Saturday, really, the last couple of weeks, sucked. Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court is going to go down in history as one of the darkest days of the American Experiment.
But, as we mourn this horrible reality, it is vitally important that we remember that change is the one constant in the American political process. It might not be immediate, but it is inevitable.
And massive change (for the better) is coming. The question is how long the dark tunnel will be this time, not whether we will find light on the other side.
The fundamental problem we have today is that too many Americans don’t vote. Some of that is systematic voter suppression, but most of it is simple apathy (or lack of education, which leads to apathy). If everyone voted, our elected government would be very different.
The good news is that those who vote most reliably for the deplorable leadership now in power, are, literally, dying off and the younger generations (starting with Gen X) are reliable voters for the left. (For those who are interested, from left to right the generations run: Millennials, Post-Millennials, Gen X, Boomers, Silent. Millennials now equal Boomers in raw numbers, if not yet in voters.)
And on top of that, the GOP has finally and uneqivocally shown its true colors with regard to immigrants, women, and minorities. It will stand with white racist misogynist homophobes and the 1% against, well, everyone else. This is causing a dramatic shift in how non-evangelical white women and college educated (non-evangelical) white men are voting, and has solidified immigrants as solid voters for the left.
The bad news is that white racist misogynists (including white evangelical women, who have been tricked into voting their racism over their gender) vote in really high numbers.
The good news is that white evangelicals are a steadily shrinking minority of the population and that young white evangelicals do not share their elders’ views: this younger evangelical generation, while not progressive as a whole, is legitimately moderate.
The Boomers and Silent generation have done great damage to this country in their last, fearful, electoral actions, but Gen X and, especially, the Millennials and Post-Millennials will fix it.
That fixing starts in 4 weeks and 2 days when we (knock on wood and everyone turning out as they should) take back the House for Democrats and (a) start shining a very bright light on the Trump administration’s horrible actions (and its horrible people), and (b) create a firewall against any more truly horrible changes to our laws.
It continues in Nov 2020 when we retake the Senate and kick this abomination of a dictator-wanna-be out of the White House.
We’re going to face some (really) lousy Supreme Court decisions for the next 20 years (particularly if Thomas retires next summer, handing his seat to an equally reliable, but much younger conservative), but Progressives have faced a hostile Court before and come out on top in the end.
The US Supreme Court gave us Brown v. Board, but it also gave us Plessy v. Ferguson. It gave us Obergefell(same gender marriage), but it is also gave us Bowers v. Hardwick (upholding sodomy laws).
I feel like we are living near the end of a new Gilded Age. The Court remains solidly in control of reactionary forces. The Wealth Gap has become a Wealth Chasm of crisis proportions. Infrastructure is crumbling. And white, male, power brokers are holding on to their power with everything they have, not caring whose support they court, so long as they stay in power.
But it will not be enough.
Just as the Progressive Era was ushered in by the excesses of the Gilded Age, so too will an era of progress follow these dark times.
The Obama and (for all that he disappointed many) Clinton administrations held back a lot of the truly horrible things we are seeing come to fruition today.
But there is a way forward.
And our first step back is retaking the House (and a lot of state legislative chambers and governors mansions as redistricting is coming) in 4 weeks and 2 days.
The next step, in 2020, is retaking the Senate and even more state legislatures.
And then we fight a long fight against our own judiciary, but we will win that, too, through simple attrition or even more radical measures (Kavanaugh lied so often during his hearings that impeachment is not off the table).
And, in the end, we win.
We will take back this country.
~Jonathan Zucker, Founder of It Starts Today