DSA Note: This is the first in our series of member-written blog-posts discussing their personal DSA story. Enjoy!
I slept for maybe two hours on Election Night, 2016. My stomach twisted into knots as I tossed and turned, wide awake, my mind buzzing with anxiety. Like many, I was stunned by Trump’s seemingly impossible win. The media told me “not to worry,” that the “sane, moderate candidate” had the campaign “wrapped up.” I was confident as I cast my vote on the morning of November 8th. Things would go according to plan. As the night wore on and states started calling for Trump one by one, a sick feeling grew inside me. This was not how it was supposed to happen. When the press called the election for Trump, I went outside to get some cool evening air and think. I will never forget looking up at the dark night sky, and feeling small, afraid, and confused. Something terrible was happening in America, but I didn’t have the knowledge or context to understand exactly what that was.
Over the next six months, I became obsessed with “figuring out” Trump’s election. Was it the Russians? Was it Facebook? Was it the genius strategy of Steve Bannon? I consumed article after article, spending hours on the internet trying to wrap my head around Election Night 2016. One day, purely by accident, I stumbled onto a socialist podcast. Listening to the hosts discuss current events from a socialist perspective was like a light switching on over my head. Finally, here were critiques that made sense, that offered more solid answers than “love more,” “work harder,” or “vote Democrat.” The more I learned about socialist history and theory, the more I recognized the grotesque effects of capitalism on our world. I came to understand that Donald Trump – rather than being a unique threat – was a symptom of a sick society. The same capitalist system that created President Trump also produces gross inequality, environmental catastrophe, and a racist criminal justice system. The only cure to that sickness is socialism: the reorganization of our economy and culture into something far more just and humane – a world where resources are owned by all, a society that works for the many, not the few.
I realized that I wanted to do more than just read about Socialism on the internet, so I decided to attend my first DSA meeting. I needed to meet up with people with similar views, who were passionate about making change in the real world. I truly believe we must organize to end capitalism, and that becoming a DSA member is a great first step towards doing so. The DSA is the largest Socialist group in the United States and is growing every day. In it I found friendly, like-minded people, as well as tools and resources to help us organize. The moment to start is now. We are building something new, something beyond capitalism, and we need everyone’s help. Together, we have a world to win.
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