No, the fight for America’s soul isn’t over. It never has been; never will be; ours is an imperfect country. And yesterday, The Dark Side did make some headway.
But here at On Trump’s Trail, Phoebe and Cat are in agreement on the main point.
Control of the House of Representatives is now in Democratic hands. It means that just like the country’s Founders had envisioned, there is now a semblance of balance to our Constitutional democracy.
And if you doubt the importance of that, how helpless would you be feeling about Trump’s firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, were not the Democrats about to take charge of the House, in a position to investigate what happens to the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in 2016 election that brought Trump to the White House?
Just as important, the election demonstrated that Donald Trump’s attempt to poison the country’s character with his aberrant witch’s brew of hatred, fear and bigotry hasn’t worked. If you are a liberal, and a progressive, as are this dog and this cat, just imagine how you’d have felt waking up this morning if the House had remained under control of Republican toadies?
You would be in despair, discouraged that the midterm elections had proved that most of your fellow Americans loathe “other” people, including those who want to be Americans just like us.
You’d be feeling worse – if that’s possible – than you did two years ago when Trump won the presidential election. You’d be feeling worse, because after two full years of seeing Trump in action, after thousands of tweets, thousands of lies, a gazzilion attacks on America’s traditions, a failure to put Democrats in charge of the House would have meant that your friends, neighbors, cousins and fellow citizens had decided that Trump Guy was okay.
So don’t be talked out of the importance of the House victory just because Republicans increased their majority of the Senate, or because the size of the House win wasn’t as big as liberals wanted. Don’t get discouraged because some of Trump’s tactics worked: that his demonization of immigrants, attacks on victims of sexual assault, war on the press succeeded with millions of voters and strengthened his control of the Republican Party.
That’s democracy. You never get everything you what you want. Nobody does.
Take Phoebe. Our Humans sometimes offer her “treats,” usually small crumbly MilkBones, even though Phoebe prefers hot dog slices. But hot dog bits are rarely handed out. And do you see Phoebe complaining? Nope. She’ll jump up and down; she’ll race up the stairs; wag her tail furiously; and otherwise humiliate herself just for one measly MilkBone. Rejoice in what you can get, Phoebe says, not what you don’t.
But look what Democrats had to overcome:
A hot economy (at least in terms of low unemployment, increasing wages, etc.) usually helps a president. In cat terms, a full food bowl trumps an empty one. But Trump himself ignored the economy in favor of beating up on immigrants during the final weeks of the campaign. And voters ignored the economy as well, with millions of voters influenced more by Trump’s gutter character than their well-stocked pantries.
The reformers, resisters and rebuilders – whatever you want to call the Democrats – lacked a unifying leader, a charismatic, inspiring figure on level of a Barack Obama or a Jack Kennedy. Instead, it was sheer idealism, a belief in American traditions, and individual conscience that led this election.
Further, the midterm elections bucked a worldwide, baffling phenomenon in which voters willingly have brought to power a fresh generation of anti-democratic monsters to run countries like the Philippines and Brazil.
So, don’t let the pundits, the sourpusses and the skunks-at-the-parties mislead you about what just happened.
Remembering Obama’s rallying cry, “Yes, we can,” the election that just happened was a genuine instance of “Yes, we did.”
So take a moment to celebrate, to rejoice.