Letter to Gary: Show us your fight

Dylan Grosser, Columnist

Michigan Radio has reported that incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Gary Peters will appear on the 2020 November ballot after collecting enough signatures.

Only problem? This fact was reported three weeks ago — and yet there hasn’t been much of a whisper from his campaign since.

Meanwhile, his opponent, John James, is not staying quiet. James outraised Peters in the fourth quarter of 2019 according to The Hill, and through a great deal of campaigning has consolidated most of the Republican support in Michigan that helped Donald Trump win our state in 2016.

While it’s still early, and Peters (along with virtually every other senator) is stuck in Washington for the ongoing impeachment trial, it feels as though Senator Peters is taking for granted the lead he naturally enjoys over James — despite it being dangerously thin.

Indeed, many Republicans have said they believe James is the one to finally turn the Senate seat red for the first time in many years. And it would feel silly for Democrats to lose that seat simply because the one running didn’t put up a fight.

So please, Senator, show us your fight.

Peters’ voting record shows nothing less than a reliable progressive who votes to preserve our environment, protect DREAMers and to block the current administration’s warmongering in the Middle East. And yet, the senator has not held any sort of public rally since announcing his campaign nor does he have any scheduled on his website. In fact, there are no public events of any kind listed to appeal to supporters — or anyone at all. By simply scrolling through news articles, you wouldn’t know Peters was even running except through reading on his opponent.

Some would argue his anonymity doesn’t just come from a lack of campaigning, but because he has refused to endorse popular policy ideas among young people, such as the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. I definitely agree with that argument. Asking Peters to embrace these kinds of ideas is key not just because they are ultimately the future, but because people’s lives are at risk due to a lack of healthcare and, of course, climate change.

Which is why it’s especially important Peters beats James this election, who has openly called for repealing the Affordable Care Act (taking healthcare away from millions of Americans), bypassing Roe v. Wade to take away a woman’s right to choose and has remained completely mum on climate change — although in her endorsement of James, Chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party Laura Cox called the Green New Deal “job-killing” for Michigan (which is not true, as per an independent study).

Now more than ever, while there appears to be an entire establishment acting to deny science and also people’s basic rights (such as to not get sick and die) with no shame whatsoever, it’s important we have a congressman that not only fights for these rights in the Senate chamber, but outside it as well. Enthusiasm will mean the difference in 2020 between another term of Trump (who is literally on trial as this is published) or someone else — and that enthusiasm must be lead by our changemakers. If not them, who else?

It is unacceptable that someone running for office would not even host one public event for supporters since announcing their (albeit renewed) candidacy. The apparent lack of effort is insulting to voters who don’t want James’ extremely awful policies to come to fruition, while simultaneously not wanting a congressman that can’t be bothered to host a single rally for the people he’s trying to get vote for him.

On behalf of the causes which you fight for Senator, please get out here and campaign.