Chalk up Another Win for the Parkland Students

As we head into the 2018 midterm elections, a theme for the Democrats has been, “you can’t win where you don’t run.” As a result, the party is fielding candidates in races that were previously uncontested.

Even so, Republican Leslie Gibson was running as the only declared candidate in Maine’s 57th district. Perhaps that’s why he felt free to take to twitter to viciously attack two of the most prominent voices speaking up as survivors of the shooting in Florida. He called David Hogg “a baldfaced liar” for suggesting that the NRA owns congressmen and also tweeted this about Emma Gonzalez: “There is nothing about this skinhead lesbian that impresses me and there is nothing that she has to say unless you’re frothing at the mouth moonbat.”

That prompted Hogg to send out the call.

The response came yesterday.

Democrat Eryn Gilchrist of Greene is doing just that.

Gilchrist filed the required paperwork Thursday to run in the 57th District, eliminating the possibility that Gibson could win the seat uncontested,

She said she never anticipated running for office but felt so “horrified and embarrassed” at the thought of Gibson representing her that she decided to jump into the fray.

Some might say that this is not a big deal. After all, it’s just one race for a seat in a state legislature. But this is how movements are both born and sustained; by the ripples of hope that Robert Kennedy talked about over 50 years ago.

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

Another example of those ripples isn’t getting national attention, but was reported in the hometown press of two brothers.

Brothers Isaiah and Jeremiah Godby hopped on a flight from Sacramento to Parkland, Florida, earlier this week and went right to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They said they needed to see the place where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting earlier this month.

“We were very emotional,” said Jeremiah Godby, 24.

He described the experience as overwhelming, but also said it felt good to see the community coming together. They brought a California flag and laid it down with the flowers, candles and other  gifts.

Then, they started their 1,060-mile journey from Parkland to Washington, D.C. — on foot.

Their goal is to walk or run about 40 miles a day for 26 days. The finish line will be the March for Our Lives rally, where thousands of people — including students who survived the recent shooting — will call for stronger gun regulations.

“You have to run, or walk or crawl — but you have to keep moving forward,” said Isaiah Godby, 27.

As the song says, “There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.” I have a hunch that if this keeps up, we’ll be finding out what’s happening here in the not too distant future.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.