I want to use these last several hours of 2018 to bask in the setting glow of what was one of America’s finest years yet. If you are skeptical and in no mood, I get it, but I’ll wager hearing me out won’t be the very worst thing you do today.
Look, when the sun came up one year ago, the United States of America was literally gasping for clean air and truth after being sucker-punched time and again by Trump, his crime family, and a diabolical GOP Party eagerly exhibiting how compromised, anti-American, ruthless, and devoid of all decency it really was.
It had all somehow been even worse than we imagined when we fumbled away every shred of power we owned in November of 2016, and watched in horror as a madman gobbled it all up and spit it back in our face.
With a year of madness behind us, 2018 was setting to be the most consequential 365-day stretch of our lifetimes.
By now the #TheResistance was a full-blown thing and an amalgam of everything that was still good and right about this country. Environmentalists, civil rights crusaders, educators, kids and do-gooders in all shapes and sizes had pulled together and were literally on the march. Our women were leading the way and not a minute too soon, because everything depended on November and what might be America’s last, best chance to set about making things right again.
If #TheResistance couldn’t make a dent in Trump’s ridiculously evil, treasonous and corrupt GOP, we were through — done.
Like so many of us, I was busy connecting with people I would never had known had Hillary prevailed. That was the residual good that came out of the crushing darkness of that horrible November night two, long years ago.
I found there were good, kindhearted folks everywhere who had been deeply hurt by this unimaginable evil in our midst. If they were looking for hope and answers while shaking off tears, I was only too eager to wail back at them, #MeToo! #MeToo!
Over the course of this great year, I connected with many resisters, and one in particular. Though many states away, she was living in my head and in very much the same, dark place with the same base concerns. Through our regular phone calls that masqueraded as therapy sessions, we built a friendship. Hell, we even built this, a frenzied, online effort to give good people an outlet to connect and get activated with good causes. It still needs plenty of food and water, and is nowhere near what we’d like it to ultimately be. For now, we take solace it’s a safe place a good person might happen upon, and know there are countless others out there looking to make the world a better place.
High-mindedness aside, our rambling discussions always, always, always seemed to take us to one place: We simply HAD to win elections in November. While it looked like control of the Senate was going to be a bridge too far because of an insanely favorable GOP map, the House seemed like a reasonable place to make a stand and win back some much-needed high ground. We simply had to win a key battle to stay in the war.
So when it was announced right around mid-evening on Nov. 6, that the Democrats had won back the Congress, my audible gasp of relief almost blew out all the windows in my house. Of course as this was happening the talking heads on all the likely cable channels — even MSNBC — were bemoaning the #BlueWave as nothing but a mere ripple. Resistance or not, this much is true: Democrats simply have to get better at celebrating major victories, because as we learned in the days that followed, we had not only won on Election Night, we had won in a rout.
Democrats took 40 seats in congress (note: we could yet get a 41st in North Carolina) on their way to their best Midterm showing in 44 years. The Democrats added seven governors, won scads of state races, and elected women and minorities at astonishing, tear-jerking rates. Just to rub it in, Democrats also flipped four state attorney general offices, and two secretaries of State.
So convincing was our victory that as of Dec. 28, there were 57,958,543 votes cast for Democrats (52.5%) and 50,530,948 votes cast for Republicans (45.8%). Used to be you couldn’t get a Democrat to turn out for a Midterm election. This year, you couldn’t keep ’em away. Just wait until the Generals in 2020 …
Ironically, some of the most spirited, high-profile campaigns resulted in agonizing losses for the Left — Abrams, Gillum and O’Rourke to name three — which is why many pundits allegedly on our side were crying in their green tea on Election Night, despite the fact there were stunning victories breaking out all around them.
Through clenched teeth, fear, rebellion, fury, strength, and led by women of all colors, the roiling #BlueWave had crashed ashore after all. It washed out the congressional GOP, and carried in, among others, one Nancy Pelosi to stand atop our new United States Congress.
Just five weeks later, it took our nation’s greatest legislator and deal-maker all of about four minutes in an impromptu Oval Office meeting to stare Trump directly in his dead, empty, orange eyes and goad him into “proudly” making a complete fool out of himself, while Chuck Schumer winked at the camera as if to say, “You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet, folks!”
Happy New Year, Resisters. If you still don’t think this was a great year, remember where you were 365 days ago.