January 6, one year later: A message from Swing Left co-founder Ethan Todras-Whitehill

Swing Left
Swing Left
Published in
3 min readJan 6, 2022
Original image via https://www.flickr.com/photos/blinkofanaye

Today is one year since a mob of more than one thousand Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 Election. It’s also almost five years from the day that I and some friends of mine, similarly dismayed at the results of the 2016 election, had a very different response: we launched Swing Left.

These events are, of course, connected. Trump’s authoritarian bent was clear long before his election, which was why Swing Left and so many other organizations emerged in response. We created Swing Left to support you all, the newly mobilized Democratic grassroots, in helping deliver the wave of voters that took back the House in 2018, and then the Senate and White House in 2020.

The Republican grassroots response to the 2020 Election, so different from our own, makes clear the challenges we still face. When our side lost in 2016, we organized, we mobilized a majority of voters, and Democrats won fairly in subsequent elections. When Republicans lost, they cried foul and built an ever-expanding web of lies, which they are using to try to change the rules so they can win future elections without those majorities. January 6, 2021 was not the last gasp of a president desperate to hold onto power, but the warning bell that a new, higher-stakes phase in the battle for American democracy had begun.

Election Day — November 8, 2022 — is just 10 months away, and the work to protect our democracy continues. It might seem like we’re up against insurmountable odds, but all across the country, civic organizations and Democratic campaigns are fighting back from multiple fronts, including advocating for voting rights legislation, putting pressure on members of Congress, and pursuing litigation for fair maps. At Swing Left, we’re focused on electing more Democrats to national office, and building democratic power in key states — and your participation is the only way we can win. The best way to end this anti-democratic, radical movement in the Republican Party is still to beat them at the polls, to show them that democracy itself is an opponent they cannot defeat.

How do we do it? We’ll be getting more granular in the coming months, but the answer is still pretty simple: midterms are about turnout. So we’ll call voters, write Vote Forward letters, knock doors, and raise grassroots dollars for candidates up and down the ballot — all in the name of turning out more voters in November 2022 in the key races where we need them to win.

Swing Left 2022 target races

A map of Swing Left’s 2022 target races, where states with House of Representatives targets are labeled red, and icons indicating a focus on Senate, state legislative, and gubernatorial races are a focus.

What can you do today? On this anniversary of one of the darkest days for American democracy, you can send a message to the traitorous GOP House members who voted to overturn the election by donating to support their eventual Democratic challengers. (Of course, only those who will be running in Swing Districts; this is Swing Left, after all.)

More to come, soon. For now, let’s use today to remember where we’ve been, where we are, and fortify ourselves for the work ahead. 2022 will be a pivotal moment for this country and our democracy. I, along with the whole Swing Left team, am grateful to be doing this work alongside you.

In solidarity,

Ethan Todras-Whitehill
President and Co-Founder
Swing Left



Swing Left
Swing Left

We’re flipping the Senate, the White House and key state legislatures by empowering volunteers everywhere to help win critical elections. swingleft.org/medium