post-midterms 2018

11/7/18
written this morning:
 [.]
…I think my mood is basically pessimistic. of course, I’m a pessimistic person by nature.
 [.]
Two years.  (three if you count horrible 2015-2016 election season) Two years of the Trump admin. being as bad or worse than people feared. Muslim ban (in effect). Children in cages. pulling out of the Paris agreement and the Iran deal. cozying up with potential enemies and alienating historical allies. dog-whistling to white supremacists. fear-mongering. in the response to school shootings, saying teachers should be armed. not providing adequate aid to Puerto Rico because, you know, “big water” (and they’re not white). decimating the department of education (rolling back protections for transgender students and sexual assault survivors), decimating the EPA and the environment. setting things in motion for another recession. causing a trade war – which caused Harley Davidson to consider relocating overseas and caused major losses to midwestern farmers due to China’s retaliatory soy tariffs (you’d think that’d hurt Trump’s base). the vileness, meanness, flat out incompetence. and not to mention blatant crime and corruption: cronyism, nepotism, tax fraud, possible treason, on and on…. so much bad news that you can’t even remember all the bad news, because the next week is something even worse. the blatant upfront hypocrisy of McConnell vis-a-vis filling the Supreme Court, and the Kavanaugh debacle. and on and on.
[.]
and then two years of Resistance. Two Women’s Marches. countless marches/protests/rallies. yes, the left/Dem. side is divided internally between moderates (and “let’s appeal to white blue collar people”) and progressives (“screw that, let’s double down on focusing on women, LGBT, Muslims, people of color”). People are saying that that was a “strategy” that played well in the suburbs, poorly elsewhere, and a “strategy” to get the House but lose the Senate.  (I don’t really think it was a conscious strategy, more just a naturally occurring fallout of how things have been heading)  Two years of a whole lot of people doing more activism than they have ever done, and really putting in a lot of work to create a grassroots movement. and an intersectional movement. i.e. a diverse platform that covers topics from environment to civil rights for all to healthcare.  You had Justice Democrats (and others) pushing for candidates that would not be beholden to superpacs and dark money. You had groups pushing for Independent candidates. You had Women’s March Movement. MoveOn. Indivisible. all kinda working with each other. (if, often, at odds with the DNC and DCCC)
[.]
…and there were some reasons to be encouraged. Bernie Sanders possibly invigorated the youth. (though, I personally saw younger people also backlashing into alt-right and anti-sjw.) The Parkland students finally taking matters into their own hands and really trying to hold legislators’ feet to the fire. More women running, hands down. plus Native Americans, African-Americans, and LGBT people.
[.]
..we dared to hope for a “blue wave,” for some landslide victories. this thinking of how could it not be? even moderate republicans have to be incensed by this.  one small personal victory for me, my hardcore far-right white middle-aged suburban evangelical mother, who used to think “liberal” was a dirty word, etc., voted democrat.  (mostly democrat. hey, I’ll take it.)  If my mom flipped, surely other Reps. must have.  Even evangelicals have been divided amongst each other.
[.]
and turnout. surely there was larger turnout for this than any other midterm.  (but I don’t know. My county is saying 55% turnout. and I want to say that’s slightly above average?)
[.]
But I don’t think I saw a blue wave.  I think I saw a lot of near ties.  Not only did the GOP keep the Senate, they gained seats: Indiana (Donnelly lost), North Dakota (Heitkamp lost), Missouri (McCaskill lost).  I want to say that Heitkamp lost because they (the republican state legislature and the republican supreme court) kept Native Americans from voting. But that’s speculation, I don’t have the actual statistics.  (update: actually, I just read turnout was high, here.)  I do know there was a push, by Four Directions and others, to unite various tribes and try to get everyone to vote. I know the McCaskill race was one of the tightest in the nation.  and maybe Kavanaugh really was galvanizing for the Republicans…Heitkamp lost and she was anti-Kavanaugh and Manchin won (but, screw him) and he was pro-Kavanaugh. (I think he put his own election ahead of the good of the country.)  …maybe anti-abortion is just that important to people…?
[.]
 I was hoping for a landslide sweep of both houses. instead, I got the GOP gaining seats in the Senate, but at least the House went to the Dems.
[.]
I guess one thing I should be looking at, and might be overlooking, is local state legislatures.  These have been generally Republican strongholds, I guess. thanks to orchestrated efforts and gerrymandering.  So did the Dems have a blue wave in state legislatures?  again, I don’t think I saw any landslides.  and just close races. …however, maybe the news outlets only covered close races, because that might be more “exciting.”
[.]
So I feel generally let down. but not really surprised.  first, people elected Trump. meaning that people were a lot more stupid and mean than I wanted to believe. and then, rather than eventually realizing they made a mistake and this really is bad…nope…the same old support is still there. so maybe we are still at square one, a lot of people feeling strongly on the left…and a lot of Trump-support feeling strongly on the right.
