A Wave or Merely a Ripple?
With hope in our hearts, we’ve been talking about a Blue Wave in the mid-term November 6 election—but it might just be nothing more than a ripple. According to a NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, conducted on October 1, the happy gap between Democrats and Republicans, the advantage of the liberal-minded over the GOP, has nearly vanished. Our 10-point lead is gone.
When I read about the poll, my jaw dropped. So did my heart. How can this be? Voter registrations are dramatically up. People who have never volunteered for a political campaign before are this summer pounding the pavement, knocking on doors, and sharing their hope for a better way. People are paying attention to what's happening in our government (local, regional, and nationwide) in a way we haven't in a very, very long time.
Brett Kavanaugh happened. Trump’s nominee for a lifelong position as Supreme Court Justice has widened the gap between the parties more than ever. The nomination has also widened a gap between men and women. While heating up the determination of Democrats to take back the House and to bring back a true democracy to our country, it has also energized the GOP. Apparently, Trump’s base has once again found the enthusiasm with which they installed this president into office in 2016. Remember taking that for granted? Conservatives are bound and determined to swing the highest court in their direction and to hold firmly onto their power in all branches of the government. What happens next isn't just about this election. It's about what will happen over the next several generations.
Ours used to be a government of checks and balances. Our Supreme Court used to be a place where politics were left outside the door, barred from entering. Only the balance of non-partisan justice was once allowed inside. When one party has too much control, a democracy dies. Authoritarianism rises.
If you are interested enough to read this blog on the Allegan County Democratic Party website, you are no doubt interested enough to have followed the fight to have Kavanaugh installed as Justice. Millions of Americans watched the recent hearings, with heart-wrenching testimony by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and a top-blowing fury in response by Brett Kavanaugh. Ford testified that she had endured a sexual assault by Kavanaugh. He denied it.
Another NPR poll, also taken on October 1, interestingly (sadly) enough, states that more people of either party believe Ford, not Kavanaugh. Yes, more people think Kavanaugh lied under oath. What this tells us is that the issue of sexual assault against women does not rate with many Republicans as an important enough issue to deny Kavanaugh a position on the Supreme Court.
Let that sink in.
Here’s another poll result to consider: The majority of women are against Kavanaugh’s placement on the Supreme Court. Most men … support him. It may be that our problems in this country run deeper than just politics. Much deeper. But that’s a discussion for another blog, and it’s crucial that we look hard at this gender divide, too. This blog, however, is about our slumping numbers when measured against the climbing numbers of … a Red Wave?
Let us not lose our enthusiasm in these coming weeks leading up to November 6. We have worked hard, and now we must work even harder. We, women, may very well be the ones to carry this Blue Wave to the polls. Talk to your sisters. Bring your mother. Seek out your gal pals. Urge your daughters. Vote.
As for our men, I would hope that you, too, care not only about the women in your life, but also about the men in your life, your sons and your brothers, and how you measure your integrity and respect toward others. This vote is not just a vote to put Democrats into office. It is a vote of respect for the girls and women who have suffered deep and lasting trauma, the majority of whom have not reported their assaults to the authorities precisely for the reason we are witnessing now—we live in a society where we are brushed off as not important.
On November 6, vote. VOTE. Vote for the Democrats running in your district, your state, your country. Vote for checks and balances to be returned to our government. Vote for goodness. Vote for a sustainable economy, a clean environment, a living wage, an education and quality health care available to all. Vote to fix the damn roads. Vote because the girls and women in this country matter. Vote because good men do, too. Vote for your children, your grandchildren, your great-grandchildren. Vote because it’s the right thing to do.
Vote for the person in the mirror. Because you matter and because you deserve better.