Why threaten to primary Democrats?
Elected officials tend to take the path of least resistance on most things—unless you create a political cost for them. That’s where we come in. The growing anti-Trump movement springing up at town hall meetings and protests across the country has already pushed Democratic strategy in the right direction—but not nearly far enough.
Three Democratic Senators voted “yes” to confirm Rex Tillerson, a Big Oil baron with close ties to Putin who conspired to destroy our climate by suppressing evidence about global warming. Fourteen Senate Democrats joined with Republicans to confirm Rep. Mike Pompeo to be our new CIA director, despite Pompeo’s past Islamophobic remarks and ties to far-right conspiracy theorists, his position in favor of unconstitutional surveillance on Americans, and his enthusiastic support for torture and secret detention. And Senate Democrats like Dick Durbin, Claire McCaskill, and Jon Tester have all voiced the opinion that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch deserves "a fair shake”—after Republicans refused to even meet with President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland for almost a year and effectively stole a Supreme Court nomination.
This cannot stand. We will only defeat Republicans on the local, state, and federal level if we go on the offensive.
The next crucial step is escalating our demands, and demonstrating that we won’t accept anything less than full opposition—by showing Democrats just how many people are willing to back primary challenges to Democratic collaborators and enablers of Trump. Democrats must know there is a price for collaborating with Trump. Any Democrats who would give legitimacy or support to Trump do not represent us and must be replaced by people who will stand up for our lives, our values, and our democracy. Add your name.
What does it mean to fight Trump?
Democrats have a lot of power to stop Trump’s agenda—if they choose to use it. If Democrats decided to fight, they could use Congressional rules of order to grind business as usual to a halt to stop the unconstitutional Muslim ban, fight the theft of a Supreme Court nomination, and demand Steve Bannon be fired, for instance. Instead, many Democrats seem to be operating under the delusional assumption that if they play nice with Trump, he’ll magically become more reasonable. That kind of logic just results in us losing more ground every day—and it’s why we need to hold Democrats’ feet to the fire.
Resisting Trump would mean, at a minimum:
- Voting no on all Trump appointees and fighting all of Trump’s legislative priorities
- Fighting the unconstitutional Republican theft of a Supreme Court nomination
- Using Congressional processes and rules of order to systematically bring all business to a crawl to block Trump’s agenda and demand Steve Bannon be fired
- Publicly supporting impeachment if Trump is found to have broken the law or violated the Constitution
How will you decide who to primary?
The short answer is that we’ll identify where we think we can make the biggest impact, and take direction from the growing resistance movement (including by surveying the people who sign up here.) This is a grassroots project, but there’s no limit on how big we’ll go if the support is there.
In the best case scenario, this pledge becomes a tool that successfully pushes Democrats to fight Trump harder. The goal is not (necessarily) to primary every Democrat in Congress, but to make the Democrats who are there do what we’re asking them to do: fight Trump with all they’ve got. In other words, the most effective threat is one you don’t have to follow through on.
Who is behind this website?
We’re a group of organizers and activists who have helped to build both mass movements and large-scale electoral programs. Many of us were involved in the Bernie campaign in 2016, and we saw what an army of small-dollar donors and volunteers can do when they commit themselves to something important. We believe in people power, and we’re committed to helping translate the energy we’ve all seen in the streets since Trump took office into an electoral force capable of winning—starting in the primaries by defeating Democratic incumbents who are failing us.
Some of the people involved with #WeWillReplaceYou include:
- Alexandra Flores-Quilty
- Becca Rast
- Carolina Canizales
- Claire Sandberg
- Guido Girgenti
- James Hayes
- Jessica Pierce
- Kamau Chege
- Max Berger
- Nick Martin
- Waleed Shahid
- Yong Jung Cho
- May Boeve
- Kenneth Pennington
- Rafael Navar
- Sendolo Diaminah
- Taj James
Have a question not answered here? Email us at email@example.com