Deep breaths. It’s time to pay attention to the legislative branch, now. Those people you support will need your support to get through being outnumbered. There are some tough people in the House and Senate. I’m quite excited about more than a few of them.
As it’s been said, women, specifically women of color made huge gains in the Senate this election.
- Rep. Tammy Duckworth (Dem-Illinois) is a woman I’ve been especially interested in. She’s Thai-American, after all. American father, Thai mother. Born in Thailand, served in the American military, wounded, lost both of her legs. She’s, frankly, quite amazing. I’m not actually sure how being born on Thai soil affects her chances, since she has an American father, and their military service goes back to the Revolutionary War for goodness’ sake, but she feels like an Obama 2.0. At the moment, I’ve got a bit of a political crush. (You can follow her congressional office on twitter @RepDuckworth. They’ll change the name when she moves office, but if you follow her now, them changing the name won’t drop you off the account.)
- Catherine Cortez Masto, (D-Nevada) is a former Attorney General. She’s what I like to call a practical liberal. One of those liberals I like to point my more moderate conservative friends to. She owns guns, for example, but still sees a need for protections for reasons of national security. Plus, apparently her husband is a former secret service agent, and that’s just cool. I like her. She makes me want to move to Nevada, and who would have ever guessed such a thing would be possible? Hot and windy and barren landscape? No thank you. But she’s neat.
- A friend of mine also just today turned me on to Stephanie Murphy, who is now in the House of Representatives (not the Senate like the others), but beat out a 12-term Rep in Florida, John Mica. Damn impressive. She’s a college teacher in business and social entrepreneurship, and worked at the Office of the US Secretary of Defense, both cool jobs. Also, she’s a first-gen American, from Vietnam. That’s really damn awesome. (@SMurphyCongress)
They’re not the only ones. There are people on the local level.
- Oregon’s new governor, Kate Brown (elected, not taken up) is openly bisexual. (@OregonGovBrown)
- Ilhan Omar, first Somali-American legislator, was elected in Minnesota wearing a hijab. (@IlhanMN)
We’re going to need all of them. For LGBTQA rights. For Women’s rights. To fight against racism. To fight for religious freedom. For environmental safety. For open education. So that those without traditional access can get the health care they need.
It’s going to be a tough four years, and not just because of Trump. (He lost the popular vote, the majority of the country isn’t necessarily against us.) But we still don’t have the Legislative, and we’re not going to have the Supreme Court (which, again, stings something awful).
That means WE have to step up. Not only during the Presidential election cycle – it is important to remember the midterms in 2018, and it is important to remember that (when they aren’t on vacation or throwing a tantrum) the Legislative branch is one third of our Government’s power. WE have to get involved. Not only during the Presidential cycle. Not only reading news bias towards our views (FOX/MSNBC) but play around with checking international news sources, who might land something interesting or play around with analysis (I’d recommend the Abe Lincoln’s Top Hat podcast for analysis and humor, and PBS is wonderful. They put out TONS of little podcasts that I had access to here, despite not being near a radio.), and subscribe to a news paper … I’d TOTALLY say reward THE WASHINGTON POST. They did real work this year.
I’m not saying don’t care, don’t be sad, don’t be angry. I’m saying DON’T GIVE UP. Or, in the words of whoever said it first, DON’T LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN. And know this, you aren’t in this alone. There are millions of other Americans, just like you. Who feel the same. Let’s gather together – physically, or like this, through this wonderful internet connection we have – and move forward.
(On the plus side, Joe Arpiao of AZ lost re-election. So not everything is wrong with the world. Weird, since he was basically Trump in a state that voted for Trump, but … silver linings.)