By any measure, Tuesday was a big night for Democrats, especially in Virginia, where they swept the top offices, including governor, and made strong gains in the General Assembly.
It looks like Democrats won basically everything in yesterday’s elections. Pundits everywhere are seeing this as a popular indictment of President Trump and all things Trumpistani. My political podcasts are dropping their “emergency episodes” in which they reflect on the demographic breakdowns and talk about what this says about America.
I think it’s fine for people to take a moment to celebrate or mourn these outcomes for a minute if that’s what they want. I don’t feel particularly connected to any of this and there wasn’t an election (that I know of) here in California.
BUT because I like pooping on people’s dreams, apparently, I want to just waggle a cautionary finger.
Trump did not emerge onto the political scene ex nihilo. He didn’t just hop onto Twitter last August and suddenly a bunch of folks were like, “Wow. He really speaks to me and says what is in my heart, but I never realized it until now. Imma vote for him.”
I’m sure I’m not the first to point this out, but Trump is the symptom, not the disease. Trump was elected as a reflection of the ideas that are already widely adopted in our culture.
- His anti-intellectualism
- His desire and willingness to change/break the rules when they prevent him from doing what he wants to do
- His inclination toward protectionism
- His own identity politics in the form of nationalism
- His disdain for expertise and intellectual accomplishment.
One could go on and on.
I don’t want to go wading into the muck of terrible ideas that surrounds Trump. I just want to point that Trump is the chicken of those ideas come home to roost.
I think these election results, which are purported to be a backlash against Trump, are actually just more of the same bad ideas that brought Trump to us in the first place. They differ in their particulars, of course, but the general themes are the same. I don’t see Democrats as a cure for this even if it is satisfying to see Trump folks lose.
So, yeah. This isn’t over. These ideas are still out there and they have a lot of support.