Just briefly wanted to point to my friend Jason Linkin’s column at The Baffler. He’s a native Virginian with a good sense of what’s going on; he’s also a terrific writer and super-smart political observer. (Worked at HuffPo for years – someone hire this guy!) As I mentioned, the victories in VA were a fantastic testament to the work of the various Indivisible-type groups, working on the ground with commitment and urgency.
On Tuesday night, wherever a potential avatar of a responsible form of politics arose to challenge the sucking vacuum of Trumpism, Virginians voted for said avatar. Whether they could claim an inch, or a yard, or a mile, they claimed it. Wherever it was possible to make something—anything—a little bit better, they seized the opportunity. There was no quibbling over what item on the menu might be more digestible or more pure in its creation—Virginia voters just carted off the whole buffet.
There’s an important, unmistakable message in all this that ambitious liberal-left organizers would do well to heed. Cable news is not real life. Your Twitter mentions are not the election. And the election is not the sum total of our politics. An election is only this: the chance to make a choice between a few imperfect humans, based on whether they are going to leave the door ajar for you or lock you out. More than anything else, Tuesday night’s election in Virginia suggested that voters are, perhaps, prepared to make a more sustained investment in their political lives—one that doesn’t end after all the votes are cast.
That’s winning, in solidarity. Contest everywhere, get what you can, where you can. There’s not one answer. Imagine this model in all 50 states.