Submitted by Michael Yee

The first election I was eligible to vote in was the 2016 election. I’d never really been that interested in politics until then, but let me tell you that was one hell of an introduction to politics. I vehemently hated Donald Trump, and while many people would have been turned off by his repugnant moronic candidacy, I ended up becoming very interested in politics in the wake of Trump’s unlikely electoral victory. To me, politics is the art of the possible, and it is fascinating how the government can be used to shape the world to our collective will.

During the 2020 election cycle, Trump began to flirt with fascist authoritarianism. It outraged me, watching the news coverage of government agents deploying tear gas against peaceful protesters in the nation’s capital, and it was crushing to watch Trump’s woefully inadequate response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2022 was another very high-stakes election, where several openly fascist candidates were running to take control of elections in several swing states. Luckily, both the 2020 and 2022 elections had good outcomes, but after seeing the rising authoritarianism in the Republican Party threaten to upend the democratic rule of law in two elections straight, I decided that I was tired of sitting on the sidelines. That is why I joined the Democratic Freedom Caucus.

I think the best way to fight against fascist authoritarianism is with a liberal vision of freedom. For too long, the right wing has cynically defiled, bastardized, and propagandized freedom. In the Democratic Freedom Caucus, I hope we can set the record straight and work to reclaim freedom from the authoritarian right as a value worth protecting.