Two things I know after Virginia

Two things I know after Virginia

November 04, 2021

Tuesday’s elections show the urgency of passing transformative legislation and shutting down the machinery of fear and division. The stakes are high — power our Jewish movement with a donation of $18 today.


On Tuesday, a Trump Republican won the governorship in Virginia. A politician who uses antisemitic scapegoating1 and racist fear-mongering2 to win power is a threat to all of us. We’ve got a year to stop this cynical rightwing playbook from being used across the country in 2022. 

Here are two things I know:

We need to keep fighting like hell for the Build Back Better bill. A majority of Americans support every major provision of it.3 By delivering transformative changes, not only can we improve the realities and opportunities of millions of people’s lives right now, but we can also galvanize Democratic voters and bring new voters into the fold.

We must continue to shut down the machinery of division and fear. The Republican Party has shown us that they’re doubling down on Trumpism and white supremacy. But we beat Trumpism once and we can do it again — by joining together with our neighbors across difference, as we have in the past, to organize for a country for all of us with no exceptions.

Virginia has shown us the stakes of 2022 elections — donate $18 today to support our Jewish organizing for every vote.


Youngkin deployed the worst of the Republican playbook to divide Virginians. The lesson here is that our movements must address racism head-on. Without explicit efforts to dismantle the power of white supremacy in American culture and politics, there will be more hard nights like Tuesday. By directly addressing, instead of ignoring, appeals to racial fears — and campaigning on a vision for a country where we can all thrive — we can propel Democrats to victory.

Virginia is a marker: We have one year to plan to defeat politicians who spread antisemitic and racist dog whistles, lie about COVID and the election, and try to block legislation — like the Build Back Better bill and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act — which Americans across race, place, and political ideology support by huge margins.

As the only national Jewish organization focused exclusively on progressive social change within the United States, Bend the Arc will be fighting every day to pass progressive legislation and dismantle the machinery of fear and division. If you’re with us in fighting for every vote in 2022, make a $18 donation today.

In solidarity,

Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block


  1. Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Glenn Youngkin, Republican who drew charges of antisemitism on the campaign trail, is elected governor in Virginia.
  2. The Washington Post, Opinion: There are no more dog whistles.
  3. Data for Progress.