Why I’m all in for Maine
By Rebecca Riccio
Mom, Social Change Educator, Activist
Among the many emotions I’ve experienced as a direct result of Donald Trump’s election, there are several I never would have predicted. Happiness. Gratitude. Optimism. Who’d have thought that living in a time of such extraordinary peril for our democracy and planet could increase my experience of these positive feelings? Now, don’t get me wrong. Anger, fear, and disgust factor more heavily into my life than before his election, too. But there’s been an enormous silver lining: I love the people I’ve met through political activism. They humble me. They affirm my belief in humanity. They inspire me to keep fighting. In October, 2016, we were strangers. Now, as we head into the fight for 2020, my fellow activists, young and old alike, are friends and so much more. They fuel my hope and keep me sane.
I believe that we can never go back to the way things were before Trump. And honestly, we shouldn’t aspire to that, because too many people were hurting, too many things were broken, too many pieces were in place to make Trump’s rise possible. We must defeat him AND start a new chapter in our American experiment. To do that, though, we need to win all the houses in 2020. The White House. The House of Representatives. The Senate. The state legislatures. Even under the best of circumstances, that would be tough. But the GOP has already shown that they will do anything to win, even if that means turning a blind eye – or even helping – when foreign governments and domestic actors try to subvert our elections. So we have to fight even harder than we did in 2016 in 2018. In 2020, each of us has to bring everything we’ve got and more. Knowing that I’ll have others alongside me in the fight gives me hope.
Maine Matters/Mass Mobilizes is a manifestation of that hope. I can’t fight every battle that must be fought between now and November 2020, so I’m choosing a few things to focus on, including mobilizing folks from all over the Northeast to support our Maine Dem friends. Canvassing for the Jared Golden campaign in 2018 taught me that our support is needed and welcome. We’ve begun by concentrating our efforts on issue canvassing in southern Maine to make it accessible and fun. Issue canvassing is an especially good way to get first timers into the swing of canvassing, since we’re just gauging people’s inclination to vote for or again Susan Collins and identifying the issues that will influence their decision. We have one more big Fall 2019 push on November 9 in Biddeford before we hunker down for winter phone banking and texting. I hope you’ll join us. You can learn more and register here: https://swingleftboston.org/maine-matters-mass-mobilizes/
Photo: Rebecca and Tim Grose, Regional Field Director, Maine Democratic Party