Young Voters Will Save Our Democracy

(Photo by jamelah e./Creative Commons)

By Kristi Johnston

If the nation’s eyes weren’t already on Arizona for the most expensive and consequential U.S. Senate race in our state’s history, the possibility of Mark Kelly being sworn in to replace Sen. McSally in time to vote on a new Supreme Court nominee has now put us under an inescapable microscope. The despicable but not surprising reality is Sen. McSally’s complete inability to even pretend that she’s anything more than Trump’s puppet, as if she could even attempt to muster up whatever dignity she has left to take a stand for our democracy and the people she was appointed to represent.

Instead, typically and in line with her brand, she’s once again left Arizona voters behind, leaving all principle and morality in the trash alongside us. She and the rest of the GOP know that voting for a Supreme Court justice now is a stark contradiction to what they did in 2016 when Mitch McConnell said – nine months out – that an election year was no time to fill a spot on the Supreme Court.

Here we are, six weeks until a presidential election, with some parts of the country already voting, and Republicans are attempting to sell out and undermine the power of our democracy for a greasy, malicious political power grab. There’s no question that Republicans are scared of what this country is starting to look like and consequently the result of a government truly based on the people’s choice isn’t something their party can survive right now.

The simple fact is that the GOP has completely lost their way. They elected a racist reality TV star as their leader, installed a cheap loyalist with no backbone in Arizona, and are now further spiraling down a path that is a far cry from John McCain’s party. They are going back on their word, throwing out decency, and hastily speeding up this process because they know it is one of their last chances to hold our country back from progress.

However, the young people of Arizona have a message for them: if Republicans want to play dirty, then they’ll find the fight they’re looking for here. If they think the largest, most diverse, most educated generation in American history will take this lying down, they have another thing coming. At NextGen Arizona, the largest youth vote organization in the state, we’re prepping for the biggest battle of our lifetimes. We’re suiting up in droves right now to show the GOP where the real power lies. The future of Arizona and this country belongs to young, Black, Brown, LGBTQ, working-class, multiracial Americans and we cannot wait to stand over Sen. McSally and Trump when we prove that in November. Shots fired and it’s on.

Kristi Johnston is the Arizona press secretary for NextGen America, the organization mobilizing the largest youth vote turnout in history. Reach her at kristi.johnston@nextgenamerica.org or on Twitter @KristiLJohnston.