Organizers across the country have spent the last weeks and months getting out the vote, canvassing for candidates across the political spectrum, and protesting in the streets to send a message that Americans are sick of the current Administration’s agenda. The 2018 midterm elections brought much-needed energy to the movement against Trump, and Beyond the Bomb is excited to ride this wave of momentum into the 116th Congress to demand legislators commit to supporting a No First Use policy. Here are a few of our takeaways:
1. This was an election with many historic firsts
A record number of women across the political spectrum have won seats in the House. Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland became the first Native American women elected to Congress. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar became the first Muslim-American women in Congress. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman to be elected to Congress. Jared Polis became the first openly gay governor.
These are all amazing firsts. Which reminds us of a terrible first… A nuclear first strike.
2. Americans are energized and ready to fight back
Speaking of voting for a change, these midterm elections proved that Americans are energized to fight back against the Administration’s policies that have targeted the most marginalized communities in our country. There were so many close races that galvanized the country; Republican Ted Cruz only edged out Democrat Beto O’Rourke by only 2.6% in what many were saying was a shoo-in for Cruz, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema narrowly defeated Republican Martha McSally in the Arizona Senate race, and there’s an ongoing recount for elections in Georgia and Florida.
More than 47 percent of the voting-eligible population voted in these midterm elections – the highest voter turnout for a midterm since 1966. The high voter turnout and the close races in key states show that Americans are showing up and demanding a change.
3. Voters have spoken: they care about redirecting money to actual needs of our communities
According to exit polls, voters across the political spectrum cited healthcare as their top concern. They did NOT vote to increase our nuclear arsenal, like the Trump Administration wants to do. Healthcare and other life-affirming programs are always consistently underfunded by our national budget. So, we need to take advantage of the momentum from the midterms: voters want to redirect money from unnecessary and dangerous nuclear weapons toward real priorities such as green jobs, healthcare, and economic stability.
4. No First Use will be on legislators’ agenda
Beyond the Bomb had 60 Congressional candidates commit to support a No First Use policy if elected. Seven of the endorsers won their race: Joe Courtney (CT-2), Joe Kennedy (MA-4), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Yvette Clarke (NY-9), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), and Adam Smith (WA-9). Adam Smith has been a leader on No First Use, and we are excited to congratulate two new No First Use supporters and Congressional firsts: Rashida Tlaib and Sylvia Garcia. This is not a partisan issue – which is why Beyond the Bomb is committed to working with ALL legislators to make this a priority.Are you excited about working with the new Congress and taking advantage of this momentum? Sign our No First Use pledge, share it with a friend, and follow us on Twitter to see our post-midterm elections work!