The Midterms Are America's Chance To End The Toxic Hate And Intolerance In Politics

They say when America sneezes, the UK catches a cold - right now America has a virus and we must stop it becoming an epidemic
Dawn Butler

There is no doubt that US politics reflects on UK politics. They say that when America sneezes, the UK catches a cold.

The past two years have had me scratching my head. I wonder why the language of politicians has become so toxic. The hate and intolerance that has bubbled to the surface will have a lasting damage and we need to stop it. We need to make it clear that this is not okay.

These midterms are a chance to do that, and I hope that America grabs the opportunity. Because right now America has a virus and we are trying to stop it becoming an epidemic.

In the Georgia gubernatorial election, for example, which has become so prominent, they have to vote for one of the two candidates who can actually win – Stacey Abrams for the Democrats or Brian Kemp for the Republicans.

It’s been a noteworthy race because of the deliberate voter suppression. Winning by any means necessary is a cruel and selfish act of politicians. And if we are not careful this can spread and be replicated elsewhere.

Politics in America has become so tribal and so polarised. Checks and balances are important to prevent it from becoming more like a dictatorship. If we take our foot off the pedal, rights can be rolled back.

Trump ran a racist, anti-immigration ad on Twitter the same night he went to Florida to hold a rally. He isn’t even bothering with a dog whistle campaign. He is just blatantly appealing to a particular group of people. And this hateful rhetoric has dangerous consequences.

We know Trump won the 2016 presidential campaign through a divide-and-conquer strategy. I hope that the Americans don’t mind me saying this, but I think it is time America becomes great again. That it embraces its constitution and focusses on being the land of opportunity for all people.

Dawn Butler

I’ve joined the campaign for Stacey Abrams in Georgia. If elected, she would become the first ever African American female Governor of any state. It is a campaign that I am so passionate about.

And as I’ve been knocking on doors and talking to people here in Atlanta I’ve found one common theme: they want change. I think that electing Stacey Abrams would be symbolic of that change.

I know it’s a long shot. I know the establishment is against her. That’s why I’m here and every vote counts.

This desire for change has also been reflected throughout the US. There are record numbers of women, BAME and LGBT+ candidates standing in the midterms, which is truly something to celebrate. It is a great shame that President Trump is so disrespectful to all of these groups, but there has been an awakening.

If I can, as I have done, convince people that I’m willing to travel from the UK for my birthday just to convince them how momentous and important this moment is, then I hope more people will travel to the polling stations on Tuesday and vote for Stacey Abrams.

Dawn Butler is the shadow women and equalities secretary and Labour MP for Brent Central


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