Just as Stacey Abrams’ 2018 Georgia gubernatorial campaign laid the foundation for the transformation of US politics in 2020-2011, Beto O’Rourke’s candidacy for Texas governorate in 2022 has the potential to bring about similar long-term revolutionary changes in American politics and public order priorities in the decades to come.
When I started raising money for Stacey 10 years ago, little we knew her work was going to produce any result Cut US child poverty in half, remove every single dangerous lead pipe that is poisoning our nation’s drinking water and ousting a white nationalist fascist from the White House who has tried to destroy democracy itself. But all of these things happened this year. None of them would have been possible without the creation of a civic engagement and voter mobilization machine in Georgia that could mobilize millions of colored voters and flip the two seats in the US Senate that gave the Democrats control of the Senate eleven months ago. The Georgia fight isn’t over yet, and Stacey’s announcement last week that it did she is running again for governor is one of the most hopeful developments in US politics through 2022.
With Beto running for governor next year, the potential for permanent reshaping of the national political landscape is enormous. By mimicking the Georgia model of getting organized everywhere and making massive investments in increasing the Democratic turnout, Beto can not only win the office in 2022 – he can transform Texas and, by extension, American politics for the accelerate the coming decades.
The strategic importance of the south and southwest
The states of the South and Southwest are the linchpins of America’s progressive political revolution. This is the land of enslaved black people picked the white cotton that made white people rich. It is the area that once belonged to Mexico until it was captured in a violent and bloody war. And it’s true: both have some of the most conservative politicians and politicians in the country. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Texas Governor Greg Abbot are ideological descendants of those who defended slavery and racial segregation. The ugly truth is that millions of people enthusiastically embrace this policy of white nationalist fear and resentment.
Much less appreciated is the fact that these states are also full of colored people (as well as a significant minority of progressive whites). Georgia is on the verge of becoming a “majority minority state” as the proportion of whites has only shrunk to 50.06 percent of the population. In Texas, 61 percent of the population are colored; there are as many Latinos, 39 percent, as whites in the state.