NEW YORK, Nov. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Heather McGhee, the President of Demos Action, a progressive advocacy organization, offers the following statement in reaction to the election of Donald Trump.
"While Donald Trump won the White House, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. In fact, neither candidate won 50% of the vote. So, let's be clear, last night was not so much a landslide victory for Trump as it was a historic reckoning for America. The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States forces us to hold up a mirror to our nation and acknowledge the deep racial and economic divides that have created two starkly different Americas. We need to view this moment as the beginning of our most critical work--a reconciling of who we believed ourselves to be and what we can become. Demos Action is taking three lessons from last night's stunning election results, all of which leave us determined to keep fighting for racial, political, and economic equality.
"The first lesson is that race remains the organizing principle of American politics, and racism is alive, well, and in fact, popular. White America elected Donald Trump, just as the majority of white voters have supported every Republican presidential candidate since Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. Voters of color overcame voter suppression tactics instituted by Republican state legislatures and shielded by the Roberts court, but it was not enough to counter the pro-Trump white vote that responded to explicitly racist appeals. This is our country's unfinished business, and we will redouble our efforts to uproot the false belief in racial hierarchy and finally create one nation out of many.
"The second lesson is this is an anti-establishment moment, and populism wins, even if it is phony populism. Demos has chronicled the extent to which the donor class ensures that our officials do not represent the will of working- and middle-class people, and despite offering no actual solutions to reform the system, Trump harnessed this outrage. The country has demanded and now deserves real political reform, and we will hold his Administration accountable for delivering it.
"The third lesson is that economic inequality has electoral consequences. As an organization that actually cares about jobs, wages and economic security, we have yet to see a single policy idea from Trump that would add a dollar to working-class families' pockets. However, millions of voters heard that a billionaire felt their economic pain, and believed in his vague promise of returning jobs and security. Republican and Democratic voters support an agenda of infrastructure investment, workers' rights, debt-free college and work/family policies, and if this Administration truly represents the working class, it will advance this working class agenda and the ideals of mobility and opportunity.
"We take these lessons from the voters, but we are sober about the threat that a Donald Trump presidency and Republican control of all levels of government represents. At Demos, we are determined. We will do whatever it takes to safeguard the future of our imperiled planet. We vow to form a circle of protection around our undocumented and Muslim brothers and sisters whom Trump and his followers have targeted for expulsion and exclusion. We will stand up to rape culture and misogyny, to bullying and to intolerance.
"We at Demos Action are committed, now more than ever, to ensure that all Americans are represented in our democracy. We will work tirelessly over the next four years to hold this administration accountable to address the deep economic challenges this campaign unearthed and make sure that all Americans recognize their power and use it, from the streets to the ballot box."
About Demos Action
Commentary on politics, policy, and how it affects you. Demos Action is a fiscally-sponsored project of The Advocacy Fund, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization. The action arm of Demos, a public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy.
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SOURCE Demos Action