On this day two years ago, the United States Capitol was attacked as lawmakers met to affirm the results of the 2020 election. Perpetrators executed their assault on a fundamental element of American democracy: the peaceful transfer of presidential power.
Far-right extremists in state legislatures, in the courts and on Capitol Hill continue to pose a threat to our democratic rights. This in spite of the fact that the results of the midterms only reaffirmed what we know to be true: the majority of the American people believe in the power and promise of our democracy and oppose the anti-democratic, extreme movement seeking to wield power in this country.
Not only do these extremists still pledge loyalty to former President Trump, they also vehemently deny the results of the presidential election. And while many prominent election deniers lost their races, of the 147 Republicans who voted against certifying Joe Biden’s election victory in 2020, nearly all of them are returning to congress — all eight senators and 118 House representatives. Election subversion, gerrymandering and voter suppression remains a real threat for 2024 and beyond – from the potential undermining of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court to the passing of legislation in several states injecting partisan actors into election administration. But the integrity of our elections is just the tip of the iceberg.
Following a decades-long campaign by far-right legal organizations, the U.S. Supreme Court rolled back the rights of millions in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health and there are more critical rights at stake on its docket. In states like Texas and Florida, leaders are banning books, opposing fair wages, restricting health care, weaponizing the power of the state against trans kids and their parents, and prioritizing special interests over the health of people and our planet.
Despite these challenges, we know the American people can and will keep fighting for democracy. This year alone we saw people from all walks of American life reject election denialism, advocate for reproductive justice, and work to create a better future for present and future generations. Democracy depends on a government that works for all people AND is accountable to present and future generations. After last month’s release of the Select Committee’s report on January 6, we also know that accountability for the unlawful actions from the highest levels of government to overthrow our democracy is possible.
At Democracy Forward, we continue to use all available tools within our legal system to secure the promise of democracy for all Americans. We have never strayed in our commitment to combating extremism at every level, and we are more prepared today than ever before to push back on anti-democratic attacks in all forms they take. Together, we can ensure our best days are ahead.