Booker Channels Edmund Burke
MORRISTOWN – Cory Booker can rouse a crowd.
And as was the case Friday night, he didn’t even need a microphone. Stepping off the stage and standing on the dance floor in the main ballroom of the Hyatt Hotel, Booker told Morris County Democrats, “This is not a time to be silent, this is a time to stand up.”
As is his custom, Booker’s appeal to a supportive audience included calls to action mixed with some philosophy.
Channeling and paraphrasing a famous line attributed to Edmund Burke, Booker said the problem is not so much evil people, but “good people (who) have stayed out of the political process.”
The senator said the nation is moving away from the majority which is something that does not break down into the normal debate between left and right.
His point was that a majority of Americans support voter access, reasonable gun laws and a woman’s right to control her body. It is a minority of lawmakers, he said, who are pulling things in the opposite direction.
Referring to reports of women suffering miscarriages being unable to get needed drugs in anti-abortion states, Booker said, “We have got to a dystopian present. Our country is being jerked away from the majority. Not a majority of Democrats, a majority of Americans.”
Booker is a national figure on the campaign trail and these are, of course, national issues. He was just in Pennsylvania to campaign for Senate candidate John Fetterman; trips to help Dems running in Wisconsin and New Hampshire are next on his itinerary.
But on this night, he was in New Jersey.
The Garden State, he said, should not feel all that comfortable. He said he feared a Congress controlled by Republicans would seek to pass a national abortion ban and also weaken New Jersey’s gun laws through federal legislation. Now, that won’t happen as long as Joe Biden is president, but the point was made.
“There is so much at stake, right now,” Booker said.
The two Democratic House members representing Morris County are Mikie Sherrill, who was at the event briefly, and Tom Malinowski, who was not. Malinowski certainly appears to be in the more difficult race.
The enemy, Booker said, is apathy. He said Malinowski’s race in CD-7 could literally come down to a few hundred votes, suggesting that it was up to the people in the room to work hard and to make sure Malinowski wins.
Historically, Democratic turnout has been less than robust in the midterms. That changed in 2018 when Sherrill and Malinowski flipped both CD-11 and CD-7. Dems were energized that year by Donald Trump’s presence in the White House. But every election is a different story.
Booker was confident about the benefits of a good turnout, saying,
“If the Democrats show up, we win.”
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