Sunday 8 November 2020

US election - just the beginning




Every single House Democrat who endorsed Medicare for all won reelection. They included “The Squad”, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib. As women of colour they championed climate action, healthcare for all Americans, the creation of well paid jobs and support for unions.

Other progressives who won re-election include Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Mark Pocan of Wisconsin. And they are joined by new winners, Jamaal Bowman of New York, Cori Bush of Missouri, Marie Newman of Illinois and Iman Jodeh of Colorado.

Ilhan Omar tweeted: “We are building a movement that sees my struggle as inherently tied to your struggle, and sees a world where all workers can be uplifted. Together. The results of this election are not the end. This is just the beginning.”

Marie Newman tweeted, "As we begin to rebuild we're going to work together to lower health care costs, fight climate change, create new good-paying jobs, revitalize our transportation infrastructure system and continue to make a strong economy no matter who you are or where you are."

Ayanna Pressley added: “Together, we have fought for our shared humanity. We have organized. We have mobilized. I believe in the power of us. And we’re just getting started.”

They will be continuing the fight to pull the Democrat Party to the left, a fight which started with their victories over right-wing incumbents. Bowman did this in New York by knocking off 16-term Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel, while Newman ousted Illinois Democratic Congressman Dan Lipinski, one of the last remaining pro-life Democrats in the chamber.

Perhaps Bernie Sanders didn’t lose the Democrat Party leadership after all. His place has been taken by a new younger leadership and led by women.

In his congratulatory message to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris he said this:

"This election result was brought about by millions of grassroots activists, black and white, Latino, Asian American, and Native American … But our work is not done … Now a whole new chapter of hard work begins. We cannot go back to business as usual. We cannot go back to a situation in which the corporate elite and their lobbyists dominate the economic and political life of this country. We need to create a People’s Agenda, of, by and for working families, a powerful movement that demands that agenda be implemented.”

I am writing this from the UK. The US election result has lessons for us here.