Don’t Let the Win Fool You…There’s A Long Way To Go

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A lot of Democrats this week are enjoying something they haven’t enjoyed in a long time: A victory. Last Tuesday, Democrats won big snagging two governorships a majority in the new jersey and Virginia, gaining a majority in the Virginia State Congress, as well as many liberal referendums across the country. This should most certainly be celebrated and acknowledged as a blow to the President and the Republican party. But there is one problem I see coming up. One big result of temporary success that ruins democrats, one-hit wonders, and the Atlanta Falcons: complacency. 

In the wake of Tuesday’s win, or loss depending on who you were rooting for, many are seeing the momentum Democrats have gained as a statement towards the trump administration. That statement: the American people are not in favor of what the President has done so far. I am reminded of the 2006 mid-terms where the Democrats gained a majority in the house and Rep. Nancy Pelosi became the first woman to be elected speaker of the house. Then in 2008, history was made by electing the first African American presidents. Democrats had been flying high for a few years. However, the Democrats experienced something that the Republicans are experiencing now: empty rhetoric without action does not make for a lasting power dynamic. 

Democrats spoke with platitudes of Hope and Change at length during the Bush era. While inspiring, the party did not do much to detail what they would do in order to substantiate that hope and affect that change, and suffered when a justifiably disappointed and dejected voter base either didn’t turn out or supported another candidate. So really for the last decade, the Democrats have been sewing the seeds of their destruction. 

But here is the good news (again, or bad depending on what side of the fence you lie on). For the last 8 years, Republicans have relied on opposition politics in order to win elections. They, like Democrats, are finding that this does not make for a lasting power dynamic. It also doesn’t help when the president of the United States and the leader of your party is an unhinged and, more importantly, unpopular despot. So the Democrats have a great opportunity to capitalize on the madness of the party. 

It is possible for Democrats to win on an anti-trump message. It is clear that the American populous is fed up with Republican leadership and they will make that frustration known on the ballot box. The problem with an anti-trump platform, or in fact any political strategy that simply opposes rather than offering an alternative, is that the platform is lost after Trump leaves. There were a lot of things to improve at the end of Obama’s term. Going back to the way things were will just posture another Trump-like figure to rise in the United States. 

There needs to be a long-term vision for the party and the future. The best way to do this is by getting behind a set of ideals that people can get behind. Healthcare. Education. Good paying jobs. Sensible gun safety reform. Transportation. All of these things were put on the ballot last  Tuesday and they all went blue. And, no matter what they break down of republicans, democrats, or independents are in this country, those issues will continue to be bluer. 

PoliticsAlec Bose