Young Democrats in red states are 'fighting back' against MAGA 'culture-war atrocities'
Many Never Trump conservatives have been warning that the more MAGA Republicans overreach — whether it's draconian anti-abortion laws or trying to overturn democratic election results — the more ammunition they give Democrats to use against the GOP. MAGA Republicans, in response, will accuse Never Trumpers of being RINOs: Republicans in Name Only, arguing that they are out of touch with today's GOP base.
Meanwhile, Democratic strategists are hoping that MAGA extremes will continue to benefit the Democratic Party the way they did in the 2022 midterms, when Donald Trump-backed candidates lost gubernatorial races in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona and other key swing states.
In a column published by the Washington Post on April 11, liberal opinion writers Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman argue that MAGA overreaching is encouraging young Democrats to run for office in red states.
"The reactionary turn underway in many red states is beginning to shape a new generation of young Democratic officials, many of whom will one day be the party's leaders," Sargent and Waldman explain. "In these red states, young Democrats are entering local politics and developing public presences in response to the far-right culture-warring unleashed by GOP majorities. New restrictions on abortion and the growing right-wing backlash to LGBTQ rights are radicalizing a wave of Democratic public servants who mostly hail from the Gen Z and Millennial generations."
Two events that are firing up young Democrats, according to the Post columnists, are: (1) Republicans voting to expel two Democratic African-American lawmakers, Rep. Justin Jones and Rep. Justin Pearson, from the Tennessee State Legislature for taking part in a gun control protest, and (2) Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk suspending the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of the abortion drug mifepristone.
According to Amanda Litman, co-founder of the progressive group, Run For Something, MAGA extremism is helping fuel an increase in young Democratic candidates who are determined to fight back.
Litman told the Post, "We're seeing this across the country. It's no coincidence that some of the loudest voices pushing back are young leaders in red states, often from urban environments, often people of color, often LGBTQ themselves…. For them, every part of this conversation is personal."
Sargent and Waldman point out that even though young Democratic lawmakers are outnumbered in GOP-controlled state legislatures — State Rep. Zooey Zephyr in Montana, State Rep. Ian Mackey in Missouri, State Sen. Megan Hunt in Nebraska — that isn't stopping them from speaking out.
Author Michael Kazin told the columnists, "Every generation seeks to leave its mark. As before…. (this one is) trying to realize the promise of a multicultural America against a movement or formation that's trying to pull us back to an earlier sense of what America should be."
Tweeting the column on April 11, Sargent observes, "A remarkable trend: As red states sink deeper into reactionary rule, young Dems in these places are finding new ways to fight back, drawing national media attention to ongoing culture-war atrocities. This is becoming a defining moment for a new generation."
Read Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman’s full Washington Post opinion column at this link.
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