The shocking election results in this year's Presidential election have sent shivers through the progressive community. The future leadership of the world's strongest democracy is a polarizing, untrustworthy business man who appealed to a latent frustration in the American electorate for change - not a change towards a new ideal, but rather a reversion to a time long passed where women, immigrants and others are less than equal. Worse still, the tone from the top will also surely effect the entire nature of our society, including the very institutions that were set up to ensure the rights of all people are respected, and to hold accountable those that seek to profit off of abuse, including corporations. What we have, therefore, is no longer a hypothetical threat to the progressive community, but a real and resourced one.
The antidote for the spread of fear, hate and intolerance is simple: unity.
For us to face the next administration and ensure, at a minimum, that advancements made under President Obama stick, we need to build power. To build power, we need to overcome the silos that separate progressive communities of practice. Environmentalists must become champions of women's rights. Champions of women's right must stand up for racial justice. Racial justice advocates must support LGBT rights. LGBT rights groups must reinforce civil liberties. Those fighting for civil liberties must fortify fundamental human rights. In short, we need to stitch together a fabric that recognizes our unique perspectives as leaders in the progressive community, but that also builds a united movement.
With unity, we will have a fighting chance against the powers of injustice and intolerance, and to protect the institutions that give us the tools and leverage to defend our rights. Without it, we will see the evisceration of all that we have been working to build.
The challenge before us has become ever more complex. The way to solve it, however, remains clear: progressives, unite.