Every Vote Counts! Let Pennsylvania’s Special Election Be An Example for Democrats

Conor Lamb went into the March 13’s special election understanding that every vote counted — and his campaign proved it. Lamb won a district in Pennsylvania that had been gerrymandered to the extreme in an attempt to make it impossible for a Democrat to win. In fact, a Democratic opponent hadn’t even been run in the district during past election cycles. But Lamb’s campaign, a rejection of Trump’s politics and views, went out and showed that when given the opportunity and someone to believe in, voters will turnout even in the most unlikely of places.

Keep in mind the critical role that Pennsylvania played in the 2016 Presidential Election. Hillary Clinton infamously overlooked the three states that lead most directly to her electoral college defeat. Thanks to our winner-takes-all system, despite winning the popular vote Hillary did not win the election. Ultimately — as Conor Lamb has proven — it comes down to turn out. Had Hillary’s campaign been able to convince Progressive leaning citizens in these Conservative parts of the country that their votes counted, she may be our president today.

The lesson? If Democrats want to win, they need to engage Progressive voters in every part of the country. They are out there! But their votes need to be earned by Democratic local candidates who can inspire them to get out and vote by championing liberal causes. The American people are ready to reject Trump and don’t want to send people to Washington that will help him. The Democratic Party has to do their part and

Senator Bernie Sanders makes it clear what every Democratic Party needs to do:

We need a 50-state strategy, so that half the states in this country have a Democratic Party, which today does not exist.

Let it ring from Lamb’s tweet from sea to shining sea — especially this November:

Every vote counts.

Monica Lewinsky on #MeToo & #Timesup — Monica, You Are Not Alone

Monica Lewinsky says that she is asked about the #MeToo movement everywhere she goes. This week, she choose to share her perspective in a very powerful piece for Vanity Fair:

Lewinsky writes about her evolved perspective on the inappropriate relationship between herself and her former boss, President Clinton.  She writes that “my thinking would not necessarily be changing at this time had it not been for the #MeToo movement” and thanks the women in the movement who have come forward. I think that everyone should thank Lewinsky herself for sharing her growth on this matter:

Just four years ago, in an essay for this magazine, I wrote the following: “Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position.” I now see how problematic it was that the two of us even got to a place where there was a question of consent. Instead, the road that led there was littered with inappropriate abuse of authority, station, and privilege. (Full stop.)

Lewinsky mentions how it is retriggering women to speak out during this #MeToo, so we should be thankful to her and all others for activating their trauma for our education and betterment. She shares regret for her actions, as she has in the past. But what stands out here is the acknowledgement of a change in her understanding of the unhealthy power dynamic that was at play between her and her boss.

Now, at 44, I’m beginning (just beginning) to consider the implications of the power differentials that were so vast between a president and a White House intern. I’m beginning to entertain the notion that in such a circumstance the idea of consent might well be rendered moot. (Although power imbalances—and the ability to abuse them—do exist even when the sex has been consensual.)

Lewinsky is clear that while at the time she viewed the dynamic as consensual at the time, with the wisdom of 20 years she has recognized the problematic nature of engaging in sexual activity with someone who holds professional power over you. What she is saying is that this power can be abused without recognition. This is a lesson we can all take to heart and apply to our own lives as we choose to live positively.

And it may prove to be important to consider her perspective in the context of our current administration and the past sex scandals that are coming to light. If we learn of an sexual abuse of power in this current administration, the comparisons between the cheaters-in-chief and their victims will be inevitable. Let’s remember to reflect on the wisdom of this 44 year old woman who endured the spotlight of the nation and came out with the strength to continue sharing her story, if a modern story does come to light.

Monica Lewinsky — You Are Not Alone. Thank you for continuing to share your perspective.