Tonight, when the Democratic National Convention feed switched to Sally Yates, it was a sobering moment. We have endured so many battles over the years of Trump’s presidency: I have marched, rallied, registered voters, and even ran for office. Every time I registered a new voter, took to the streets with my children, or phone banked for progressives, it felt like I was fighting back. I’m war-weary and ready for November; I never expected to feel so exhausted, but I also never thought I’d fight this hard for this long.
In 2016, I committed to doing the work to create change and survive Trump’s America. I would have liked to find the party ready to meet this moment with a bold progressive presidential candidate. Instead, we were presented with a smorgasbord of diversity and in the end, we picked more of the same. We won’t be moving forward so much as picking up the pieces and continuing to the middle.
As a black woman and a mother to two black boys, I am prepared to do whatever it takes to unseat Trump. Not voting or writing in a candidate isn’t an option for me. In November I have to vote like a mother, because I am a mother. I’m a mother who has watched children be caged, boys murdered by men and women who ought to protect them all of whom remind me of my own sons. I am a mother who has watched her friends and neighbors struggle to make ends meet. I am a mother who has witnessed her own parents ration life-saving medication because they couldn’t afford their prescriptions. I am a mother who doesn’t get to drop her oldest boy off to his first day of high school tomorrow, a moment I’ve dreamt of since I dropped that same boy off at kindergarten. I am a mother, a black mother, who is all too familiar with having to do what I have to do.
In my 38 years on this planet, I’ve watched our country teeter on the brink of collapse over and over again. It seems like that’s the space we are trapped in. We are always being summoned to vote ourselves out of calamity. For once, I want to know what it feels like to vote for something more. We need all hands-on deck approach, but years of broken promises and alienation of our party’s base are threatening to give us four more years of 45 as president. These past few years have brought with them much disappointment, heartache, and revelations about the Democratic Party. Maybe the establishment deserves to lose, but every human being crushed under the current administration deserves a win. As I watched the second night of the convention, I did not hold in my heart all the enthusiasm I had imagined I would. I did, however, hold a resolve to once again do the work that change demands.
Tonight, as the second night of the convention drew to a close, I couldn’t shake this feeling that this cannot be how it always goes. Although I hope to see a day when progressives no longer have to compromise our values and our vision to get the work done, tonight, I recommitted myself as a mother, veteran, and an American to do everything I could to help to unseat 45.
By rolling up my sleeves and doing the hard work to elect the next president and good candidates down ballot, I hope we soon see the day when a worthy electorate is met with a party worthy of their vote.
Paige Dixon is a US Army veteran, having served two tours of combat duty in Iraq. She is a single mother of two sons and is has served as the president of the Parent-Teachers Association at their school. She derives joy and purpose from serving in her community. She is active in the Denton County Chapter of Moms Demand Action. Paige is the former president of the Denton County Young Democrats and a former candidate for Texas State Representative HD65.
Editor’s Note: Occasionally, Onward Texas brings in contributors to help shape conversation, bring in alternative perspectives and elevate Progressive dialogue. This article was written by an Onward Texas contributor and all opinions and expressions are their own.