Just when all the pundits and political flaks were pronouncing the Democrat Party dead and gone for another decade, the Missouri mule reared back and kicked Trump, his Republican “do nothings” in Congress, Steve Bannon, and Fox News square in the ass (no pun intended). Democrats, Independents, and some enlightened Republicans rose up and sent a message at the polls on Tuesday. They let it be known that there is no place in our democracy for the politics of hate, divisiveness and lack of common decency. The election results affirmed leadership is not 140-character tweets, denigration of minorities and a misogynistic attitude toward women. To the surprise of many political observers, millennials, those in the 18-35 age range who now compose the largest demographic in the nation, came out in force. Far from being characterized as complacent and apathetic toward politics, the millennials let it be known they have serious concerns about the future, denounce racism and bigotry, value multiculturalism, respect authenticity, abhor corporate and political corruption, want to continue the development of alternative energy sources and believe in climate change as a threat to our planet. There are 75 millennials in our country. The Democrat Party will make a huge error if we don’t listen to them and include them in the Democrat agenda going forward. They are the future. The millennials will become the leaders of the 21st century and the influencers of public policy.
All in all, the election Tuesday was a great demonstration of grass-roots organizing and execution, confirming once again that the real political power in a democracy is the ordinary, everyday people. And by the way, a slogan on a red baseball cap doesn’t make America great again. It always has been Great. Trump should have just paid more attention in American History 101. Somewhere George McGovern must be smiling.
It is right that Democrats should celebrate these election victories from the town councils up and down the ballot to governorships. But our work is not done. There are moments in history when the political stars align and provide the opportunity for momentous change. This is one of those moments. We need to keep the grass-roots momentum moving forward. Every elected official spot of the 2018 ballot needs to be filled to the best of our ability. If you or someone you know has ever considered running for office, this is the year. You don’t need the approval of the county party. While many of these folks have labored in the trenches for years and are decent people, continuing to field the same old candidates with the same old message will result in the same old results. Nothing will change. We need new people of all races, ethnicities, ages, progressive causes and lifestyle preferences who will bring fresh ideas on public policy and governance. People who have the energy, commitment and passion to communicate them to our constituencies. Candidate recruitment is important. An army of volunteers will be needed. Individual candidate campaign strategies and tactics will require development. Voter identification and neighborhood canvassing will have to be conducted. And the list goes on.
Stay involved. Get involved if you haven’t been before. Our nation’s future and the futures of those we care about it depend on what we do in the next twelve months. Now is our time!