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I think we have a shot at sanity
Democracy can be salvaged despite the loonies
The last five years have taken a heavy toll on my mental health. I know I am not the only one. I fully expected the Republican party wingnuts to do better than they did. Thank goodness I was wrong. The news that there was no red wave brought me great joy.
And so did this: for the first time in American history, the House of Representatives has a minority party led by a group with no privileged old white men.
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Democrats, for the most part, said they saw the lack of competitive races as a sign of strength and unity, and a stark contrast to the fractured Republican conference, where Representative Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader, is struggling to win the support he needs to become speaker amid a revolt on his right flank.1
This is a watershed moment for America. I am not “woke,” but I do think it is long past time that American power reflects the actual composition of American diversity. When the country began, only rich white men got a place at the decision-making table. That resulted in a country with long-embedded racist streaks and xenophobic stupidity that endures right up into the present. Change happens across generations.
The system is still rigged in favor of rich old white men, but their once absolute authority is eroding, and that’s a good thing. While the Republican party cannibalizes itself, the Democrats continue to chip away at all the things that are wrong with the U.S.A., like the lack of social safety networks and outrageous, soul-crushing health care costs.
Faux News, the primary source of lies and false flags in America Today, is, of course, peddling distractions related to the power shift. Yesterday it published an idiotic story2 focused on investigating Jeffries’ support for a sexual assault investigation. Allegations of sexual assault should be taken seriously, but that is not the lede in the story of why Americans should never vote Republican under any circumstance. As long as the “Faith and Flag Conservatives” rule the party, it is doomed to tilt towards some form of theocratic fascist nightmare.
By the way, Pew Research has some fascinating research that breaks down the political landscape of the United States.3 I will be unpacking some of my thoughts on that in the near future. Back to the topic at hand - America’s ugly history of slavery and anti-immigration pogroms clings to the country like stink on a septic tank. No matter how many times we try to flush the past away, it keeps coming back to haunt us. It will until progressives have full control of the levers of power.
The signs of this eventuality being possible are everywhere. No red wave was one of the most hopeful things that have happened in the last five years. It is a good sign when the major party that is not completely insane also comes together and basically unanimously agrees to put forward new leadership that truly reflects what America looks like.
The two-party system is deeply flawed, but of the current choices available, there is only one that does not represent utter madness ending in a post-apocalyptic hellscape. Based on the backlash to MAGA and all that entails, I have a new bloom of optimism flowering in my cranium.
I look forward to seeing what happens next.