Donald Trump’s election to the presidency is nothing short of a disaster for America. He is a racist, misogynist and xenophobe. And we, like many of you, fear for our families, our neighbors, our country and the planet. But now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand. There is no time to mourn; we must prepare for what may well be the fight of our lives.
Trump’s path to victory was set by decades of Republican fearmongering and a centuries-long effort by the ruling class to exploit race to divide working Americans from one another. Rampant inequality has fueled resurgent racism and xenophobia.
The economic and human crisis of what is happening across America is real. It makes sense that people are scared, angry and desperate for change.
The work in front of us is mammoth – and we are committed.
First and foremost, we will stand with the communities of color, immigrants, Muslims and women who Trump has spent his campaign attacking so harshly.
Second, we commit ourselves to unwavering resistance to Trump and his agenda. We must hold fiercely to our belief that we can live up to this country’s yet unrealized promise of life, liberty and justice for all. We will join forces with those who share our belief across the country, and from the streets to the halls of Congress to the steps of the White House we will make sure that Trump cannot achieve the draconian ends that he has proposed.
Third, we commit ourselves to win back the hearts and minds of our brothers and sisters who have been distracted by a campaign of fear and hate. We need to listen to our brothers and sisters in communities across the country who feel left out and forgotten, and come together around our shared interests: building strong local economies where families flourish, protecting the land and water that nourishes us, and ensuring that the nation respects the equality and dignity of every human being.
Even in this moment of darkness, there are victories that give us hope. In Nevada, we elected the first Latina U.S. senator, Catherine Cortez Masto. In Washington, we elected a longtime community champion to the House, Pramila Jayapal. In Minnesota, we elected Ilhan Omar, our first Somali-American immigrant to the state assembly. In Arizona, we removed one of the most vicious anti-immigrant sheriffs in the history of our country, Joe Arpaio. In Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington significant majorities of voters favored ballot measures to increase the minimum wage to bring it closer to a living wage.
The values that all of these candidates and ballot initiatives spoke to – of shared prosperity and inclusive democracy – are alive and well in the hearts of diverse communities across the country. These victories are a rejection of Trump’s strategy of divide and conquer, of pitting working people against each other across lines of race, class and gender.
American history is filled with dark periods like this one. But out of those periods have come some of the greatest struggles for justice and equality, where everyday people have banded together in pockets of resistance to overcome injustices and move America forward. This is such a moment. We shall overcome.