Our name, Demos, means “the people,” and we are committed to creating a democracy in which all of the people can be heard. This election has shaken the basis of democracy—the idea of “we the people”—to its core. The shared leadership of this country is what’s contested right now.
Our country is boiling over with anger, frustration and fear. Yet we at Demos stand here today, determined. We intend to serve as a galvanizing force to fulfill the democratic promise of an inclusive America, the promise our country has never fully reached and that today, as we see the dark forces of racism, misogyny and prejudice taking hold, feels even farther away.
The hard pull by conservatives to the right is challenging the very foundation of who we aspire to be as a country. Race remains the organizing principle of American politics, and racism is alive, well, and in fact, popular. As this election spurned the concerns of the working class, it also repudiated the very diversity that makes our country the envy of the world.
Yet we cannot allow despair to render us paralyzed, unable to fight for what we know is right. As a progressive force, we at Demos stand united in our pledge to forge solutions that reflect the great diversity of America. As leaders, activists and advocates, we must work together to demand accountability from decision makers at every level of our government and in the private sector. We reject utterly the appointment of Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama—a man so racist Republican senators denied him a federal judgeship—as Attorney General of the United States. We cannot allow a hostile administration to devastate our democratic institutions and destroy the principles of equality.
The breakdown of one system allows for the rebuilding of a new. This is the time to ask ourselves, as an organization and as a people, how we want to rebuild. For Demos and our progressive allies, our task is to decide how we meet the challenge and lead a movement toward justice.
It will take time. It will take vision and courage from each of us, and the collective strength of all of us. But united in our resolve and our glorious diversity, we can find a way into the light. Join us.