Despite the fact this year’s election made me want to hide under the covers until it was all over, I was glued to twitter last night watching the election returns come in.
In short, it was a Democratic bloodbath. 60 plus seats went to Republicans, meaning control of the House of Representatives is gone. It’s hard to feel optimistic after an election like that, where being against things (health care reform, stimulus spending, jobs) was a better political strategy than being for anything.
A few bright-side moments from yesterday:
- The fetal personhood amendment in Colorado was defeated, by a resounding 3 to 1 against, for the second time. I’m heartened to know that most people (even in Focus on the Family’s homeland) don’t think fetuses should have rights until they are actually born.
- More openly LGBT candidates were elected yesterday than ever before in history, including –Victoria Kolakowski, a Superior Court judge in Alameda County. Kolakowski becomes the first openly transgender judge in America.
- Half of the so-called “Blue-Dog Democrats,” who pretty much sucked and were really more Republican than Democrat, lost last night. Does that prove that centrism is dead?
- Now that the Republicans have control of one body of Congress, they’re going to actually have to do something. Something other than oppose things. And as Alvin put it:
Now that the Republicans have Congress, they can now reveal that incredibly, wonderful master plan to cut taxes, bring down the deficit, and increase the work force. Apparently the plan is so awesome that none of them wanted to reveal it to the media or each other.
Being in my mid-twenties, with this election cycle (starting in 2008) being the first one I’ve been an active political participant in, every step of the way has been eye-opening. From watching my friends basically go away to war fighting for Obama’s election, to the disappointment of the reality that “change” can’t really happen in broadstrokes, in two years, no matter what kind of majority you have in Congress, to the realization that there are many people in our country whose politics are founded on hate and fear.
I’ve always held on to the belief that no matter how slowly, no matter how many set-backs, things are definitely on a slow progression toward better. Better for women, better for people of color, better for queer folks. Better for the low-income. Even if it’s a pendulum, it’s one that swings back and forth, but slightly more left with each swing.
Is that even true? I’m not so sure, but I think I have to hold on to that belief just to keep my optimism, and to keep my desire to fight up.
It’s like, is Dan Savage right? Does it actually get better? I sure as hell hope so.
Update: Read Tim Wise, because he is really smart, and makes me believe things will get better.