After his election, many people assuaged themselves and others about his upcoming tenure by saying the Republicans in Congress would serve as a check against his worst policies.
We were wrong.
They have stood by through nearly every despicable act and statement. They have deferred to executive power instead of addressing the racism of his travel ban. They have responded to his attacks on women and minorities by saying “He has a unique way of communicating” or “I’m very disturbed by what he said” while taking no actions.
They’ve now given him the green light to solicit any election interference he can dream of from foreign governments. He will. They are fighting in the courts to draw maps that gerrymander them into power. It will work. They will take every action they can to suppress the votes of minorities and the poor. They’ll often succeed.
But here’s where there is hope in this darkness.
They are taking all of these actions because they know that over the long term, they have lost this fight.
After Romney’s defeat in 2012 (and he deserves praise for his speech and vote today), the Republicans commissioned a study to find out why they had lost. It was insightful, impartial, and thorough.
The study confirmed many of the normal generalizations levied against the Republican Party – they appeal to white people and not minorities, their immigration stances are unpopular, anti-LBGTQ stances are increasingly unacceptable, they were the party of the rich, etc… It reflects on how rapidly demographics in America are changing and how the Republican Party needed to adapt in order to win going forward.
They reacted instead by electing a racist misogynist who hates immigrants and assaults women.
Rather than adapt their archaic social values, the Republicans reacted to 2012 by doubling down on them. Rather than altering stances to appeal to women and minorities, they’ve decided they will hold on to power by suppressing minority votes, gerrymandering districts, blocking a supreme court justice, and welcoming foreign governments fabricating scandals to help them win elections.
Wait, didn’t you say this was hopeful?
They can only use this tactic for so long.
America is getting less white by the day. We are becoming more religiously diverse. Anti-LBGTQ stances become more of an anathema with each generation.
Their views are literally dying out.
I am not saying this means Donald Trump cannot win. 2020 will be the fight of your life. They are going to cheat. They are going to spread conspiracy theories. They will do everything they can to cling to power.
But they are going to do all of those things because they know they can’t win otherwise.
And there will come a time, perhaps not in 2020 or 2024, but it will come, where their efforts at subverting democracy no longer work. They will be left with their outdated views on women, minorities, and people who aren’t straight/cis and a populace that openly rejects those views.
It’s coming. It’s going to happen. This isn’t hope. It’s math.
You are going to have to work your ass off this year. But do not despair.
We will win this in the end.