As I write this late Wednesday morning, many results of this year’s general election are not clear. We Democrats lurched into this election buffeted by highs and lows in public opinion polls, a tepid economy, and a truth-free messaging barrage from well-funded interest groups supporting Republican candidates everywhere.
For our benighted state, many races remain unsettled and partially counted; but I remain optimistic that our still-honest election system will yield good results at the state level. Most of our house races and state legislative races remain unclear as the effect of redistricting and the trump-ified Republican primary swirl around the slow and deliberate vote count. I remain optimistic that small leads will hold for Democratic candidates.
Nationally, it appears that the much-feared “red wave” has been reduced by actual voter behavior (as opposed, to reported poll results) to a modest ripple. Let us fervently hope that President Biden’s former gift of being able to successfully work across party lines as a U.S. Senator will work with a closely divided Congress. It appears that the most liberal of Democratic objectives will be dead on arrival in the118th Congress. I am not sure that today’s Republican congressional leadership knows how to compromise. Likewise, I am not sure that the Democrat remnant in the House has the ability to unify around the possible when the votes to get anything even modestly progressive will require Republican votes to pass.
Perhaps the best we can hope for is that the Democratic caucuses in the House and Senate can block congressional action of some truly goofy Republican platform issues such as a nationwide abortion ban, family planning restrictions, hamstringing environmental quality improvements, liberalized firearms regulation, and tax breaks for businesses and rich taxpayers.
At the bottom line, it appears to me that the battle for democracy in this democratic republic is not over. In this election, the electorate managed to halt the Republican-led march to autocracy. However, we have not convinced our fellow citizens that it is imperative to reform our policies and buttress our political institutions to protect that democratic republic to the benefit of all citizens and residents. The struggle continues. The work goes on.