Newsletter Reader Column: The Blue Wave
It is not just spring and its associated pollen that is in the air these days. If you are like me, you are getting excited about the 2018 election. There is no doubt that election of “the twitterer in chief” in 2016 has energized the electorate, and not in his favor! Democrats across the country are mobilizing, getting out the vote and winning historically “red” districts. Yes, friends, there is a blue wave a-comin!
With all of this energy and momentum it is important to keep our “eyes on the prize” and not get too over-confident or just assume it is going to happen. There is still a long way to go until November and nothing is a sure thing, especially in politics!
Ever since President Obama was elected 10 years ago, the conservative side of the political landscape has run further and further to the right. If you ask me, nothing could be better for the Democratic Party. This is our opportunity to be the “big tent”.
I am a case in point. If the 2016 Presidential election had not gone the way it had, I probably wouldn’t have thought about getting involved. If the subsequent antics of this dangerous and embarrassing administration hadn’t occurred, I probably never would have walked into a Democratic Party meeting last August. In short, things got to the point where I felt that I had to choose sides, and there are a lot more people out there just like me.
Here in 2018 we should attract independent and moderate Republican voters by allowing the other side to sink themselves. I personally know people who used to identify as Republicans that did not and will not vote for Trump or anyone like him. For that matter, I personally know people who did vote for Trump in 2016 and have stated that they will not do so again. The Fox News / Koch brothers strategy has gone too far if you ask me, and I think they will see that come November.
This is all because the Republican party has gone too ideological. In doing so, they have ceded the middle ground to us and it is important that we welcome those independents and moderate Republicans into our ranks as much as possible. This is a numbers game, and the numbers are in our favor!
However, we must be cautious, especially here in Oconee. We should not run left when they run right. Here in Oconee county, the Blue Wave is going to have a lot of opposition. While Oconee and Clarke are probably a little more open to the coming change, GA-10 has a lot of deep-red rural counties where it’s going to be an uphill battle. Even though many of us know in our hearts that comprehensive gun control legislation and universal healthcare are no-brainers, they are also non-starters in districts like ours. That conservative strategy may have gone too far, but it’s been around for a long time, it is well embedded, and it will be difficult to unseat.
We need to embrace common sense, middle of the road candidates that are running on obviously stable positions. Let the alt-right shoot themselves in the foot and we can welcome those that abandon them when they do. Let’s use this wonderful opportunity to be more inclusive and make changes that are ethical, non-partisan, and long lasting to build the community, state, and country we all want to be a part of.
Break out your sustainably sourced, locally crafted surfboards and your free-range organic sunscreen (SPF 30+ and broad-spectrum!), there is a Blue Wave on the horizon and it’s going to be a great ride!