Donald Trump’s approval rating is rising. The Democratic advantage on survey questions about party preference for control of Congress is vanishing. Liberal anxiety about the fate of the midterms – and I would venture, the country itself – is rising.
To all this, I say: Calm down.
Not relax. Not rest easy. Not coast. But stay the course and don’t panic. Work hard, message well and bring your passion – and a few neighbors and friends – to the polls in November.
If voters do that, as they have already done in special elections, signs are positive for a major realignment in Washington.
As a CNN analysis last month said: “These results suggest that the Republican Party is in trouble heading into the midterm elections. If past trends hold, it is possible Democrats could see a double- digit swing in the average House district in 2018 compared with past elections.”
The analysis continued: “The reason is fairly clear: The Democrats are outperforming their baseline far more often than they are underperforming it. The average swing across all elections has been +13 Democratic, signaling a national political environment is 13 points in the Democrats’ direction.”
The report concluded: “The last time the average shift from the partisan baseline in federal elections looked anything like this cycle was in 2006. That year Democrats won the national House vote by 8 percentage points and had net gain of 30 House seats. Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to take back the House this November. Like 2006, we shouldn’t expect Democrats to win the national House vote by nearly as much as they over-performed in the special elections.”
The much-hyped “blue wave” may very well manifest. This, to me, is simply about the partisan reality of the mood of the country and the dictates of historical precedent.
But what happens this November, and indeed in November 2020, is about something more than an affinity for Democratic candidates. For me, those candidate enlistees in the resistance army are agents of a greater correction.
My vision of our forthcoming election is rooted not simply in partisan politics but in a more profound sense of morality, righteousness and patriotism. That is a higher purpose. And it doesn’t hinge on Trump’s absolute failure, his penchant for self-immolation or his ineptitude posing as competence.
The truth is, no presidency is a complete failure, because the machinery of America wants it to succeed. That machinery will make the best of whatever it’s given.
Furthermore, other countries will do whatever it takes to have a successful relationship with the United States, whatever their version of “successful” means. In the case of Trump, many have realized that the best way to work with him is to flatter him, and the highest form of flattery is to make him feel that he’s winning and is respected.
For world leaders, Trump is the representative of America, which remains the planet’s military and economic powerhouse, and in that way, for now, America is not only too big to fail, it is too big to forsake.
To that end, much of Trump’s foreign policy may not be met with vocal condemnation from our allies – but make no mistake, Trump is systematically forfeiting American leadership on the global stage.
Donald Trump is the leader of this country, but also the enemy of it.
No person who treats women the way Trump does and brags on tape about sexually assaulting them should be president.
No person who has demonstrated himself to be a pathological liar should be president.
No person enveloped by a cloud of corruption should be president.
All that’s apart from whatever Robert Mueller and other investigators may discover.
Americans of good conscience know that Trump is a moral blight on this country, dragging down virtues and destroying conventions.
Every day that Trump occupies the presidency, he diminishes it. And a vast majority of the Republican Party – its voters, its officials and its apparatus – has chosen the path of accommodation, if not outright cheering, of Trumpism.
At this point, Trump is the Republican Party, and the whole lot of them must be hobbled if not vanquished at the ballot box.
Stop hoping that Trump’s supporters will abandon him. They may never. Each voter must be governed by his or her own conscience. If they have chosen to follow the forsaken down his path of destruction, so be it. Focus instead on increasing the awareness, passion and turnout of the honorable and the ethical, and on fighting apathy and burnout.
The objective must be greater than politics. It must be about the restoration of normalcy, civility, truth, fair play and respect. It must be about the expulsion of corruption, complicity, hypocrisy, deceit and fraud.
Democratic politicians may reap the rewards of resistance, but they are not the progenitors of it. Nov. 6, 2018, will be the first day since Trump was elected that most Americans will be able to step into a voting booth and say “No more!” to this country’s being dragged down into the sewer.
Trump promised to “make America great again,” but he is in fact destroying America’s fundamental ideals. On Election Day, America will once again have its say.