Democracy Diary: What should we DO?

Jonna Higgins-Freese is the author of Democracy Diary on Substack.

For almost a year, I’ve been deeply concerned about voting rights, and waiting for Democrats (and Republicans devoted to democracy, although there are so few of those left) to move swiftly to protect democracy — and speak more publicly and forcefully about the danger of authoritarianism.

States have proposed and passed hundreds of laws to suppress the vote and gerrymander districts. But, in my view, no one is sounding the alarm loudly enough.

I kept thinking that maybe I was missing something. Maybe I didn’t understand the strategy. Maybe people smarter and more politically knowledgeable than me had a plan, and reasons for that plan.

I’m no one special: a middle aged, middle class, Midwestern mom with a full time job as well as other work I’m already doing to support democracy in my own way. I’ve done political work before, and I was never very good at it.

But I couldn’t keep waiting for those in the media, or with more political savvy, to speak up. Because democracy in the U.S. is about to die. We may just be waiting for whoever is running this code to call the time of death.

So I launched Democracy Diary, a daily-ish newsletter about what to do. I don’t have time to write a newsletter. I don’t know enough to do it. I don’t have any answers. But I couldn’t not speak as publicly as I’m able about the threat to our democracy — even if that’s just to say, as I often do — We need to do something, but I don’t know what it is.

Democracy Diary is not one more forum for political hobbyism. It’s a place to think together about what politics we should do. None of us should spend much time there.

Today, my best proposal is sit-ins and hunger strikes. If you’re interested, please subscribe — and provide your best suggestions for how to build power together for democracy.

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