The aftermath will be ugly.
This election cycle represents a fork in the road, and with this “blue wave” finding some solace in taking back the House, I am slightly more hopeful that some damage control will happen.
However, if you expect the Republican party to accept this result with good grace, you very obviously have not been paying attention. Remember how Donald Trump (falsely) claimed that millions of immigrants voted illegally in an election that he won? Imagine what will be said here in this week following the Democrat’s national victories, and what his supporters will do in response. If and when a Democratic house tries to exercise its power, you can be sure that it will be met with defiance from Trump and his goons, regardless of what is said in the Constitution.
But that’s just it. The Republican party seems to enjoy playing the slightest bit dirty in the past couple of years. Take for example what’s happening in Georgia, where Brian Kemp, the Republican secretary of state who is in charge of overseeing elections, ran for governor won against Democrat Stacey Abrams. It shouldn’t even be conceivable for someone to oversee their own election, but it seems to be perfectly fine for Kemp to commit a gross abuse of power like this.
In recent years, Kemp had purged millions of voters from Georgia’s voting rolls with no substantial evidence. After finding himself in a highly contested race despite his previous efforts, Kemp attempted to purge even more, but was blocked by the courts—for now. Over the weekend, Kemp’s office issued a dubious, but unfounded, claim that Democrats had tried to hack the voter registration site.
A political party with any sort of commitment to democracy and the fair state of the electoral process would have immediately treated Kemp as a pariah. Instead, the G.O.P has continued to provide full support for his campaign.
Similar voter suppression efforts from the right-wing have been seen in Kansas and North Dakota, where would-be absentee voters were told they had to use the right color ink—and were then given conflicting evidence on what color was acceptable.
The attempts by Republicans to abuse their power are eerily similar to those of their fellow white nationalists in Hungary and Poland, where a democratic facade has been maintained, even though in reality, the country is controlled by a one-party regime. Republicans have very clearly illustrated that they can and will do everything in their power to maintain control, regardless of the moral or ethical implications of those actions.
It is crucial that we bear in mind exactly what was at stake here. It wasn’t just our tax cuts or our healthcare; anyone who voted purely based on those issues is missing the bigger picture. The future of our democracy was at stake, and we succeeded, for now.