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24 New Year’s Resolutions for 2024, Arguably the Most Crucial Year in Our Lifetimes

These 24 are focused on Virginia politics and media

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See below for 24 New Year’s resolutions for 2024 (not in any particular order), mostly focused on Virginia politics and media. Feel free to add your own in the comments section. Also note that 2024 is arguably the most crucial year in our lifetimes (or even in U.S. history?), as our very democracy stands on a knife’s edge, along with the climate/environmental crisis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the horrible situation in the Middle East, etc. So make sure you act – and vote – accordingly!

  • In Democratic primaries in competitive/”purple” districts, support the candidate who has the best chance to win in November, as opposed to the candidate who might be the “purest” ideologically from a progressive or liberal perspective. That’s really all-important these days, given the far-right/anti-democracy lurch of the Republican Party, and the crucial need for Democrats to take back the House of Representatives in November 2024. (Of course, candidates also have an obligation to make their positions on the issues clear, as well as their overall political philosophy, why they’re a Democrat, etc.)
  • Obviously, don’t get your news from right-wing media, including Fox “News,” Sinclair-owned stations (e.g., WJLA TV7 in Northern Virginia), right-wing talk radio (e.g., WRVA), etc. Too many Democrats still probably tune in to local news, whether on TV or the radio, without being fully aware of how biased towards the right these sources are. It’s really crucial these days, given corporate control of the media, the proliferation of disinformation on social media, and all that’s at stake in our country, to be informed “consumers” of media – including not “consuming” right-wing media.
  • On a related note, Democrats should resolve NOT to lend legitimacy to MAGA propaganda outlets masquerading as “news.” That includes far-right talk radio (e.g., WRVA here in Virginia), Fox, Sinclair, etc. In general, Democrats shouldn’t appear on those outlets or treat their “reporters” as real journalists.
  • Also, do NOT trust the “mainstream” media to report accurately, but read/watch/listen to it VERY critically, making sure you’re alert to their relentless “both sides”/false equivalence bias, their downplaying/normalization of Trump’s/Republicans’ dangerous anti-democratic authoritarianism/extremism, their relentness negativity about Joe Biden and Democrats and the economy and… That includes NPR and PBS, by the way, and not just “corporate” media. So when it comes to CNN, the WaPo, the NY Times, local news, etc., the rule should be, proceed with a great degree of caution and do NOT take what they have as the full (or accurate) story.
  • This coming year, we all need to FOCUS on defending our democracy, voting Democratic up and down the ballot next November, and making sure that when 2024 comes to an end, we still HAVE a democracy. What we should NOT focus on is fighting amongst oursevles within the pro-democracy “big tent.”
  • While the presidential race will certainly garner a huge amount of attention, don’t lose sight of the crucial importance of local, state, and congressional politics. That includes not just elections, but also what’s going on with the Virginia General Assembly, with the Youngkin administration’s shenanigans and malfeasance, etc. That’s all very important too!
  • Virginia Republicans should resolve to tweet as much as possible in 2024, because every time they do so, it provides clear evidence for Democrats and everyone outside the MAGA bubble that Trump Republicans have gone completely off the deep end, never tell the truth, etc. So yeah, keep up the great work in 2024, guys!
  •  AG Jason Miyares should – but won’t – resolve to actually do the job he was hired to do, as opposed to using the Attorney General’s office as a platform for him to demonstrate his far-right bona fides for the Virginia Republican “base,” to pursue his latest witch hunt, etc.
  • Gov. Glenn Youngkin should – but won’t – resolve to stop dreaming about being President or Vice President (or U.S. Senator or whatever), stop being so petty/slimy/dishonest/amoral, and start governing with an eye towards actually making Virginia a better, more welcoming, more inclusive, more prosperous, more environmentally sustainable, etc. place. But…nope, there’s zero chance he’ll do any of those things, sad to say.
  •  Soon-to-be-former VA Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw should resolve to enjoy his retirement and NOT try to micromanage the VA Senate Democratic caucus. The good news is that the Senate Democrats have a lot of new members, and hopefully will move the caucus in a direction that’s not so friendly to corporate interests (e.g., Dominion Energy) and hostile to ethics reform, campaign finance reform, etc. as the Saslaw-led caucus was in the past.
