The Democratic Party lost, very badly, in the November 2016 elections. Resorting to the vernacular, the Dems saw their clocks cleaned, had their butts kicked, etc. (Fill in your own euphemistic analogy for a disastrous thumping.) The presidency, the House, the Senate, and most state governor offices are now controlled by Republicans.
So, how are the Dems and unaffiliated progressives and liberals going to effect meaningful change in governance?
They must wait. However anxiously, they must wait until Nov. 6, 2018. On that day, they can, perhaps must, vote as if their futures depended on it.
John Gascoyne is a lawyer and writer in Colorado. Learn more about John…
Of the 435 House seats, all will be voted on in 2018. Of the 100 Senate seats, 33 of them will be voted on. Parenthetically, 25 of these 33 seats are currently held by Democrats or Independents. That’s a good deal of political territory to be protected before gains can be made.
There are, of course, no guarantees that the 2018 elections will bring significant and meaningful change. History, however, seems to be predictive of better times for folks out of power. Abraham Lincoln told us, “The past is prologue.” Many more times than not, Lincoln’s words have been prophetic—the “out” party has fared well in mid-term elections and staged a partial or nearly overwhelming comeback.
Please take a quick poll at the end of this post.
Recent history also supports the notion that control, some of it at least, will be reversed in mid-term elections. There are plausible explanations for this phenomenon:
- A president, elected to a four-year term, is not a candidate for office in the mid-term election.
- Whatever cachet a president has may thus be less potent in the mid-term voting.
- Historically, the president and the affiliated party are more likely to be voted against in the mid-term.
- Traditionally, fewer people vote in the mid-term elections. This seems to favor the anti-voters more than those who would vote simply to maintain the status quo.
Mid-term results: Consider some fairly recent mid-term elections:
In the mid-term election of 1986, Ronald Reagan lost the Senate to the Democrats.
In the mid-term voting of 1994, Bill Clinton saw Republicans take control of the House, the Senate and a majority of state governorships.
In the 2006 mid-term, George Bush lost his majority support in the House and Senate.
In the presidential race of 2008, Barack Obama carried about 57 percent of the popular vote. In the mid-term election of 2010, however, he garnered only about 40 percent and the House was taken over by the Republicans. In the presidential election of 2012, Obama was back in the saddle and received about 54 percent of the vote.
There are, of course, exceptions. In the midterm elections of 1998, Bill Clinton retained his control. Likewise, in 2000, George W. Bush stayed on top.
What if…? I have something of a remote, dark, and, hopefully, baseless, concern about the 2018 mid-term election: What if it were not held?
We already know that Trump and cronies have utter contempt for truth, the Constitution, and traditions that have, for the most part, kept our nation whole and healthy. What if—in what NPR and most other media outlets insist on calling “falsehoods“—the new regime lies its way into a national emergency that precludes holding the election?
What if the Liar in Chief calls upon his evil twin Vladimir to create a plausible international emergency, thus giving credence to the supposed event and acceptance of the idea of suspending “only for the time being” the scheduled elections?
I’ve shared this unlikely possibility with a few friends. To a person, they’ve suggested psychiatric intervention and a cessation of paranoid, delusional thinking—for me, that is.
What if, while we wait for November 6, 2018, we stay alert to all possible dirty tricks from the gang we have no reason to trust, no reason to assume will follow the rule of law and tradition?
In the meantime, there is a great deal we can, even must, do: send postcards, call our reps (deny at the beginning that we are paid to make the call), submit opinion letters to the media, and march—carry signs and march, and march some more—this may be as important as all of the other countermeasures put together.
Follow Writers With No Borders by email. Click on the “Follow” button at the top of the right column.