[.]
ok, well, down to specifics.
ok, good news and bad news.
[.]
Of the people I personally knew and campaigned for, the one I campaigned for the most lost, albeit it a fairly tight race.  One other person I knew well won.  Either way, interesting, because these are two women were part of my huddle, were regular people (whatever regular means.) and, after a time, they decided to run for office in local state legislator positions, where the entrenched incumbent Republican politician had been running unopposed. and then they ran.  and the elections were very close.  and I personally knew these people. From before they had the idea to run to now.  And the third person, who I know less well, but still know, the election hasn’t been called yet.  Believe this, right now, there is only a 12 vote difference. 12.
[.]
Illinois-specific news:
Lauren Underwood beat Hultgren in the 14th
Casten beat Roskam in the 6th
Pritzger (at least Rauner’s out)
[.]
good news:
Kim Davis – that Kim Davis – is out
Kobach is out (that super-racist anti-immigration, anti-latino, muslim ban guy)
Scott Walker is out
[.]
don’t know yet:
Stacey Abrams in Georgia (looks like she’s losing, potential run-off)
[.]
bad news:
Heitkamp, Donnelly, and McCaskill
[.]
really bad news:
Ted Cruz won (TX)
Steve King won (IA)
[.]
Iowa:
but IA flipped two seats..maybe Iowa is almost blue or purple again
[.]
notes on representation:
not only is Lauren Underwood black and fairly young, at 32, she is actually the first female – ever – to represent the 14th
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez might be the youngest person in Congress, and she’s notably progressive
I think Deb Haaland, NM, might be the first Native American woman in Congress (there are 2 Native American men in Congress, from Oklahoma).
Back in the primaries/special elections, I was glad Danica Roem won, possibly the first openly transgender person (Virginia legislator), and the African immigrant refugee who won mayor in Montana, Wilmot Collins.
[.]
————————————————–
written this evening, after a day spent analyzing results and glued to analysis of results:
[.]
I’m more depressed.  Go figure.

Heilemann and Wagner make some interesting points.  About how the remaining Republicans in Congress could be Trump loyalists.  How the country could be bracing for tougher more hyperpartisan divides ahead.  But also how Democrats should be encouraged and not dismiss the wins, despite some heavily spotlighted losses.
[.]
I guess I’m in kindof a numb state, thinking over the past 2, well 3, years. and in an anticlimactic state. Like the main focus of everything I’ve worked for over the last two years is over. and kindof a meh, at that, perhaps. after so much effort by so many.  …and remembering the angst and fear and anger and pain in 2015 and 2016, leading up to the 2016 election. and then, with hindsight, how those fears weren’t really all that misplaced and that, little would we know what would be awaiting us in the coming months, and years. hell, Muslim ban was like day one…
[.]
But I guess, in a broader, more personal, sense, me evaluating my life. …I have pretty severe depression too, so of course I’m not going to come to any rosy conclusions. What have I done with my life? I haven’t amounted to anything.  I’ve failed at most things, large, small, personal, impersonal.  Maybe I’ve done something good here and there, or in the past, or in pockets. but overall? or anything recently?  Mostly I just exist in what seems to be a near catatonic state of depression, self-pity, and alcohol. …I try to walk the line between standing up for what I believe in, and not being proselytizing, though I’m still labeled an sjw by all but two of my friends. (and all the friends I see face to face) …kinda beside the point.  Though me being political and standing up for my beliefs and trying in what I see as standing up for civil rights, has cost me one friendship.
[.]
I was in a bad place November 2016.  I was also in a bad place fall of 2008. …hell, when am I not in some degree of bad place? whether through external events or internal ones.
[.]
even when no big “event” is happening, then it’s the malaise of my dissatisfaction with myself, work, everything.  the last eight years that I worked retail, what was the point to any of that? I worked…though that’s pretty much all I can say.  I’m not working now.  I was too miserable and I had to stop, otherwise I felt I’d be there forever.  And I wanted to take some time (lucky, to be able to take some time) to think about how to proceed next, because I need to work, and it has to pay “enough,” but I don’t think I could take retail. though it may be the only thing I’m capable of/qualified for (having thoroughly shot myself in the foot with other formerly promising options…long story. blame depression)
[.]
and now I’m rambling.
[.]
but one of the things I had poured myself into over the last couple years, was politics. like I said, I even lost a friend over it.  and it kinda feels like it was for nothing. …which then, with that snowballing tendency I have, then I start to think about how a lot of things in my life, i.e. namely the last 8 years, were for nothing. absolutely nothing. only to evolve my status from understandably down-on-their-luck to yeah-they’re-a-loser.
[.]
sorry, readers, that I don’t have some hopeful bit here. so I guess I’ll just trail off.
[.]
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