  •  Every Democrat running for Congress should resolve to stay focused on what the key issues are – protecting our democracy from the authoritarian threat of Trumpism, climate action, women’s reproductive freedom, etc. – and NOT focus on tearing each other down. Instead, talk about why YOU would be the best choice to defend our democracy, the climate, our rights, etc.
  •  VA House of Delegates and Senate Democrats should resolve to stay UNIFIED, as they don’t have any margin for error, given their tiny majorities (51-49 and 21-19, respectively) in each chamber. Remember: united we stand, divided we fall.
  •  On a related note, given their slim majorities, Senate and House of Delegates Democrats should resolve to eat right, exercise regularly, and generally to stay HEALTHY in 2024 – because we really can’t afford to lose any of them, especially those in “purple”/competitive districts. Also, we’re going to need excellent attendance in the 2024 session, because even temporary absences could be consequential.
  • General Assembly Democrats should resolve that Youngkin’s regressive, damaging proposals on the budget, tax policy, etc. should end up where they belong – in Sen. Louise Lucas’ trash can. Instead, Democrats should put forth a budget that reflects Democratic values – not MAGA values; that moves Virginia forward – not backwards, as Youngkin would do; etc.
  • VA legislators should resolve to look VERY carefully at Youngkin’s arena deal with Caps/Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, definitely should NOT rubber stamp it, but to the contrary should make sure that the only way this happens is if: a) Metro is fully funded; b) it involves zero taxpayer-funded corporate welfare to the billionaire owner of Caps/Wizards; c) concerns by residents and localities are fully addressed; etc.
  • Rep. Bob Good (R-VA05) should resolve to get the help he clearly needs – badly! – and to stop being such a fascist, unhinged bigot and all-around lunatic in 2024. But he won’t, of course, because that’s how he and his bats***-crazy “Freedom Caucus” roll.
  •  Former Representatives Barbara Comstock (R-VA10) and Denver Riggleman (R-VA05) should resolve to keep fighting for our democracy in 2024, including *endorsing President Joe Biden for reelection* and absolutely NOT supporting a third-party presidential candidate. Also, perhaps Riggleman should seriously consider running as an independent against Bob Good?
  •  Former Gov. Ralph Northam and former AG Mark Herring should resolve to engage vocally and heavily in the fight for our democracy in 2024. They’ve both been verrrry quiet (publicly, at least) the past two years, and while it’s understandable from a human perspective, “Team Democracy” really needs all its best “players” on the proverbial field right now.
  • Potential/announced Democratic candidates for statewide office in 2025 should resolve to stay focused in 2024 on the absolutely crucial 2024 elections. As soon as THOSE are over, THEN it will be time to shift gears. Now obviously, potential/announced 2025 candidates will need to be fundraising and laying the groundwork for their 2025 campaigns – that’s fine. But they shouldn’t do anything that distracts publicly from our effort to save the country from disaster.
  • Given the fact that Twitter/X is owned by an unhinged racist, fascist, etc., and that the future doesn’t look bright for it at all, Virginia Democrats should resolve to set up accounts – and start using them – on other social media platforms (Threads, BlueSky, whatever) ASAP! And obviously, don’t spend any money on Twitter/X, because all that does is help Elon Musk – and Musk is NOT a good guy, to put it mildly.
  • Virginia General Assembly Democrats should resolve to pass constitutional amendments protecting women’s reproductive freedom, the right to vote, etc. The good news is that Youngkin can’t veto or amend these. 🙂
  • Virginia General Assembly Democrats also should resolve to pass ethics and campaign finance reform packages, along with other “good government” and structural reform legislation. We’ve waited way too long for these things to happen.
  • Virginia General Assembly Democrats should pass legislation, and also use their powers as a coequal branch of government, to strengthen Virginia’s environmental laws and to push back HARD against the Youngkin administration’s assault on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the environment more broadly. Ideally, it would be great to see the Virginia Clean Economy Act *strengthened* – both with more ambitious goals and also with more rigorous oversight/enforcement of Dominion’s compliance (or lack thereof) with the goals already set. Oh, and also give localities more power (in our “Dillon’s Rule”/”mother may I?” state) to protect trees, ban leaf blowers, and do other things to protect the environment.
  • Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine should resolve to continue doing excellent work for Virginia and for the country, including making sure the government is fully funded (and isn’t shut down), Ukraine gets everything it needs to defend itself, House Republicans aren’t allowed to roll back progress, etc.
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