Party over country | Three Things Thursday
I feel upset writing today’s newsletter. Last week, I wrote to you all about violence against the Asian American community after six individuals were killed in a violent attack. This week, 10 more people have died in another mass shooting—in Unite America’s backyard in the state of Colorado.
These are people with lives: they had families, and friends, and jobs, and plans for the future. I’d like to invite you to hold space for the families and friends of the victims of this week’s tragedy, and last week’s. Read about their lives. Our ability to have meaningful political discourse about real solutions and pass policies to make our country safer — like so many other issues — is prevented by our broken and toxic politics.
Here are three things to think about this week:
Ahead of the election in November, President Trump was active in sowing doubt about the validity and integrity of the outcome of the election. And while his lawyers have since argued that no “reasonable person” would believe their claims, millions of Americans did. His continued lies undoubtedly damaged Americans’ faith in our democratic systems, but he’s not alone. Over the last few years, we’ve seen different efforts by our leaders to undermine our elections.
This week, Ben Raffensberger, Georgia Secretary of State, and the man in the crosshairs of President Trump’s ire, reflects on the prognosis for a democracy in which candidates refuse to accept the outcomes of their races. “Republicans and Democrats both need to see the resulting crisis of confidence as a reason to recommit to our democracy and its institutions,” he argues, “ to work together to restore public trust, to reform our election systems where that's required, and to abide by the outcomes that our elections produce.”
Whether you agree with Raffensberger’s politics or not, his essential point rings true: both parties have decided that winning is more important than our democracy, that party is more important than country. The doom loop cycles on.
Election administrators are the experts on the nuts and bolts of what’s needed to run the most important lever of our democracy, and here’s another; this one comes from Amelia Powers Gardner, the Utah County, Utah Clerk and Auditor who says that adopting ranked choice voting has made her county’s elections cheaper and quicker.
I could tell you the big picture benefits of adopting ranked choice voting — it ensures officials have majority support and allows voters to express their full opinion — but just as important and very simply: ranked choice voting also just saves money. It saves man hours. It brings our elections to the 21st century and makes people’s jobs easier. It puts voters first.
- Stay up to date with Arizona, Colorado, and Virginia
You may already follow Unite America on Twitter (and if you don’t, you should!) But if you’re looking for a more local take on news in the reform movement, check out Unite Virginia, Unite Arizona, and Unite Colorado.
Our state programs are working day in and day out to put voters first, and have the latest information on bills, ideas, and opinions you should know about. Stay up to date and support the movement building across the country.