In another thrilling night of pre-midterm elections, Democrats solidly trounced republican candidates across the nation in election after election, from mayors in large cities to representatives in crucial districts and states. Maintaining the momentum from a massive gubernatorial victory in California, national democrats rallied to the voting booths — and lines — to put record-breaking and history-making candidates in office.
Here are some of the winners from last night:
Shontel Brown, fresh off a throttling of leftist Nina Turner, secured Marcia Fudge’s old seat in Ohio. Only the 48th Black woman to serve in Congress … not enough to be verified on Twitter.
Eric Adams won New York’s mayoral contest, defeating a guy in a red hat.
Michelle Wu won in Boston, ending the reign of Irish or Italian men and becoming the first Asian and woman of color to be mayor of the city.
Elaine O’Neal will become the first Black woman mayor of Durham, North Carolina.
Ed Gainey will be Pittsburgh’s first Black Mayor.
Ken Welsh will be the first Black mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida.
Maria McLaughlin won the Pennsylvania Supreme Court race, giving Democrats the lead ahead of redistricting.
Aftab Pureval won the mayor’s contest in Cincinnati.
And Jerome Rice, Jr., a Black man, is the newly elected mayor of Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Democrats have a lot to celebrate and build upon heading into 2022.
The DNC cannot allow their messaging to be lost amid the usual “doom and gloom” the beltway and national media will push for the GOP over the next days, weeks, months, and years.
With ratings significantly down for all network and cable news, and print media still in fully earned massive declines, the networks and cable news corporate owners are pushing station managers to drum up ratings and try to get back to the former guy’s ratings-driving circus of ignorance and racism.
The networks are pushing the Virginia results that show the GOP winning the governor. The same networks that claimed Gavin Newsom’s destruction of the now-forgotten GOP candidate in California meant nothing nationally are now saying that Virginia’s results mean all the doom and gloom for Democrats, the Biden/Harris administration, and every election from here until 3022.
Virginia is disappointing but not the end-all, be-all the networks so desperately want you to believe.
What democrats are now reminded of, again, is that racism sells. Or, better, the more racism changes, the more racism stays the same.
The GOP ran on a single issue: White fear.
White fear of learning actual white history.
White fear of mask mandates.
And mostly white fear of …. whatever the news tells them to fear this week.
Democrats have the data to prepare for 2022, data that show wins, losses, demographic successes (Black, Latino, Asian, Indigenous) and demographic weaknesses (white men, white women).
While Biden/Harris have already delivered historic legislation — and more is imminent with Build Back Better and The John Lewis Voting Rights acts poised to pass soon — the process that should be positively presented as the natural working of democracy is presented as democratic infighting and inability to gain an impossible 100% agreement from all members of the “big tent” party.
The strength of Democrats and the democratic process is used against Democrats to insinuate the weakness of the party when in truth the process Democrats follow, and the input they allow each other and their constituents to contribute, is why we even have a functioning democracy.
Democrats will have enough accomplishments for a full term — accomplished in only two years — with which to sell to voters leading up to midterm elections. It is unfortunate they will have to “sell” their success but when up against the GOP’s always-popular racism as a single issue presented to white men and women, then sell is what has to happen.
Black democratic voters are voting in record numbers despite voter suppression. And most other democratic demographics are also delivering. But the generations-long decline of white men and women democratic voters continues to baffle the best democratic analysts.
Democrats will have to crack that mystery and soon. Most reasonable people know that racism is the driver, but telling white people about racism seldom results in changing their voting behavior. In fact, it tends to cause white voters to dig into their racism and deliver victories to GOP candidates who tell them it is okay to be racist.
Every election comes down to racism because that is the only issue the GOP has to run on. Democrats then are forced into running a defensive campaign that almost always plays to the strength of the GOP who are experts in running on “The Fear of a Black Voter” as I wrote here.
Some will say the reason is messaging, or white women’s love of the patriarchy, or the fear of critical race theory being taught to kids — something that has never happened to white kids and is why the country remains mired in a whitewashed society.
But it is not that deep. It is, as it always has been, about race. About white power. About the enduring appeal of a white savior candidate. About college and non-college-educated white women. And mostly about white men refusing to vote for anyone other than other white men.
Insert obligatory “Not all white men and women” here for sensitive readers who want self-absolution for what is now a “short” 150-year trend.
What is next then for the Biden/Harris administration, for Speaker Pelosi, and for democratic senators working to improve the lives of all Americans, even those who hate them and want them to fail?
They go forward. They pass Build Back Better and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and they get more done through reconciliation and executive orders. And they sell those and prior successes to their base first and foremost because they will need them to exceed historical results in 2022 — not to be lost last night is that democratic voter turnout was down.
They need to understand that major media is owned, operated, managed, and staffed with conservatives pushing conservative messaging to all voters. And, yes, they need to streamline their messaging for the base, increase intelligent advertising, and move past having the senators from West Virginia and Arizona be the representatives of democrats in the 24-hour news cycle.
The party is full of rising stars and well-liked, experienced lawmakers from all sections of the big tent. The almost singular focus on the worst the party has to offer is a losing strategy but one that is embraced and encouraged by the GOP and their media who give viewers and readers 24/7 West Virginia and Arizona senators.
The democrats now have an advantage as midterms quickly approach. They have victories in California, Ohio, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Carolina, and other places, in addition to a loss in always-fickle Virginia, that now provides data on what works, what barely worked, and what failed.
Knowing the headwinds ahead gives the party an advantage that leaders can use to make small and large adjustments to ensure smooth sailing.
The time to make those changes is now and the DNC and party leaders must start today, across all media and platforms, telling voters about the good things the party is doing that are resulting in real positive changes for babies, children, workers, renters, homeowners, borrowers, college students, seniors, and senior caregivers.
The big tent party is helping all constituents while the GOP is only helping wealthy white constituents.
And the big tent party can continue to help if the folks who are receiving the help actually get out and vote for them and that includes white voters who for far too long have accepted the help from democrats while voting against democratic candidates.
Originally published here in Dear Dean.
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