art by Megan MacGregor
The big wave in Virginia! In the year since Trump was voted into office, a year ago tonight when I had a total meltdown, the Democrats have enjoyed a massive triumph.
Democrat Ralph Northam defeated Repub Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, in Virginia’s gubernatorial election tonight and did so by a comfortable margin – 54 to 45 percent with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Gillespie ran on Trumpism and that tactic failed.
From CNN: “Democrats also made significant down-ballot gains in Virginia. Justin Fairfax won the lieutenant governor’s against Republican Jill Holtzman Vogel, a state senator known for her sponsorship of a 2012 bill that would have required women seeking abortions to undergo vaginal ultrasounds. Social issues were prominent in another statewide race, where Democratic attorney general Mark Herring defeated Republican challenger John Adams, who has hit Herring for his refusal to defend Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban in court. And Chris Hurst, whose girlfriend Alison Parker was the Virginia TV reporter killed on live television in 2015, won a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.”
Even more stunning, though, is the win of the first transgender woman, Danica Roem, to a seat in the Virginia state legislature. She defeated Republican Bob Marshall, one of the state’s longest serving lawmakers, the man who sponsored a bill that would have restricted which bathrooms Roem could use.
Perhaps, after nearly a year of Trump tweets, gaffes, insults, scandals, and special investigations, people are waking up and resisting in a way that counts: at the voting booth.
In short, as one tweeter put it: a trans woman beat the guy who introduced the bathroom bill. A gun victims’ boyfriend beat a delegate with an “A” rating from the NRA. A civil rights lawyer who sued the police department just became the top prosecutor in philadelphia. Somethng’s happening here, folks.
I hate to think we’ll have to wait until the midterm elections in 2018 to see this terrible period in American history mitigated by Democratic wins in the house and maybe in the senate, too. My hope is that Mueller will end this nightmare administration by issuing indictments for people within trump’s inner circle – his son, Donald Jr., and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then hey, an indictment for orange man himself.
But in the meantime, the democrats need to get their act together. Now that the repugs have revealed themselves as indentured servants to corporations and the 1 percent, democrats need to redefine who they are as a party. What do they stand for? If they expect to remain relevant, their platform should move toward the progressive vision of Bernie Sanders rather than some amorphous middle ground. The political paradigm must change.