Please don’t gloat over a “Democrat Victory.” Many votes cast on November 6, 2018, were not for Democrats but for Not–Republicans. The Democratic Party provided lifeboats for disaffected citizens, but those lifeboats are temporary. Democrats have to re-think and re-group. Trump’s embrace of Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House should be the kiss of death for another round of Speaker Pelosi. The Trump base hates her for all sorts of reasons that they don’t know or understand, but they hate her, and he will use her as red meat to incite them. That’s just for starters.
If the quasi-election in November, 2016, of Donald John Trump told us anything besides how low a large segment of white Christian Evangelicals had sunk morally, it was this: The people of the United States want Something Different. As it turned out, Trump was not different at all, just uglier and ruder than your typical Plutocrat.
Many of us saw our Something Different in Bernie Sanders. We have not had the chance to be proven right or wrong. When the disheartening Primaries of 2015 were over, we trucked resentfully from the Bernie Camp back over to Camp Hillary. We held our noses and voted for the first Madam President-(not)-to-be, figuring that an educated hypocrite with good manners was better than an ignorant one without them.
Others, though, held their noses and took their chances with the Grabber, hoping that a miracle would happen, that he really would come to the Jesus whose name he used so loosely and repent of his many sins instead of bragging about them, or that at the very least he would allow his handlers to make him up, give him lessons in protocol and common courtesy, and direct him in his best TV role ever, that of Real Head of State (lol, Kevin Spacey, Martin Sheen, and Geena Davis). Maybe he really would drain the swamp or do something about something. The rest, as they say, is history-in-the-making, and to our great horror, we don’t know how it’s going to turn out yet.
Meanwhile, the Liar-in-Chief has shown us in living color the cesspool that together you, Democrats and Republicans in Congress and other influential places, have created over the past thirty-eight years with your deals and bribes and lobbyists and love of wealth and power over any real concern for humanity.
If some of you had good intentions, and I do believe you did, we can only imagine the threats and warnings you and your families got from billionaire string-pullers who have managed both Punch and Judy as well as Fox and CNN and MSNBC and PBS in the puppet show that has almost completely replaced “government by the people.” Those threats and warnings are probably what turned you from youthful idealists into cynical sold-out lackeys. Meanwhile, power-hungry Republican sell-outs show a high level of tolerance for public humiliation and deceit.
Out here where “the people,” (as in “We, the people”) live, Former Democrats, Independents, Indifferents, Greens, Libertarians, Nader-Holdovers, even Former Republicans like to think we are more rational and, we hope, more decent, but we too want Something Different.
What is that Something Different? I’m not a constitutional literalist, but I think a thorough reading of the United States Constitution and its Amendments is a good place to start. After you’ve read that, look around you at the many things you have neglected, the many things you (Democratic representatives and functionaries in particular) have tried to cover up with cosmetic improvements, pretending that you cared or that your hands were not tied by corporations: oceans, lakes, forests, animals disappearing because of capitalist abuse; our position at dead last in developed world health care; endless expensive unexplained wars; one of the highest rates of gun deaths in the civilized world; and an ever-widening gap between the very rich and the very poor.
Blue Lifeboats are not the seaworthy vessels we need, but they have offered temporary hope. Temporary. If we make it to dry ground, we want a chance to build a new ship, a new party, with captains who can man–or woman–that ship and take us to the places where we need to go.
Don’t deceive yourselves. The votes on November 6 were not for the Democratic Party, and especially not for the Business-As-Usual Democratic Party. They were votes for the chance to build better political parties, a better country, a better, kinder, more compassionate world.