It is finally time to make our vote count. We have been waiting for this day since Trump was elected. A vote for Republicans is a vote for Trump. He is on the ballot.
We have learned a lot about Trump and the GOP and our democracy since Trump was elected in 2016.
What have we learned?
- We have learned it REALLY matters who runs the country unlike what so many people said when Trump was first elected-
“Hey, he used to be a Democrat. Don’t worry he’ll be fine.”
NO. NO. And NO! He was not fine. He is not fine. He is showing his true white supremacist colors more and more every day. His divisive rhetoric is tearing our country apart and yanking us back to the dark ages- wiping out progressive cultural advances, environmental protections, and dragging the presidency through the gutter. He is a misogynist. He is uninformed. He is a rabid believer in conspiracy thinking. His presidency is rife with corruption.
- We have learned that Republicans will not stop Trump from doing anything and everything he wants to do which includes rampant corruption and incessant lying. They will ride his coattails to get their policies passed, policies that include damaging the health care of Americans if it helps big pharma and other corporate interests, not to mention passing a tax bill to benefit the super-wealthy.
- We have learned what it means to have a leader without empathy. The Zero Tolerance border policy where children were taken from their parents ranks as one of the most horrific, vile policies our country has ever engaged in. Shame on this administration!! Cheerily throwing rolls of paper towels into crowd in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria instead of being authentically concerned and caring is another moment that highlights Trump’s inability to empathize. We have learned how much empathy matters.
- We have learned what it means to have a leader who lies all the time but who has such a loyal and uninformed base they do not even care that he is lying. He is up to 30 significant lies every single day.
- We have learned that about 40% of the electorate is far more “deplorable” than we had imagined. They needed encouragement to come out from under their rocks. But they are out now, and the result is a culture of anger and hate egged on by a divisive president who cares only about himself, his close family members, and winning at any cost. We knew Trump would be dangerous but now we know how that danger manifests itself in the form of terrorism within our own country by hopelessly misinformed and hate-filled people enacting their rage on others.
- We have learned that our democracy is far more fragile than we thought and that much of what we believed about how our democracy was enforced was wrong. There is less set in stone and more based on gentlemanly agreements, past behavior and norms. All of that can be destroyed by a president who breaks rules to get his way.
- We have learned that this president needs guardrails. But he is not getting them. Notice that Lindsey Graham sold out to Trump over his claim that he could get rid of 14th Amendment birthright citizenship clause of the Constitution with a simple presidential order. Graham’s law school must be thoroughly embarrassed.
Given Trump’s behavior and the lack of legislative success on behalf of the American people these past two years, how can it be that so many races in key states for the Senate are this close?
You can say it’s the economy, but if you look more closely it is not a perfect picture. The stock market took a recent dive and has lost all its gains for the entire year.
Yes, unemployment is low, but many of the jobs are not very good ones- there are more “gig”, impermanent jobs than we used to have.
Parts of the country are struggling; many regions supporting Trump are experiencing a hollowed-out economy with industries that are not doing well and there is nothing to replace them. That does not produce good jobs. There is not enough of an emphasis on skills re-training to help people land much better jobs.
The possibility of the imminent destruction of social safety nets including the expansion of Medicaid at the hand of the Republicans is very real and not understood by Trump voters. It turns out that Obamacare is extremely popular now. People finally understand how important it is to be able to get substantial coverage despite having pre-existing conditions which everyone has eventually. Only the Dems will fully protect Affordable Care.
Our roads and bridges are a mess and the money that went to all those rich guys should have been used to rebuild infrastructure, support education and bolster environmental protections.
These things seem obvious.
It is hard for me to believe that Americans do not know these clear and obvious reasons why people need to vote for Dems in 2018. I am baffled about why these Senate races are so close.
Here are some of the key races that are too close to predict because they are within the margin of error:
Claire McCaskill in Missouri (50% to Hawley’s 47%)
Joe Donnelly in Indiana
Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota
Jon Tester in Montana
Joe Manchin in West Virginia
Bob Menendez in New Jersey
Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona (50% to McSally’s 47%)
Bill Nelson in Florida (51% to 44% for Rick Scott)
Phil Bredesen in Tennessee
Jacky Rosen in Nevada
Beto O’Rourke v Ted Cruz (Tied!)
People what are you thinking???!!
It’s hard to believe these races are this close. And the fact that they are should act as motivation for us to kick ourselves into high gear even in these last few hours before the election. Even losing by a few votes is a loss of the entire race. There is no second place.
This election will be a turning point whatever way it comes out. It will either send a message that the American people want to rein in Trump or it will give Trump a green light to continue being a wrecking ball. I believe we need guardrails on this guy, don’t you?
If we do gain the House and perhaps the Senate or get close to that majority in the Senate, we will finally have a foothold to start the work of regaining our country and retaking the presidency, Senate and more state legislatures in 2020. We will have the opportunity to reset the conversation and the narrative in America.
Trump is on the ballot this midterm. Trump has set himself up as the all-knowing interpreter of the Republican electorate. If “Trump” loses on Tuesday, many Republicans will get the message that Trump is not the amazing wizard who instinctively understands what the Republican electorate wants and needs. Some Republicans might finally grow a spine and begin to stand up to him.
So, this is it.
This is the moment we have all been working for in whatever ways we could- supporting the over 450 diverse House candidates (women, scientists, minorities), marching in the streets, communicating with each other for moral support, canvassing, calling, sending money to organizations to support our democracy under attack and more. I hope with all my heart that our efforts pay off.
Tuesday night could be a night of celebration if returns indicate a solid repudiation of Trump and Trumpism. It could be the beginning of the end of Donald Trump’s corrosive, divisive grip on America. Fingers crossed, this could be the beginning of the return to decency and normalcy we all want and need so much.