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Will the New Progressives Get Their Mojo Back by November 6?

No time for self-care.
Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Diagnosing the mood of the citizenry is a notoriously dicey proposition, as is making electoral predictions based on it. Even trusting empirical research, the polls, has been shown to be a fool’s errand. I’ve now been on the road for close to a month promoting my book, traveling from D.C. to Minneapolis to Portland, Oregon. I’ve talked to self-selected crowds of hundreds of mostly (but not all) progressive women, many (but not all) white. And for every person who tells me that my book — about the transformational power of American women’s political anger — has come out at the “perfect” (i.e., the absolute fucking worst) time, when fury over Brett Kavanaugh has gripped the nation, I’ve encountered another who’s made me doubt its very premise. “How can I feel driven again?” I’m asked. “How can I get my friends back out on the sidewalks when they feel like winning isn’t possible, when they’ve decided they might as well pack it in?”

Women, as well as men, tell me they’ve turned off the news, taken a break from protest or campaigning to refocus on their families or themselves; they feel anxious, suddenly aware of the possibility that the blue wave of Democrats may not materialize, that the efforts to stave it off via gerrymandering and voter suppression and the gush of Koch money into tough races may win out. In other words, Kavanaugh’s ascendance hasn’t jolted these people to redouble their efforts to topple Republicans at the polls in November. Rather, it’s left them deeply demoralized, drained of hope and energy at perhaps the most crucial moment of all.

ViaTheCutt

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