House and Senate Democrats — we need you right now. For a lot of reasons. The reason I’m going to talk about is something that nobody else seems to be talking about, and that is the uncertainty of the 2020 election amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let me say something right off the bat: democracy does not stop for a pandemic, nor should it stop for any other crisis. Americans have fought some incredibly daunting battles in the past, and the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly shaping into another one. Many people will get sick, and tragically, many people will die. But we cannot let this crisis chip away at the polity.
Before this crisis, the 2020 election was easily the most important in our nation’s history. It has the potential for being a massive turning point for America, one which could see the worst president booted out of office in favor of one who will get us on the right track to rebuilding confidence and rebuilding trust. In the midst of this crisis, the 2020 election is even more crucial. Donald Trump’s response to the virus has been shambolic and pathetic, even for him, and his failed response will mean that the virus will spread for some time.
We cannot know for sure that the crisis will reach to November, but we must prepare for it, and that onus is on House and Senate Democrats. This is their time to shine. How many times have Democrats tried to make voting registration automatic at age 18? How many times have Democrats insisted on mail-in ballots for every registered American? We know that when more people vote, Democrats win, so now Democrats need to take this crisis by the horns and introduce state and federal programs and/or legislation to make these voting initiatives happen.
Now is a better time than ever. One in five Americans is living under some kind of stay-home order. Seven states have delayed primaries. We cannot let the pandemic halt democracy — everybody must be able to vote from home. It would be an important component in fighting the spread of the pandemic, or “flattening the curve,” as it’s sometimes put. What’s more, this should absolutely not be a temporary measure. Democrats must fight to ensure that such a mail-in ballot initiative would be permanent. I also believe that once people vote by mail once, they’ll find it preferable to going to the ballot box. It’s easy.
This is your chance, Democrats. We need you to protect democracy and we need you to show the nation that we don’t let anything stand in the way of the American system. Getting mail-in ballots to everybody would be a boon for democracy, and it might be the thing that sways not just this election, but also many future elections.