would be a transformational leader who would turn these trends around. I’m sorry, Clinton supporters, if that seems harsh to you.) But, as we all know, Clinton was not elected. Which means that the rubber is hitting the road now.
I’m not sure what can be done to ensure that the American experiment doesn’t perish with Trump’s election. I do think that it’s the duty of every American to preserve our system of government. One of the ways I aim to try is by writing here, covering three main areas:
- What do we think we know about the political situation in this country, and how sure can we be that we know it?
- What are truly threats to the constitution and the rule of law vs policies of disputed value?
- How can those of us on the far left support a strengthened and invigorated democracy, keeping in mind that supporting mainstream Democrats in the house and senate may be a temporary necessity?