Dr. Stephen Ray
A few things to remember for those fretting and not celebrating last Tuesday’s election results.
- There was not a single pollster who gave the Democrats any chance of retaking the Senate. The question was always about the margin by which they would lose. Anything within 4 percentage in states which Trump carried by double digits would be a sign of growing strength that would prevail in 2020;
- Taking the House in spite of gerrymanders, Voter ID laws, and other voter suppression tactics would be a huge victory because it would signal the down ballot power to change and reverse many of these anti-democratic measures. This is no pyrrhic or illusory victory. To win the House in this environment is akin to winning a marathon when your ankle has been broken by your opponent;
- Florida and Georgia are still dominated by the politics of the old South. The fact that black candidates were as competitive as they were points to the continuing shift which will continue to grow. We must not become discouraged because we fall into the delusion that many of our white allies are prone to: namely, the denial that a plurality of white voters are motivated by racial animus and anxiety. Instead the power of the Abrams and Gillum candidacies demonstrate that we are on the march and, with continued effort, will rewrite the script;
- Finally, the fight against resurgent white nationalism is not a one-fight walk-in-the-park. This is a fight which we are joined for the long haul. We must take the victories we get, gain strength and fight on to the victory we see in sight.
An analogy. The fiercest battles with the greatest casualties during World War II were AFTER D-Day. None of which would have been possible without the landings of June 6, 1944. When the history of our time is written, it will be noted that November 6, 2018 was the turning point in the battle for our democracy, and finally a nation with a place for us all.
4 thoughts on “Election Results: 4 Points for Optimism”
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I like the optimistic angle. This is just the beginning. So many people in this country think that democracy is about winning, but so much of making improvements in government is getting people to pay attention to issues that might look as if there is only one way to deal with them when there are alternatives and room for questions. If you give the opposition the idea that you can win, they have to take you seriously, and if you get people on the edges to pay attention to a different side of the issues you might end up winning. But, this is a slow process and you have to get close enough to get some attention in places where there is considerable cultural barriers to comprehension of the issues from a broader point of view. There are so many people locked into tunnel vision points of view that need to be given a little shake so they will look outside their little shells.
I like your analogy to the D-Day landing followed by the bloodiest battles. Yes, getting there/here is only a momentary battle with casualties but what comes now will be even harder and requires a deep resolve coupled with an fierce optimism. To remind of the old and still current mantra: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize.