Commentary: Marginalized people are not going away

Vice President Mike Pence administers a ceremonial Senate oath during a mock swearing-in ceremony to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Dear GOP,

Your continued defense of the indefensible — a racist, sexist, bigoted, incompetent, traitorous moron in the White House — will lead to the downfall of the Republican Party. The past two years have seen an amazing upsurge of women, immigrants, people of color, millennials and LGBTQ folks in Democratic politics. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Just a few examples:

• Danica Roem, openly transgender, Virginia House.

• Nevada, the first female-majority House in the nation.

• Kansas House and Senate, where female Republican legislators are leaving in droves, changing their party affiliation to Democratic.

• Jared Polis, the first openly gay governor (Colorado).

• Kyrsten Sinema, the first openly bisexual senator (Arizona).

• Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress (New York).

• Lauren Underwood, the youngest black woman to serve in Congress (Illinois).

• Texas, where 17 new black female judges were elected in Harris County.

• And the 116th Congress, which has more than 100 women, including the first Muslim women, the first American Indian women and numerous people of color.

Record numbers of women, LGBTQ and people of color ran for public office in the 2018 election. Even where they didn’t win, they made an impact. For example, although Navajo sociology professor James Courage Singer didn’t win his congressional bid, he mobilized disenfranchised Navajo voters in Utah, who voted in record numbers. My friend Maren Bell Jones ran for the Missouri House and, although she didn’t win, she forced the GOP to spend over a quarter-million dollars to defeat her.

And in localities across the country, women and people of color are fighting, getting out the vote and joining politics. Your defense of the indefensible turned my sister and me — average suburban working moms who were never involved in politics before 2017 — into a precinct chair of the Harris County (Texas) Democratic Party and a precinct vice chair of the Salt Lake County Democratic Party.

We’re here, we’re going to stay and we’re going to keep bringing our marginalized friends into the spotlight.

Laura McLain

Laura McLain, Cottonwood Heights, is a veterinarian and mom of two teenage daughters.