In a letter to a friend in June, I wrote, “I do believe that the outcome in November will have major consequences, but don’t think it will seal the fate of the country going forward. The larger socio-economic environment is too unstable and unpredictable to allow that conclusion. Right now it feels like the energy is on the other side.”
I was probably right then, but I am wrong now.
Here’s why: the combination of the superbly crafted congressional hearings on the Jan 6 insurrection, Biden’s legislative achievements, falling gas prices, poor candidate selection on the Republican side, the discovery of national security documents at Trump’s beach house, and a rising majoritarian anxiety over the relentless assault on democracy, orchestrated by the MAGA movement and the Republican Party, has evaporated the Republican/MAGA enthusiasm advantage. So much so that it’s within reach for the Democrats to retain control of the House and Senate in November.
Moreover, to this shifting landscape, we would have to add the outpouring of national outrage – Kansas and elsewhere – at the decision of the conservative majority on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade and at the conservative court’s sponsor – the GOP.
Needless to say, the securing of a Democratic congressional majority will give our democracy some breathing space, thereby positioning the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats – and the coalition that supports them – to continue to make a difference in the lives of tens of millions, win new allies, and deepen democracy and democratic safeguards.
Of course, we should know from experience that such an outcome will take a massive cross class mobilization of anti-Maga voters – Democratic, Independent, Republican – between now and election day. Nothing less will win the day or the future. Any thought that we can slay the dragon of Trumpism – a dragon that has demonstrated by word and deed its readiness to expunge democracy by any means necessary – without electing a Democratic majority in both chambers is the worse kind of nonsense and demagogy.
Said another way, the election of Democratic majorities up and down the ballot is the overarching task of this moment, a necessary prerequisite to defeating Trump and Trumpism and bending the arc of justice toward democracy, equality, justice, and planetary sufficiency.
Can we do it? I would like to think so, but we’ll see.