Dems Should Celebrate Tuesday’s Wins, Then Get Back To Work

By on November 8, 2017

The electoral wins from Tuesday night give Democrats many reasons to celebrate.

In Virginia, where many statewide offices were contested, nearly 20 seats flipped from the Republican Party’s hands to Democrats. That shift is remarkable, and includes victories by transgender candidates as well as advocates of proper gun control.

The governor’s race in Virginia was also decisive, allowing Democrat Ralph Northam to cruise to victory and become the state’s next chief executive. New Jersey also elected a new governor, Democrat Phil Murphy, to replace outgoing Republican Chris Christie.

And in Maine, voters overwhelmingly backed a non-binding ballot question on whether the state should accept federal funds from the Affordable Care Act.

Yet I caution anyone on the left who is ready to rest on their laurels. There is still plenty of work to do before the 2018 midterm elections, and a lot of things can change between now and then. Democrats should not, for example, rely on a wave of “anti-Trumpism” to carry them over to victory next fall. Real policy needs to be at the center of their campaigns, and it needs to appeal (and be relatable) to most voters.

Democrats are still a party in disarray, too. The “Bernie” and “Hillary” factions of the party need to find common ground, and understand that their differences will be exploited by the GOP. This doesn’t mean robust debates cannot exist within the party – far from it. But the two sides also cannot view each other as enemies, or else nothing can be accomplished.

Democrats should revel in their wins from Tuesday. It’s always important to celebrate victories when they’re won, and to bask in a momentary glow of happiness whenever possible. But at the same time, they cannot become complacent.

Dems need to dig deep, keep fighting, and present real reasons for why the American people should give them a chance to run Congress next fall. The reasons seem obvious to us on the left. But for a vast segment of society, the Democrats represent nothing more than a “resistance” to Trump.

That could win over a few voters, but for long-term, sustainable electoral victories, Democrats need more.