Activist Women in Newtown Want to Elect More Democrats to Local Offices in 2019 to Build a Foundation to Beat Trump in 2020 | Newtown News of Interest |

[This is an excerpt from a story published in the NYT on July 30, 2019.]


Diane LeBas, a 71-year-old substitute teacher attending the Newtown Democrats’ summer picnic on Sunday, recounted how she was tear-gassed protesting the Vietnam War. No one could question her progressivism.


“But at the moment, I’m leaving progressivism in the back seat for pragmatism,” Ms. LeBas said about the 2020 presidential race. “We have to get rid of the guy who’s threatening our core values. For pragmatism, I would choose Joe Biden.”


Among a circle of activists at the picnic here in Bucks County — a swing town in a swing county in a swing state — there were many nods.


At the gatherings in Bucks and Delaware Counties, outside Philadelphia, there was plenty of support for several candidates. In a straw poll at the Newtown picnic — held with Democratic-approved paper straws, not plastic — the results were: Elizabeth Warren, 15, Kamala Harris, 14, Mr. Biden, 8 and Pete Buttigieg, 7. Bernie Sanders earned just one vote.


Elen Snyder, a 62-year-old full-time activist at the picnic, was an example of how passionate many Democrats have become in the drive to defeat the president. Ms. Snyder said she divorced her husband of 35 years in 2016 over his support of Mr. Trump.


“He’s always been a Republican, and I’ve always been a Democrat and that was fine,” she said. But with the rise of Mr. Trump, she said: “He became an angry man. It was like I was watching this white guy who I thought I knew all of a sudden become racist, become all of the things Trump represented which I abhorred.”


The Newtown activists… want to elect more Democrats to county and municipal offices in 2019 to continue building a foundation for 2020 turnout, when Pennsylvania will once again be in the eye of the presidential storm.