The Democracy Defense Fund

Yesterday I announced the launch of a political action committee whose mission is three-fold:

First, by focusing on key House and Senate races we plan to help increase our majorities in both Houses of Congress by funding both at-risk incumbents and Democratic challengers with the best chance of flipping a red seat. We will also identify and invest in local and state races that have the potential of shifting the balance of power away from Republican legislatures that are open to seizing power from non-partisan election officials. There are also several attorneys general and secretaries of state races in states like Georgia and Colorado we’re keeping our eye on.

Second, there are excellent, efficiently run organizations out there like that are already doing incredible work in protecting voting rights and combatting voter suppression. Our goal here is not to reinvent the wheel but rather to support these organizations in their efforts.

Third, we plan to educate voters about voter suppression and voter subversion. Republicans have been engaging in voter suppression for a long time. Yet, since 2010, John Robert and his Supreme Court have been weakening the Voting Rights Act--brazenly and blatantly. Voter suppression tactics include removing drop boxes, restricting mail-in voting, and closing polling places in minority precincts. It’s anti-small “d” democratic and it must be stopped.

Voter subversion, on the other hand, is even more dangerous because it is the direct attempt by Republicans to reverse the will of the voters if they don’t approve of an election’s results—in other words, if a Democrat wins. This is a multi-pronged approach. We’ve learned from the January 6th Committee and investigative journalists that Donald, with the aid of people like Rudy Giuliani, has attempted to overturn the results of the election in several ways—from submitting fake electors from seven swing states to inciting a violent coup.

Increasingly, states with Republican-led legislatures are grabbing power from local election officials and granting it instead to rightwing partisans. In addition, there is a push on the Right to elect state attorneys general and secretaries of state—those who oversee a state’s elections—who believe in the big lie (or at least claim to).  The Right have declared their intentions loud and clear ahead of the 2022 mid-terms to make sure a Republican “wins” regardless of voters’ intentions. Currently there are thirty-five bills in 14 states that are essentially legislative power grabs.

As we know, this almost happened in Georgia in 2020. Donald demanded that Brad Raffensperger “find” 11,780 votes and change the results of the election in his favor.  Raffensperger refused and, simply because he did his job, he is being challenged in the 2022 primary by Congressman Jody Hice, who has been endorsed by Donald. Raffensperger will almost certainly lose.

If Republicans are successful in their voter subversion efforts, a coup won’t be necessary--the rules will have been changed enough to make overturning the will of voters “legal.”

The rationale for all of this is the myth of voter fraud which the right has been pushing relentlessly for decades. Voter fraud is the basis for the big lie. The Brennan Center found that the incident rates of voter fraud are between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent—a number so vanishingly small that significantly more Americans are struck by lightning than commit voter fraud. A fraudulently cast vote has never influenced the result of an election.

This country has so many issues plaguing it right now, from a pandemic that’s still raging to catastrophic climate change to institutional racism to income inequality and a healthcare system that leaves too many people behind. The solution to all or most of these problems is a stronger democracy. But democracy has been under relentless attack most directly since the 2020 election when Donald started spreading his big lie and his party decided to help him perpetuate it.

This is personal for me both as the niece of a man who has been at the leading edge of the most aggressive assaults against our country in modern history and as an American. Donald and his party are a menace to our country and the world

The goal of the Democracy Defense Fund is to build a grassroots movement that includes anyone dedicated to fighting for American democracy. This project is open to Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and anyone else who wants to join a pro-democracy movement.

There is only one pro-democracy party, however, and that is the Democratic party. Anybody who claims otherwise is either lying or not paying attention. The Republican Party needs to repudiate entirely its embrace of fascism, turn its back on Donald, and get rid of anti-democratic, counter-majoritarian leaders like Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell. We will challenge anybody who remains beholden to the Republican party as it is currently constituted.

What happens this November will directly affect what happens in 2024 so much we are laser-focused on the 2022 mid-terms. If the Democrats lose the House, for example, all investigation into the January 6th insurrection and the criminal mishandling of the COVID crisis will stop. If they take back the Senate, the future of the judiciary and the rule of law are in even more peril.

If you’d like to learn more, please visit democracydefensefund.com. Everything is at stake and I would be so grateful if you join us.

I’d love to know what you think about the Democracy Defense Fund and if you have any ideas about how to make it as effective an organization as possible.

P.S. Good Human of the Week returns tomorrow!