Lessons from Georgia Six

Like many of you, I was furiously refreshing my feed all night to find out whether Jon Ossoff would win or lose, and unfortunately, the news was not good. But let me put this in perspective.  

If all our hopes for this election came to fruition and Jon Ossoff had won, it would have been a pyrrhic victory. If he won, would the Democrats have taken control of Congress? If he won, would he have been able to stop the repeal of the ACA? If he won, would that lone Congressional seat, 1/435th of the power in the House, really have made a difference for us?

The answer to all of those questions, as you know, is no. 

So why did we care so much? We cared because we are desperate to believe that Trump's election was a fluke. We are trying to convince ourselves that if we can win an election in a conservative district in Georgia, that it is a signal that the tide is turning. But it's just not that easy. We can turn the tide, but we have to be strategic, and we have to think long-term. 

Consider this: $23 million was spent on Jon Ossoff in this election. It was the most expensive House race in history. And yet, it had almost no electoral significance. To an outsider, this would seem an absurd waste of resources.

What if, rather than pouring money and effort into a race that would not change the game for us, we poured money and effort into races that will change the game for us?

If Democrats spent $23 million in Virginia for the 2017 House of Delegates elections, we would win handily. This would allow us to take control of a chamber, reverse Republican gerrymandering, create a safeguard against the Koch Brothers' efforts to get control of enough states to call for a constitutional convention, AND we would be able to win additional seats in Congress simply by instituting fairer redistricting--no $23 million per race required!

Our strategy at Sister District is simple. Find and support state legislative races that are strategic and winnable for Democrats and that will make a difference for us electorally. Because winning back seats in government is the only way to stop the Trump train. 

Oh, and as for the ridiculous claim that Ossoff lost because Republicans "successfully tied him" to liberals from outside the area? I don't buy it. Ossoff lost by five points in a special election in a district where the Democrat normally loses by 20+ points. Ultra-rich donors like the Koch brothers, groups affiliated with the Tea Party, and the NRA pour millions of outside dollars into lots of Republican races. Sister District is extremely proud to be supporting our fellow Americans across the country in communities that share our values, and we do so openly with our light money donations. We do not conceal ourselves in the shadows like dark money Republicans.

It took the Republicans eight years to amass the power they have today. It is not going to change overnight, and it will require a lot of hard work. But there is a clear path forward, and I am glad you are walking with me. Keep supporting your Sister Races, and keep your eyes open for our second slate of candidates in Virginia, which we will announce next week. 

Never give up.