2024: What kind of year will we make it?

By Laura Haight
President, DWGC

So here we are in 2024 … I hope you all had a great Holiday season and rang in the new year with friends, family, and a sense of hopefulness. OK, two out of three’s not bad. Of course, we should be hopeful. We have a big year in front of us and a lot of opportunities. 

The question is: Will we take advantage of them or will we squander them on pockets full of frustration, perceived deficiencies, negativity and false narratives?

Let’s keep in mind: Our opposition is weakened:

– by overexuberance of their success at taking away women’s right to make their own healthcare decisions.

– by gross overreach in the aftermath of that success, reducing women to little more than chattel and arguing that states have the legal right to track a woman’s period or access her medical records if she travels to another state for a medical procedure. My husband can’t even see my medical records….

– by punishing women and medical professionals, even proposing the most extreme idea that women who get abortions should face the death penalty. It doesn’t matter that such a crazy bill has no chance of becoming law, what matters is that 24 state reps who sponsored it thought it was a good idea. Including Upstate Rep. David Vaughn, who represents Dist. 27.

– by doing absolutely nothing to better conditions in this state or the country, unless you count the nonsensical culture wars as “doing something”. 

– by inexplicably taking credit for Democratic successes that they have consistently all voted against.

My favorite recent example is Gov. McMaster earlier in January announcing a $500 million investment in repairing the worst of the state’s bridges. Of course, there was no mention that the money was part of $4.9 billion in federal infrastructure funding, $1.9 billion of which was explicitly for the state’s neglected bridges. Thank you, President Biden. (In fact, I think there’s an open question of why he’s only allocating $500 million, when a full $1.9 billion was given the state specifically for that purpose.)

But for many of us, hopefulness remains elusive. A recent article in the New Yorker addressed the complex question of what to call the era we are living in. The Terrible Twenties? The New Dark Ages? Or my favorite: The Age of Disgruntlement.

And yet, as women we are often called upon to suck it up, put personal issues on the back burner, and carry a burden, work the problem, make it all better.

Here in South Carolina we will lead the nation in kicking off this crucial election season. And not just as a calendar item. As the First in the Nation Democratic primary we will again – as we did in 2020 – be the state that sets the tone, establishes the momentum, for the rest of the country’s Democrats.

We must – and I can’t stress this enough – MUST show that Democrats are strongly behind President Biden. That we are excited about his candidacy and that we understand the importance of this election goes far beyond any policy disagreement. The president’s outstanding address on Friday made clear the stakes for this election. 

We cannot wait for the states, or the courts, to take care of this existential crisis for us. We must do it. And we do it by voting like democracy depended on what happens Feb 3 and thereafter and spreading that word.

Everyone of us can, and must, play a part in this. First by personally committing to vote in the Democratic Primary. It is important that the state turnout at least 450,000 Democratic voters to maintain our place as the First in the Nation primary.

Just voting ourselves won’t be enough, so the GCDP has organizing virtual phone banking (i.e. you can do it at home) that can be done any day. We’ll be calling Democratic primary voters to express the importance of primary voting and given them voting access information.

Sign up for a phone banking session

Need some extra incentive? From now through Jan 22, the person who makes the most calls will win a free ticket to have dinner with President Joe Biden. Well, to attend the First in the Nation kickoff dinner on Jan. 27th that the president will also be attending.

This can be an exciting year and we can be successful. But only if we put aside petty policy disagreements, look at the bigger picture, and work together toward our common goal.

At our January meeting, former president Linda Hardman said Donald Trump and others in his anti-democratic ilk “will not win. Because we won’t allow it!”

She concluded: “Independently, we make ripples, but together, we are a tidal wave.”

Be the change you want to see: Help the party with a much-needed donation or volunteer to help!