John Lewis, ever marching for good. AP photo
Coinciding with the bold news that New York’s Attorney General Letitia James is suing to dissolve the mass-murdering National Rifle Association and oust its reptilian leader Wayne LaPierre, the young activists of March For Our Lives have launched their first TV ad, on Fox yet. James, who called the NRA a “terrorist organization” in her 2018 campaign, said the move is driven not by her views on gun control, but by a lengthy investigation that uncovered rampant corruption and self-dealing at the NRA, with LaPierre and three minions illegally amassing $64 million into their greasy, blood-soaked hands. During that investigation, March For Our Lives had submitted a prescient letter to James alleging “long-standing pattern of significant governance lapses at the NRA, including a pattern of related-party financial transactions (that) enriched friends and relatives of key personnel in the NRA.” After James’ announcement, the group, formed by survivors of 2018’s Parkland mass shooting, issued a bitterly sardonic “thoughts and prayers” mic drop to the NRA; then they dropped their ad. Titled, “Our Power: Next Time,” it is meant to target new, Generation Z voters in nine key battleground states – North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, Colorado – in an upcoming election experts predict will be“a voter turnout storm of a century.”
That election will be unprecedented in multiple ways. First, because we’re trying to save democracy from incompetence and malfeasance like, to quote its source, people have never seen, a record 156 million people could vote in 2020, a yuge increase from 2016’s 139 million; two-thirds of people may vote, the highest participation since 1908’s 65.7%. Second, demographic changes have created a massive power shift in the electorate, with people of color and young people, two groups that often overlap, making up over a third of all voters for the first time. They include four million kids who turned 18 since The Debacle, millions of Hispanics who for the first time will be the largest non-white group – almost 14% of voters, slightly more than blacks – and both more Asians and more immigrants born outside the U.S., largely black, than ever before. And since the 2018 midterms, turnout among voters 18 to 29 more than doubled from 2014. All of these new voting blocs are multi-ethnic and, of course, largely politically progressive. That’s the good news. The bad news: Bewilderingly, there are still millions of white, rural, we-love-the-poorly-educated people eager to vote for a madman, again, and Dems need to win at least some Rust Belt states to take the ever-skewed electoral college. Hence, the ad, because, “It’s time to put elected officials on notice, from the White House to your local sheriff,” from boardrooms to penthouses, that, “young people will determine the nation’s future.” Their final message: “It’s our power. And we will use it.” Hope against hope.