On the 8th of November, the US woke up to news that Democrats have taken a number of positions in state elections. The New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections saw Phil Murphy replace controversial conservative Chris Christie, whilst Virginia’s incumbent Lieutenant Governor, Ralph Northam, won by a unexpected margin of 9 percentage points against a Republican.
Not only was this a case of left-wingers taking on a Trumpist era and succeeding, it was also a night for diversity. The first openly transgender woman, Danica Roem, replaced “chief homophobe” of 26 years Bob Marshall as a state lawmaker in Virginia. Marshall refused to debate Roem and addressed her only with male pronouns, disparaging her campaign. In her victory speech she outlines that ‘discrimination is a disqualifier…this is about the 13th district disregarding fear, tactics, disregarding phobias.’
Her appointment comes at the best time. President Trump has attempted to ban all transgender personnel from the military, alleging their costly healthcare as the reason. During a time of uncertainty regarding minorities, Roem brings a breath of fresh air and a slight sign the tables are turning. Furthermore, Trump’s attack on the Middle East/Asia did not stop the city of Hoboken in New Jersey electing their first ever Sikh mayor, Ravinder Bhalla. His tenure begins in 2018, just in time for the midterm elections that are set to be a deal-breaker for a Republican-led Congress.
No-one can help but wonder whether the fresh new faces of Democratic politics is the first step of a Trump revolt. His diminishing approval ratings and failure to bring in any legislation seems to have cost him a lot of supporters. Instead of owning up to his mistakes, he blames all others around him. When discussing the Republican nominee for Virginia governor, Ed Gillespie’s loss, he tweeted ‘Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for. Don’t forget, Republicans won 4 out of 4 House seats, and with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!’
Everyone is quick to judge Hillary Clinton on writing a book which shares the blame around and does little to discuss her accountability. The same should be done for Trump, who plays the blame game frequently, – whether it is John McCain or all news media. Hopefully, he is becoming more unpopular than realised. His healthcare bill hasn’t managed to get a glimpse into the The Capitol, and yesterday the state of Maine voted to expand their Medicaid coverage for the underprivileged. This is another counter-attack from the many whose healthcare may suffer.
The Democrats should now be excited for the upcoming midterm elections in 2018, because whatever the outcome, it could be the deciding factor in the 2020 presidential race. With rumours of impeachment looming and many Trump aides under investigation, there’s a sense of distrust in the air. This is the perfect opportunity for the Democrats, without Clinton’s neo-liberalism, to take control of a Congress under threat from the “alt-right”. 2020 is upon us, and a new government without Trump is possible. If he makes it to then, of course.
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