Midterms have come and gone. People showed up to vote in record numbers, and that’s awesome. That’s what we need to keep democracy going.
I paid attention to election results last night as most did. My choice for Congress did not win. In fact, many of my choices did not win. When I was voting, the thought occurred that my vote would essentially be washed out because I live in a red state. I shook it off and kept moving. My vote could be the different between the winners. That’s why every vote counts.
While I am not happy with who won, the reality is neither constituent really represents me like how I would want. Not like Florida or Georgia. But let’s rewind and I’ll explain some things.
When Donald Trump was elected 45th President of the United States, I was angry. I’ll never be able to get down with a guy who thinks I’m poor and uneducated because I’m black. That’s not a leftist narrative I was force-fed. It’s what I heard with my own ears. What’s worse is that his voters could overlook issues such as systemic racism and sexual misconduct (in all of its forms) because he promised to do something for them. They were selfish. They were also jaded to having a black President who sympathized with minorites. Yes, people were mad across the spectrum. I definitely was not the only one. However, that anger sparked action.
Candidates Stacey Abrams (GA-D) and Andrew Gillum (FL-D) ran excellent campaigns for Governor of their respective states. Unfortunately, Gillum lost by one percent. That hurt more than my state election for Congress. Gillum would have been the first black man as Florida’s governor. It appears that Abrams has lost as well although she has not conceded citing inclusion of mail and absentee ballots. She could be the first black governor of GA.
In 2018, we are still recording firsts in our election process.
It’s not that there were no qualified candidates prior. It’s the perception of the citizens voting. They want to be represented , and most times skin color gets in the way of that. Nonetheless, we reached more firsts.
Sharice Davids (KS-D) and Deb Haaland (NM-D) are the first Native American women to serve in Congress. This took 229 years to happen. Ayanna Pressly (MA-D) is the first black congresswoman in the state of Massachusetts. In fact, there are more women now serving in congress than ever before. That is progress, and it gives me hope! The closeness of the GA and FL Governor races gives me hope. Maybe people are looking beyond themselves for the good of their state. Their community. Their country.
I could be livid about Steve King (IA-R), who openly identifies as a white nationalist (aka the Klan) winning a Congressional seat. I could be completely appalled that 55,000 people voted for Art Jones (IL-R) who is a known Holocaust denier and Nazi sympathizer (I am). I’m utterly baffled that Nevada elected brothel owner Dennis Hof (NV-R), who is deceased, to a state assembly seat. Yes, you read that right. Nevada elected a dead pimp to a state assembly seat. However, I chose to focus on the good.
If there’s anything that I’ve learned, it’s that every vote truly does matter. It’s not a washout. Our country has a long way to go, but there is hope.
There is hope!