An historic election victory: Now what?

 
BY:Communist Party USA| November 8, 2018
An historic election victory: Now what?

 

The 2018 midterm election clearly marked a step forward. It was, in a word, huge. One-party extreme right-wing rule ended.  Trump and his alt-right (read fascist-minded) ilk have been set back.

The resistance, beginning with the women’s marches the day after the inauguration, scored its first national electoral victory.

The electoral mobilization by women, youth, trade unions, people of color, and LGBTQ people broke the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, winning 28 new seats with 15 still undecided.

The new Democratic majority is the most progressive-leaning in many decades. It includes unprecedented numbers of women and racially and nationally oppressed people. Its diversity is a sharp rebuke to the brazen misogyny and white supremacy of the Trump-GOP campaign strategy. Voters also ousted five Republican governors, including the odious Scott Walker of Wisconsin  and Paul LePage of Maine.

Significantly, the GOP lost 323 state legislature seats: in only two years, close to a third of the 1000 Democratic seats lost during the 8 years of Obama’s presidency.  Moreover legislative districts moved left in Tuesday’s election by a 3 to 1 margin: 300 moved left while 100 moved to the right.

While there was not a tsunami, there was a strong indication of a blue wave.

Moreover, a string of victories on ballot measures proved that democratic reforms can gather wide support. Voters in Missouri and Arkansas raised the state minimum wage; Floridians restored the democratic rights of 1.4 million who had been disenfranchised because of felony convictions. Louisiana voters ended the Jim Crow-era practice of allowing felony convictions without a unanimous jury. Michigan voters won independent, non-partisan redistricting–a major victory in one of the nation’s most heavily gerrymandered states.  Even though some progressive initiatives were defeated, broad mobilizations around ballot measures show that progressive groups are serious about using the ballot.

At the same time, Tuesday’s results threw the task ahead into sharp relief. The day after the election, President Trump’s decision to fire his Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replace him with a crony hostile to the Mueller investigation is a clear indication of the degree of the danger. Trump’s unhinged press conference the same day, during which he had the gall to call an African American woman reporter a racist for questioning his self-declared nationalism, shows how outside of the best American traditions Trump remains.

Importantly, the Republican coalition is faltering. The party has little youth support.  Right-wing evangelical support, while still strong, is eroding. Many white suburban women, who helped propel Trump to power, deserted the GOP in the most recent elections.

To hold power, the GOP campaigners are likely to double down on their strategy of white-supremacist fear mongering and mass disenfranchisement. If we are to turn Tuesday night’s victory into a decisive defeat of the reactionary, neo-Confederate GOP, the fight against racism and voter suppression must be intensified as well.

We can win! At critical junctures the U.S. working class and people, in their tens of millions, have always risen to the occasion. The Civil War, the organization of the mass production industries in the 1930s, and the Free Speech movement in the early 60s are examples of this phenomenon. This was no less true on Election Day 2018. Now the people’s democratic movement has to hit the ground running.

It’s already happening with the Nobody’s Above the Law protests. Let’s get busy!

Creative Commons 3.0

 

Author

    The Communist Party USA is a working class organization founded in 1919 in Chicago, IL.

    The Communist Party stands for the interests of the American working class and the American people. It stands for our interests in both the present and the future. Solidarity with workers of other countries is also part of our work. We work in coalition with the labor movement, the peace movement, the student movement, organizations fighting for equality and social justice, the environmental movement, immigrants rights groups and the health care for all campaign.

    But to win a better life for working families, we believe that we must go further. We believe that the American people can replace capitalism with a system that puts people before profit — socialism.

    We are rooted in our country's revolutionary history and its struggles for democracy. We call for "Bill of Rights" socialism, guaranteeing full individual freedoms.

Comments (8)

Barry Benson | November 14, 2018 at 4:58 PM

Good evening fellow comrades. I need updating on my knowledge. What are OUR views on net neutrality? Thank you and have a glorious day!

Kira Narriss | November 09, 2018 at 12:51 PM

As “Socialist Call” said, it was more of a “Blue trickle”. The Dems have no clear plan for fighting Trump or the GOP and they remain merely another party of use by the capitalist class. We need to strengthen working class power. While the Dems retook the House, the GOP strengthened its hold on the Senate. In essence, the GOP consolidated more power than the Dems.

    Scott Hiley | November 10, 2018 at 2:02 PM

    The plan has to come from us, the masses in motion–just as this victory was. We fall into error when we think of elections as simply choosing representatives then sitting back and watching. We changed the ballance of power in a big way, both within the Democratic Party and between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. We elected oppressed people, trade unionists, folks who came out of the movement… Street militancy and electoral organization are converging; we need to keep up the fight for working class leadership in the fight for democracy.

      Joe Hays | November 13, 2018 at 5:59 PM

      In Maryland, an old white man was returned to the Senate instead of a young African American. To make matters worse, this old white man defeated a transgender person in the primary.

    Joe Sims | November 10, 2018 at 2:38 PM

    Thanks for your ideas. In our view, this was the biggest defeat of the GOP since the Reagan years. Consider for example that over 300 state legislature seats went from GOP to the Dems. There was a 3 to 1 ratio in Congressional districts moving from the right to the center left. So when you take what happened in the House plus state legislatures and governorships it’s a very important shift. You are right about the Senate. You are also right about the need to build working class power. We agree.

Jim | November 09, 2018 at 10:22 AM

Also the election of Democratic Socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is a major step forward. Although she admits it will be a struggle to even afford housing in the DC area, she will take a seat and have her voice heard among the elites.

    jules | November 09, 2018 at 4:11 AM

    Thanks Jim…positive thoughts are required at this time of our history……a seat at the big table…how we have yearned for just that?

    Jules

jules | November 08, 2018 at 3:56 AM

Bravo…..”He cannot Divide Us” … our Unity will prevail

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