U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore Talks about the National Election Issues
The Stakes Are High
|Gwen Moore was elected to Congress in 2004
as the first African American to represent
Wisconsin in Congress.
If they trick you twice, shame on you.”
Speaking of shame, Moore feels that one of the biggest differences between Biden and Trump is character — or lack of it.
“Joe Biden decided to get in the race after Charlottesville, after that ‘Good people on both sides’ comment,” Moore said. “Joe Biden has had a good career. He’s
been vice-president of the United States. He’s been a very important and powerful United States Senator. He suffered yet another blow when his son died, which is
why he didn’t put himself out there as a candidate in 2016. It was just impossible for him to do as a human being. But he decided to do it being patriotic. He had to.
This is a fight for the soul of America. And the soul of America, the tipping point, is this violence and white supremacy. It’s like an organizing principle of this
president to be racist, to not even mention the names of victims of violence like Jacob Blake being shot in the back or George Floyd. Don’t even let those names
drip from your lips. Don’t even offer sympathy to the family of Breonna Taylor who was asleep in her bed. Only start talking about law and order. And you mistake
that racist notion and amplify it and suddenly you can’t have affirmative action training. You can’t let immigrants in from s**thole countries. You have a Muslim ban.
You have immigrant children locked in cages and immigrant women stripped of their reproductive organs. You build walls, physically, emotionally and spiritually.”
Moore is also concerned with Trump’s flirtations or worse with perpetrators of domestic terrorism, blaming violence on illusionary groups like “Antifa,” while
winking and nodding at groups like the Proud Boys.
“When the perpetrator comes home and starts throwing glasses up against the wall, it isn’t long before he is going to break your jaw,” Moore said about the
present state of domestic affairs. “And that’s a signal. I am very distressed. I’ve long said that even if we win, when we win on November 3rd or that week or
whenever the votes are counted, when we win, there is a long time between November 3rd and January 20th. And I think it is going to be very drama-filled even
beyond 2000 with Bush v. Gore because certainly George W. Bush wasn’t trying to mobilize white vigilantes in the streets. And by the way, on something the
president said, ‘Somebody has to do something about Antifa.’ According to the FBI, the biggest threat of domestic terrorism comes from these white vigilantes. Let’
s be clear. That’s the biggest risk and threat.”
While Trump has been inflaming differences and tensions in America, Moore feels that Biden would be the force that brings the country together.
“Joe Biden has the temperament to really calm things down and not just calm things down with soothing words,” Moore emphasized. “Here’s a person who
understands that equities need to be reached. Here’s a person who became a single parent due to the tragic loss of his wife and one of his children. He commuted
back and forth from work. Here is someone who understands that women need childcare. Here is someone who understands that we need family leave. He’s
somebody who understands that we have to build back better. We cannot pretend that $7.25 per hour was enough money to stand up a family, to both pay rent and
buy food and somehow make people feel guilty that they can’t do it.”
And while Moore feels that Biden is empathetic to the situations of everyday Americans, Moore feels that Republicans have a deaf ear to the pleading of the
“One of the things that is vexing to me right now as we are trying to negotiate another HEROS package is that besides the Republicans saying that we shouldn’t
give anybody anything more, zero, in unemployment insurance because that will keep us from dragging them back and making them work no matter what the
COVID-19 noters are, like Florida ordering all of the restaurants be opened and no mask ordinance,” Moore said. “Those are those ‘zero’ people and then the others
who want only $300 per week. Why? Because $300 per week tracks more perfectly with the minimum wage. Whether it’s housing opportunities or small business
development, the racial equity piece is definitely a platform of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”
Moore felt that people needed to come out in large numbers so that they can elect people who will be a countervailing force to the conservative U.S. Supreme
“I just want to encourage people as we have this battle over the Supreme Court nominee, Republicans have had a strategy of controlling the judiciary,” Moore
observed. “They’ve done it for a generation. And they have been very successful. This will be the third appointment that Donald Trump gets from The Federalist
Society. But I promise you that there is nothing they can do on the Supreme Court that having the majority in the House and the Senate and the presidency can’t
undo. Here’s a time to keep the faith, whatever faith that is. You know what faith is. It’s the hope and belief in the things that are unseen. I mean, take a risk,
whatever risk you think voting presents to you. Take that risk. This is America and democracy does work. I remember when the Affordable Care Act was saved. A
lot of you people feel that moment happened the moment that John McCain put his thumb down. But it happened before then. It happened when quadriplegics were
sitting in their wheelchairs out in the halls of the U.S. Senate and then dragged off in their electric wheelchairs protesting against cutting off Medicaid. I kissed one
of those people in the mouth, I swear to God I was so moved by the sacrifice that they were making. Imagine being a quadriplegic going to jail. Like John Lewis
said, putting our bodies in the way. Honestly, John Lewis talks about good trouble protesting and putting ourselves in the way.”
And while a lot of destructive chaos has been going on for the past four years with Trump doing or saying something that will garner him attention by the
mainstream media, Trump has also been almost like a magician, using a slight-of-hand over here to distract you from what he is doing over there. “Here is a person
— I lost count at 60 — who has undone environmental regulations, not just something big like pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords, but also allowing state
Part 2 of 2
By Jonathan Gramling
Back in 2004, I was honored to cover Gwen Moore’s successful campaign to become the first Wisconsin African
American representative to Congress. With the support of the community, Moore had gone from single parent on
AFDC to representing Milwaukee in the state Assembly and later in the state Senate before being elected to
represent Milwaukee’s 4th Congressional District. Moore has her finger on the pulse of the African American
community. Moore also has a long memory of the bombardment of the African American community in 2016 with
misinformation, something that continues on today.
“The Russians definitely targeted the African American community,” Moore said. “I was personally targeted. I
remember getting a phone call from a 202, which is the Washington, D.C. area code. I ignored it and ignored it. But it
was an automated call and finally I answered it. And there was this clearly Slavic accent knowing that I hadn’t
voted — because I voted in person in 2016 — saying it’s not too late. And if you voter for Hillary Clinton, she’s going
to start World War III. They must have had information about me and knew I was a peacenik, for the most part. And
they thought that would ring my alarm bells. Other people were getting messages. Black men got them about Hillary
Clinton talking about the crime bill and that they were super-predators. It’s not like she voted for the crime bill. She
was the First Lady and they amplified that message and put it around her neck. It was the same thing with welfare
reform. They knew how to strike these divisions. and amplify them and target people and it worked. There are many
people who don’t like to own up to the fact that there are 93,000 people who didn’t vote in Milwaukee. It was a big
drop in voter turnout. And voter suppression worked. It worked mightily. So if they trick you once, shame on them.
regulation of nuclear plants and easing
gas and oil requirements,” Moore said.
“He’s headed back to the good, old
days when companies — who are
really financing Trump at this point —
took resources with impunity. We have
seen him undo the Obama-era car
emissions standards. Anything that
Obama touched, we’ve seen Trump
undo. He’s cut Indigenous lands. He’s
opened up drilling sites. All of these
have happened in the wake of the
chaos that is layered over it for sure.
And of course like I mentioned earlier,
he wants to cut out all sorts of
requirements for affirmative action. I
went to visit a couple of times the
detention center at the border. It is as
sickening as you think it is. That has
been happening in this undertow. His
reign cannot come to an end soon
enough. He has discriminated against
every group in society: women. LGBTQ
people, trans folks and all immigrants.
And there are the people like Puerto
Ricans who are citizens. He didn’t fully
help them with their recovery.”
There was a lot at stake on November
3rd, Election Day. What remains to be
seen is if people took notice and
actively engaged in the electoral
process. Moore hopes they did.