American worried about the battered state of the democracy experiment in this country. You know how President Biden is in. suggested his address Thursday, a year after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol: “We are in a battle for the soul of America, a battle that we will win by the grace of God and the goodness of this nation.”
What they are not sure about is how the defenders of democracy will win this victory.
“This is a hot topic,” said Summer Lee, a Pennsylvania MP who speaks a lot to voters these days as she campaigns for an open seat in the US House of Representatives for the Pittsburgh area. “You can hear it on the ground. People are concerned that democracy is under attack and that Congress is not responding on these issues. People wonder what we’re going to do to make sure things don’t erode. “
As the country paid proper attention to the first anniversary of the Washington insurrection, I turned my attention from the nation’s Capitol and turned to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, where Lee was making a progressive bid for the seat of retired US MP Mike Doyle, a veteran democrat. I had seen the CBS News / YouGov poll which found that 66 percent of those polled believe American democracy is under threat. But I was interested in how democracy issues played out in a competitive congressional race in a battlefield state.
There are many in Washington speculation on how democracy debates will affect the 2022 midterm elections. But Lee is at the forefront of the fight to defend the right to vote – and to give people something to vote for. The Pennsylvania activist and lawmaker is an outspoken advocate of economic, social, and racial justice who works for Congress with the support of the Justice Democrats and the Working Families Party for potential voters.
“We can’t un-know or un-see January 6th,” Lee said to me. “What we are seeing is a strange assumption that our country could descend to that point.”
Lee is a Democrat and has seen the struggles for democracy up close in a state where Trump and his lawyers unsuccessfully challenged post-2020 presidential election results – and where the former president and his allies continue to make unproven claims of “election fraud” in Philadelphia and Philadelphia other urban areas. Not long after last year’s uprising, she was fighting in a Republican-controlled legislature against the GOP’s efforts to enact what she cursed as “Catastrophic constitutional amendment by Gerrymander and functional impeachment of elected judges, disenfranchisement of voters and erosion of controls and contradictions in their favor.”