It’s barely an hour past the deciding of our 45th President by an apoplexed media in the wee small hours of the morning. Part of America is wildly ecstatic, another hand-wringly gobsmacked.
To the Republicans, enjoy the moment: I’ll call for you here in a few. To the Democrats: let’s talk.
Dear Democrats, since the economic boom of the 1990’s you’ve lost your way. Before you say “Barack Obama,” check the rear view mirror, as objects may be larger than they appear. Since Bill Clinton left office, you’ve offered four very poor presidential candidates and lost state after state to GOP governors and legislative bodies. Obama was an anomaly. In a two decade span, that will run from 2000 to 2020 now, you’ve been (or will be) out of true power sans a brief two years you held both the White House and Congress.
You offered us a pair of senior citizens as candidates in 2016. Sure, Bernie set young hearts afire, but he was no Obama that had broad appeal across the center. And as tonight’s electoral map shows, Hillary will be the worst offering since Michael Dukakis. Yep… Dukakis.
Don’t spend more than 5 minutes lamenting how America chose a foul mouth, mean-spirited bully to lead the nation. You offered nothing inspiring and moving forward, who is the next in line? Can America name any “rising star” of the left? The GOP field this year offered many nationally known leaders (of various ages). Is Tim Kaine really the front runner now for 2020 now? <golf claps>
Dear Republicans, you get to have your moment. Salivate that you have the White House and Congress with an open Supreme Court seat waiting to be filled. But don’t think for a moment this was meant to be. Much of your own side was predicting doom and gloom tonight. History said this election was going to be yours all along (incumbent fatigue) and you nearly drove it off the cliff. Maybe you actually did and were saved by a safety net from disaster.
Your house is not completely in order either. It is a thick plot to unpack if a vindictive President-Elect Trump will seek revenge on the likes of Ryan, Cruz, Kasich and others who opposed him. And the likes of Kasich and the hundreds of GOP (ex?) who openly campaigned against him (including two former GOP presidents). After the confetti settles, there’s still a schism.
You’ve also made promises you can’t keep since 2008 and with each new Congress the grassroots rage has been fanned.
You have to govern now in a climate where the people are angry at government, many of them your own. To make America “great” again was an easy sell, delivering on that? Quite the challenge. If you cannot fulfill these desires now, where will your followers turn?
You also have to govern a society where suddenly a whole lot of “others” are suddenly fearful of just living here. And the demographics of many of these others are going to have a greater say at the ballot box as time passes; your clock is ticking.
Party Favors. The beauty of democracy is that we can elect change to effect change. Each of your two parties can be that change, but first you must look inward. Going forward, how will coalesce support around your ideals?