I was pretty sure Creigh Deeds was going to lose and I knew that if he did, I’d be reading a lot of bullshit about how his loss was a referendum against the Democratic party.
Like I said, “Bullshit”. It was a referendum alright, but it wasn’t a referendum against Democratic values, it was a referendum against lousy candidates. Creigh Deeds was inarticulate, said almost nothing of substance, and then turned traitor with his problematic comments about the public option. Sasha and I had yard signs ready to go. When Deeds made his infamous health care comments, it completely knocked the wind out of our sales.
One thing they’re saying is true: The rush of excitement that gave us President Obama has faded. But fading excitement shouldn’t be interpreted as a reversal of opinion. The people still want health care reform. They want our warriors to stop fighting a war based on lies, they want clean air and clean water and they don’t want to wait for the economy to fix itself while a do-nothing government watches neighborhoods decay and jobs go overseas. And most of them don’t give a crap if some guy marries some other guy.
But it’s hard to get to the polls when your candidate is barely running, seems embarrassed to call himself a Democrat, and if incumbent, is doing a lousy job. Democratic politicians don’t need to pull back on Democratic values, they need to charge harder. And they need to stay true to Democratic values without pandering to the other side.
Democratic citizens shouldn’t give up on what they hoped for last year. These elections were big a set back, but nothing more. Politicians are only part of the equation. They should keep writing letters, join organizations, read news sources that tell the truth, and donate time and money to causes that are important to them.
The future is trending towards the values of equal rights, scientific intelligence, and compassion. It’s just a matter of time.