I am sure everyone is spent. This last election cycle in PA01 was exhausting, as was listening to the GOP’s extremism, racism, and conspiracies that essentially successfully framed the political debate from school boards to statewide and national offices. Let’s start with some good news: Democrats swept Pennsbury school board races in lower Bucks County. Mother Jones also published an article detailing Democrats’ successful defense of North Penn’s school board, despite aspiring oligarch Paul Martino’s “Darq” money attempts to flip the board red. (The article also features friend of the newsletter and North Penn school board member Jonathan Kassa!) Furthermore, Dr. Mariam Mahmud and Tabitha Dell'Angelo were elected to the Central Bucks School Board. And there were others as well - just not nearly enough. Yet even in the defeats we suffered, what I walk away from this is that we have some amazing, sharp, passionate members of the community, both candidates and their supporters, who will help us move forward with our short- and long-term organizing and election efforts. No rest for the weary!
Sadly, another take away I have is that the election of the QAnon, bigoted, conspiracy-addled, and militia-endorsed GOP school board candidates (who I have showcased in this newsletter) proves what I have been arguing here and often in my column: the Republican base is extremist and the Bucks County GOP has embraced this. And here is an image of the latest mailer being sent around in Bucks County:
I actually wrote about a New Jersey neo-nazi group recruiting in Bucks County spreading similar messages back in June 2020, before the local newspapers asked me to write a regular column. White supremacy, militias, Christian fundamentalism and other forms of extremism is something we need to confront, as well as rollback, in our organizing and activism because this area is fertile breeding ground for it.
Raging Chicken Media Editor Kevin Mahoney and I talk about my most recent column: "Why is your neighbor flying that all-black American flag?" We also reflect a bit on Election Day and look ahead to the organizing that has already begun for the next fight. Obviously these were first impressions, if not visceral reactions.
Also, please check out this post-election conversation with Doylestown Democrats Chairman Connor OHanlon and Lindsay Troyer. These two discussions are the start of more long-term ones the broader progressive community needs to have.
Here is an interesting article from a publication, The Forge, which I recently discovered:
A short passage:
Finally, this Twitter thread from Jonathan Smucker, co-founder of @PAstandsup, offers us some things to think about as we dust ourselves off and get back to it. You can also look at a shorter version on Thread Reader.
Thanks for reading! I look forward to your feedback and suggestions. And most importantly, keep organizing!