We’ve now officially entered campaign season.
For some, the thought of midterms brings back the sour taste of a bitter November night in 2016 as well as a primary that brought about infighting in both parties. For others, it offered the glimpse of a chance to mend a country on the verge of tearing itself apart. In recent years, Tennessee has been as red as the Crimson Tide itself in regards to voting, but today is a new day.
Due to the late entry of Phil Bredesen (D–Tenn.) into the race to replace US. Senator and Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R–Tenn.), Tennessee has now been labeled a tossup. Bredesen, Governor of Tennessee from 2001-2009, is far from the only formidable candidate the Democratic Party has produced in this Southern state. Democrats also have two men vying for the state's gubernatorial nomination, as former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean (D–Tenn.) faces off against State House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D–Tenn). All across the state and the country, Democrats are gearing up for what can only be summed up as a blue wave.
The Tennessee Republicans have had their chance to help our state. From refusing to expand Medicaid to declaring porn a statewide health crisis, it is clear that now they are only wasting the taxpayer’s time and money. Across our state, young progressives are signing up to run for office. From activist London Lamar in Memphis to the College Democrats’ very own Eddie Nelson in Knoxville, a new generation of Tennesseans is standing up against the hateful and negative rhetoric of the GOP and President Donald Trump.
From day one, there was resistance to Trump on this campus. UT students went out the day after the election and stood together for what they knew was a dark moment in their country’s history. When the Women’s March took place to protest the inauguration of a man who was recorded bragging that he could sexually assault women because he was a celebrity, students and staff got their signs and nasty woman hats and went both across the state and to D.C. to show they cared.
UT Vols make up a family of students, faculty and staff who have faced injustice before. When the state legislature removed funding for the Office of Diversity, the backlash was seen for the next several months. It brought diverse communities on campus closer together and triggered some notable changes across campus. When Gov. Bill Haslam (R-Tenn.) attempted to outsource jobs from UT to out-of-state businesses, the UT community came together to fight back. In the end, not a single school in the UT system outsourced jobs.
In the coming months, College Democrats will be coordinating with local, state and national party members to support the plethora of Democratic candidates across our beautiful state. During this time, we will need dedicated progressives who want to fight back against the Trump regime. Not only is this an opportunity to help put this country back on track but also a chance to build a political profile with candidates and party leaders. You will get hands-on experience in volunteering and voter outreach and make friends to last a lifetime. College Democrats is ready to elect progressive candidates that will ensure that our future can be something worth believing in. Are you?
Reid Guthrie is a junior in communication studies and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letters to the Editor can be submitted here.
This story has been modified from its original version, published on Jan. 17, 2018. The original version stated that Phil Bredesen and Karl Dean are Republicans. It has been changed to state they are both Democrats.