2019 has been a year of great accomplishments and promising change for the Democratic party. With a majority in Congress and the most diverse freshman class in our nation’s history, Democrats hit the ground running, spending the first 100 days passing laws on the issues that matter.
The For the People Act, the Equality Act, and laws to combat both America’s gun violence epidemic and the growing challenge of climate change are all signs of the party’s commitment to giving solutions to the problems our country cares about, and a preview of what we could accomplish with a Senate majority.
As the 2020 general election grows closer and closer, the Democratic party’s position is growing stronger and stronger. A recent ABC News/Washington Post survey showed the top five candidates in the Democratic presidential primary all beating Trump by at least 9 and as many as 17 percentage points.
Down the ballot, prospects are just as promising — in Louisiana, the Democratic governor won re-election, and in Kentucky a Democratic challenger ousted the incumbent Republican. Nationally and locally, we’re fighting for progressive values at every level of government.
To understand this growing strength, though, you need to look at more than just the polls. You can see it in a room full of Democrats, new and old, painting pumpkins to celebrate Halloween, or getting up early on a windy November Sunday to knock on doors and talk with voters about the change they want to see. It’s not just about the Mueller Report, it’s that students right here at the University of Wisconsin had their research cited in it. It’s every fresh face showing up for pizzas, speakers, and camaraderie at College Democrats meetings, and every student who does their non-partisan civic duty working at polls, registering voters and exposing the truth.
With this grassroots power behind them and a majority of poll respondents supporting beginning the impeachment process, Democrats in Congress have been fearlessly committed to holding President Donald Trump accountable. In May, Democrats gained access to the full copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, vindicating those who called out a persistent assault on our electoral process.
In September, a whistleblower revealed a brazen and cynical attempt by the President to extort U.S. ally Ukraine for personal political gain. When Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Maryland started the impeachment inquiry, the Democratic party showed it wouldn’t betray the trust of the allies who put their faith in America or the Americans who want a government free of corruption.
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With a federal judge ordering former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify before the House of Representatives, we see an administration failing to hide behind paper-thin claims of broad immunity to Congressional oversight. While an astonishing amount of corruption is being laid out by the President himself for the nation to see, voters can trust that the Democratic party will make sure the President won’t be able to hide the truth from them going into the 2020 election.
Yes, we have plenty of work to do — the impeachment investigation is reaching full tilt. From the halls of Congress and the courthouses to the streets and the dorm hallways, we need people standing up for fair government and equal opportunity. But while politics can be a high calling, it also can be a lot of fun.
College Democrats of UW-Madison isn’t just looking back on a year of making a difference, but a year of making memories and making friends. Whether it’s the start of the year or midway through, fall or spring semester, it’s never too late to join. A year from now, when we’re reminiscing about how we threw out Trump, we don’t just want you to say you did something, but that you had fun doing it.
Ethan Carpenter ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in political science. He is the press secretary for the College Democrats of UW-Madison.
Read about the College Republicans’ year in review here.