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Archive for November 7th, 2018

Some Plus and Minus

Well, the election is somewhat over. A few races are still undecided with votes still being tabulated and some with perhaps recounts ahead.

All in all, I am satisfied. If you watched only the races that were in the headlines nationally, a Dem might be crestfallen that their rock star candidates — Beto in Texas, Stacy in Georgia and Andrew in Florida, for example– couldn’t break through. They were the emotional magnets for a lot of voters and to see them go down, even in an extremely close battle, hurts a bit.

But when I step back and look at the results and the repercussions of these elections, I am pleased.

First, the House of Reps moved blue with a Democratic majority now in place, providing a clear check on the president*. Committee leaderships move to the Dems now and they can set the agenda for how the president*’s actions are handled. They now have investigative and subpoena power as well as a check on the Senate.

This Blue move includes over 100 women being elected to the House last night. The class picture for the House Dems is a very diverse one that now includes more women, Native Americans, Muslims and people of color. That is fantastic and provides us with a voice that better reflects this nation’s multitudes.

Secondly, a large number of states’ governors switched to the Democratic side. This is a huge gain, especially in the fight against the gerrymandering of districts which is pertinent as the 2020 census looms with the redistricting that comes with it.

I am also pleased that overall, Dems outvoted the GOP by between 7 and 8% nationally. The voters came out. I hope those young voters who invested so much in races that may not have gone their way, such as the Parkland students in Florida, are not disheartened and turn theirĀ backs on future political involvement. They made a difference in our political discourse and are close to changing the face of our political class forever, if only they continue their fight.

In the Senate races, the Dems won by more than 12%– but still lost at least 3 seats. We are still strongly divided but the fact that the gaps in races in historically red states are closing gives me optimism.

On the downside, voter suppression remains a problem in many areas and is something that needs to be addressed on a national level. There are obviously systems available that would allow all eligible voters to easily register and cast their vote. Voting should not be set up as a series of hurdles to be overcome. Each citizen deserves to have their vote counted.

While I would loved to have seen a blue tsunami across the board, I believe overall it was a pretty good day for America. It moves us in a more positive direction, towards a government that represents all of our interests.

But to get that point, we have to stay aware and involved. Political change is sometimes slow and incremental. It is not always easy to keep up the energy needed to create change.

Do not be distracted. Keep your eyes and ears open. Stay involved and hold those in power accountable.

Our work is not over with one election.

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