I’m not a political writer. I pay attention to politics as much as I can, but I’m not always as well versed as I’d like to be. I’m the guy who has a pretty firm grasp on what I believe in and what I stand for, but I still need to look things up a lot if people I’m reading political stuff. I didn’t know exactly how the electoral college worked in the American voting system until early last week. After last night’s election results, I think everyone on the losing side of that election has a better idea about how they work: not well. Again, I am not a political writer. Politics is not my passion. I will not often write about it, but I think today everyone is writing about it in one form or another.
The media has said it before leading up to last night’s surprising election results: this was not an election of facts. Ideas lead the way in the 2016 Presidential race, and it seems that ideas won the day as well. Why the results lined up the way they did has already been covered at every news site there is. I expect something oft left out of the consideration of the race is the way in which each side presented its ideas. Trump’s platform of vitriol and hate, bigotry and fear, and negativity in general was ultimately a platform of change. Not just change but the very idea of change. Regardless of how despicable, Trump successfully awakened a movement and motivated it to vote.
Clinton, a shoe-in for the presidency in every possible way didn’t manage the same. She did, but not in the way that Trump did. Not in a way that wins an election. It should have been an easy win for Clinton but she didn’t motivate enough voters to fill in her bubble on the ballot in the states where it would have counted. There’s a lot more to really unpack there, of course. Especially with regard to the face of the American public which the election has exposed and how that itself might have affected the vote. But what I really want to talk about is what’s next.
I try to be a positive person as much as I can. I try to eke out the good in situations and show it to people. There are situations where everyone gets so caught up in the doom and gloom and everything that they forget to search for that bit of good and things seem worse than they are. Sometimes things are actually as bad as they seem, sometimes they aren’t. It’s hard to say if this is one or the other at this moment, but it’s been difficult to find words to comfort those who are despairing.
What we know is this: it’s not over. Yeah, the election is over, the results are in. But nothing in politics is ever really over. It’s going to be a rough four years, especially so for many minority communities in America. It will be ugly. People will lose their rights. People will die. But it won’t be the end of everything fought for. The four years ahead are going to be four years of setbacks for social progress. There’s no question about that. There is a ridiculous cliche stating the night is darkest before the dawn, but it’s worth something here.
If the millennial voting maps that have been floating around on Twitter today are any indication, things are going to get a lot better for citizens of the USA sooner rather than later. With almost the whole of millennial voters leaning left, that’s good news for America. It’s good news because currently the left is the only progressive option. 2020 could well be a political revolution for America. With what has been called as the last stand of White Supremacy fully under way, 2020 could herald a new political era where those kinds of ideas are simply unacceptable, at least among our presidential candidates. Why? Young voters.
Young people are becoming more and more aware of their place in the world and the value of sensitivity. A general awareness of shared humanity is good in any sense, but what might be less obvious is the power it will have on the political process. In 2020 the election will go Democrat, there’s no doubt in my mind. It seems likely even that it will go Democrat in a very strong way. Of course there are a lot of factors in that, but I suspect that the people will not support a Trump presidency a second time. The Democrat party is going to come back stronger than they are now, maybe with the establishment hold on the party broken or breaking.
In an election like that, maybe following four disastrous years for the GOP, the Republican Party themselves will have little choice but to eventually begin the slow pull to the progressive side. They’ll have to if they want to retain any semblance of relevance in the coming elections. Americans could have, as early as 2024, a very different political landscape. One that is far more progressive than anything we have today for both parties and more representative of the American people by far.
I get why it looks so bleak to people right now. People have to see past the initial wave of election exhaustion and realize that they are not powerless. The Republicans did exceptionally well last night, but they can only truly follow the will of the people. If you’re an American and unhappy let your representatives know. If you make proposals seem untenable to your representatives then there’s a much higher chance that they’ll think twice about them. They want to keep their jobs going forward too, after all.
And that’s ultimately it. Get involved. Really get involved. Write letters to your representatives. Continue to encourage young people to make sure they get out there and vote not just in 2020, but in 2018 as well. It’s going to be an arduous four years, but it won’t be enough for Trump to erase the nation’s history and progress. Don’t give up now, you can do it. Really! Keep your head down, stay safe, and in the immortal words of Douglas Adams: Don’t Panic!