One year after Trump's victory, to the day, Virginia elected:
- A Democratic Governor
- A black Democratic Lieutenant Governor
- A Democratic Attorney General
- There was a 17-seat Democratic shift in the Virginia House of Delegates
- There is now a Democratic majority in the Virginia House of Delegates
- The first transgender delegate in the country
- The first out-lesbian delegate in the state
- The first Asian American woman delegate in the state
- The first two Latina delegates in the state
- The first Democratic Socialist candidate in the state.
And it was not just in Virginia. The state of Maine elected to expand Medicaid, and Washington state (another swing state) swept Democrat across the board.
Earlier this week, a Facebook friend in Germany wrote me:
According to your posts I see you deal a lot with the political situation of the US and Trump himself. You are - understandably - not satisfied.
My question is: why do you deal so much with these things and what is your aim with all the posts in the subject?
In short, why fight? To what end? Does any of it make a difference?
Well, the Russians think it makes a difference -- they invested hundreds of millions of dollars in paid social media, meme creation, and even created whole television and radio stations.
Every political party thinks it makes a difference -- they spend billions over time doing the same thing, and they value a participatory voice, like mine, even more than they value my money.
My answer back:
I’m in Washington DC. Been political my whole life, and not changing that now. Glad to be an American where protest is valued.
Her answer back:
What do you expect from protesting? I mean, I agree with what you wrote, but it brings also a whole lot of negativity in your life, don't you think so? So many time dealing with things you are not satisfied with...and with "parrots"...
I like her! She reads closely. This is exactly my word -- parrots. My note back:
I am not German. Or Italian. Or Japanese. Proudly American. You ask, in your fashion, why we fight. Because we are free and wish to remain so.
I then posted a link to the Frank Capra documentary (or propaganda piece) entitled "Why We Fight" which was produced in the middle of World War II and in response to Leni Riefenstahl's film "Triumph of the Will".
I was writing and posting while in traffic (for shame!) and did not re-watch the whole film (I still haven't), but it is a film about the need to fight for core American values.
I continued my answer at the next stop light:
Protest is not negativity. It is a reminder that we are still in charge. We are not sheep. We have never been sheep.
And once you have changed things, you see that it can be done. And you try to do it again.
And in the end, you win.
The film is old, but it is still America, and we still carry the message.
And then I posted a link to this short clip from a famous American in modern Germany carrying the message. Once again, it was an American voice that echoed across the world.
A little heavy-handed? Perhaps, but I was in traffic and someone was asking me (from Germany!) about why we fight. When in traffic, there is not much time for gentle grace between stop lights!
This morning I sent my corresponding friend a follow-on email:
See the Virginia election last night. The Scotts-Irish of Virginia were born fighting, and now we fight to wrestle America back to its values. And last night we won big! Not a miracle, but citizen action at every level. My daughter flew down from New York to go door to door to get out the vote. This County went 80 percent Democratic, and we sent the haters packing. Before it’s over, Trump will be out of office and in jail. This is why we fight; because it works.
This morning, as the dust settles, let me be clear: I am not fighting for a political party. I am fighting for what I believe are core American values -- the values passed on to me by parents and grandparents before them, and by a larger society that has successfully fought for those values in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and Korea. These are not just my personal values; these are core American values.
I believe the Republican party has lost its way.
The party of intellectuals and fiscal prudence that was crafted in my youth by William Buckley has fallen step to the party of ignorance and deficit-fueling tax-cutting greed as championed by con men and corporate apologists for fraud.
The part of Lincoln and Goldwater is gone, and the party of John Birch and David Duke is in power.
We, quite literally, have a Republican party leader that defends Nazis and the KKK.
Please do not tell me that Donald Trump is not the Republican party leader. This man defeated 12 other GOP candidates to win the nomination. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan kow-tow to him on a daily basis, even as he kow-tows to Vladimir Putin. Donald Trump is now the Republican Party, whether the old guard likes it or not, and that's the way it is until the Republicans move to impeach him or jail him.
The vision and views of Donald Trump and the current Republican Party are profoundly unAmerican.
That was the message coming out of Virginia last night.
Let us celebrate, but not too much. This is the start of the War for America, not the end. We are in an existential battle that we cannot afford to lose.
I am happy to say that, for now, it looks like the ballot still has power.
But the courts have yet to speak, and it is not yet clear that Trump understands the Rule of Law.
The Rule of Law is not a small thing. The Statue of Liberty is holding a book, and that book represents the Rule of Law.
The "deep government" that Steve Bannon rails against, and that Fox News speaks about in vague conspiratorial tones, is the Rule of Law.
It is the Rule of Law that threaten Vladimir Putin and his kleptocrats -- men who have grown so rich and powerful that they now own a U.S. President and wash hundreds of millions of dollars through foreign banks as they buy vast numbers of buildings and upscale apartments in London, New York, and Paris.
There are 17 sequentially numbered sealed criminal indictments in District Court in Washington, D.C, I suspect I know what those are -- a vast RICO take-down of the Russian-mob controlled Trump empire by Special Counselor Robert Mueller.
If Trump tries to fire Mueller, there will be blood. Make no mistake about it; the people will take to the streets, the fence around the White House will be pulled down, and after that God himself cannot predict.
America is worth fighting for. We will be free. We were born fighting.
Last night we won a battle, but the war is barely engaged.
But let me be clear: we are not fighting against Republicans: We are fighting for American values and the Rule of Law. We have always fought for those. We will always fight for those.