The midterm elections were two days ago, now, and the anecdotal consensus from friends and family is that it was not the best of nights for the Democrats. I don’t agree. The Democrats took back the House of Representatives from the Republicans despite having to overcome partisan gerrymandering, voter suppression, voting machines that were never designed or intended to be 100% accurate, and possible manipulation by the Russian government.
The big-ticket Democrats did not win. For Senator from Texas, Beto O’Rourke lost to incumbent sociopath Ted Cruz. In Florida, GOP candidate Ron DeSantis defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum for governor by less than 50,000 votes. Meanwhile, down in Georgia, Secretary of State Brian Kemp has declared victory in his race over Stacey Abrams. Kemp, as Secretary of State, bent over backwards to make it harder for Democratic voters to cast ballots in his state, and considering the close margin, his efforts seem to have borne fruit.
These were the three races on which Democrats and their voters pinned their hopes and dreams. O’Rourke was an especially telegenic candidate, and his rhetoric appealed the most to a liberal’s emotions over their reason. Alas, expecting Texas to turn from Ted Cruz to an avowed liberal was too much, but there’s no reason for liberal and progressive voters to have awoken the day after the election in despair.
The reason that President Trump has been able to run roughshod over the Constitution and all the other institutions that protect the republic is because the other co-equal branches of government have been abrogating their responsibility to keep him in check. This responsibility falls especially on Congress, as court action is less immediate.
Now that the Democrats have won control of the House of Representatives, all committee chairs, and their subpoena power, will pass to Democrats at the start of the next Congress. Two years of willful blindness on the part of the House will come to an end. For the first time, someone in our government will hold the Executive Branch to account. That is a good thing. President Trump now, rightfully, faces a hostile chamber of Congress — one that has the force of law behind it to investigate, and maybe, one day, to impeach the president.
Tuesday’s election was only the first step in battling back the Republican Party’s anti-democratic policies and laws. Had there been any sense of fairness from the GOP, had they been concerned in this century about the damage they had been causing and allowed a truly free and fair election, the massive blue tsunami that so many voters wanted would have happened. We are justified in being disturbed, or even frightened, at the idea that one of our major parties has figured out a way to keep control of the government against the desires of a majority of voters, but it is heartening that a majority of voters in the United States do not want a corrupt, racist, xenophobic, pro-1%, anti-99%, anti-democratic, and just plain cruel, group of politicians running this country. We want leaders and policies that will bring us in line with the rest of modern world.
We can’t get that without voting for it, first.