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Women Have The Power To End This Presidency

Trump’s presidency began with women marching in record numbers. Now it’s going to end with women voting in record numbers.

Protesters walk during the Women’s March on Washington, with the U.S. Capitol in the background, on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC.

This commentary is part of The Appeal’s collection of opinion and analysis.

On Tuesday, the final votes will be cast in the most important election of our lifetime. But that doesn’t mean the fight to save our democracy will be over.

Republicans have seen the writing on the wall for decades. They know their ideas can’t win on their own, so they’ve found their own ways to win. Through a combination of voter suppression, gerrymandering, and the advantages given them by the Electoral College and the Senate, Republicans have consolidated anti-democratic political power and made it possible for a minority to rule over a majority. 

This week, they will try to continue this. They aren’t even trying to hide it. When polls close and the results begin coming in, Donald Trump’s Republican operatives and lawyers will begin calling fraud and falsely claim victory. This time we won’t let them. This time will be different because millions of women are ready to call bullshit and fight back. We will stand with the local election officials who take their responsibility very seriously and who are overseeing the 51 election counts across the country. We will stand with the hundreds of millions of voters who have waited patiently to have their voices heard. We will have their backs.  

Look at how Trump is doing with women in the polls and it will show you the price Donald Trump has paid for his cruelty, corruption, and chaos over the last four years. As the numbers currently stand, Biden’s average lead among women is 25 points. In 2016, there was a 20 point gender gap in voting preference between men and women. This year that number could be 28. This is a huge deal. This is the largest preference gap between men and women in the history of our country. The entire Republican Party will feel the impact. 

The best way to beat a dangerous small block of rich white men is a multiracial, multigenerational mass movement of women who are fired up, fed up, and ready to fight for our democracy. Women are dug in. Women are going to vote out Trump, and we are going to move our country into a better, feminist future, together. This isn’t the fight that we wanted, but it’s the fight we’ve been preparing for. After four years of resisting fascism, we are ready to defeat it.  

We will do whatever it takes, just as we have since millions of us took to the streets, putting our bodies on the line since Day One of Trump’s presidency. We will march, protest, lobby, vote and boycott. Women will decide this election, fair and square. Women will protect our democracy. 

This is the result our Movement has been working for over the past four years. In 2016, millions of people took to the streets in the largest single-day protest in US history. And after the March, women didn’t just pack it up and go home. We organized, we ran for office in record numbers, we voted, and we won. Millions and millions of people are now actively engaged in our democratic process who were not at this time four years ago. 

Right now, our Movement is stronger than ever.

I know we are living through a terrifying, challenging time. We’re sicker, we’re poorer, and we’re scared. We are watching a corrupt and callous president who has sold us out at every turn to protect his Billionaire’s Boys Club. We have watched as they have plotted to undermine our civil rights, making no secret of their desire to overturn Roe. v. Wade, undermine marriage equality, and repeal the Affordable Care Act during an unprecedented global pandemic. None of those moves are even remotely popular with a majority of people in this country. They don’t care. They’ve made it clear they will do what they want. 

We know the actual act of voting in this country is not easy. A small group of people have made it intentionally hard for people to vote, specifically for communities of color. Despite the long lines, and purging of voter rolls, we are still turning out in record numbers to vote. We are showing up, and waiting as long as it takes to make sure that the will of the American people prevails. 

A different future is possible. I believe in it. I know you believe in it too. The record numbers of early votes cast shows it. The enthusiasm we have seen in every single state shows it.  We are going to guarantee that better future by voting. 

Trump wants us to feel demoralized, hopeless, scared. He knows that the only way he can win is if we don’t make our voices heard. Well, it’s not going to work. We won’t let it work. 

We are going to take our lives back from this administration, and we are going to create a whole different future: a story we are all written into. 

We are not helpless — we’re mobilized, we’re organized, and most of all, we’re motivated. We have the power. Women have the power to end this presidency. Women have the power to usher in a new reality. Women have the power to not only protect, but improve, our democracy. 

Trump’s presidency began with women marching in record numbers. Now it’s going to end with women voting in record numbers. For four years, we’ve been resisting those in power. Now, it’s time to take power back. Four years of marching, training, and organizing — it’s all been leading up to this. 

It’s time to finish what we started.

For more than a decade, Women’s March Executive Director Rachel O’Leary Carmona has helped to inspire, equip, and mobilize people to shape the actions and policies that affect their communities. Rachel is a first generation Mexican American, who grew up on the Northside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She started her career right after high school as a domestic worker cleaning houses, spending three years doing that work before beginning her college education.