Election 2017: The Next Wave Begins With an Explicit Rebuke of Trumpism

Trump was the outsider, the businessman, the deal-maker. He would Get Things Done™. That’s one reason he won in 2016. Despite every horrific thing he said on the campaign, people were willing to give him a chance to be different, especially against Hillary Clinton. It’s now 2017, 9 months after taking office, and yesterday voters across the country looked around at all that’s going on from DC on down and went…

nah

If he’s not going to be different, not get anything of substance accomplished, all the hateful bullshit voters held their noise over is no longer worth it.

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The GOP, which has been ascendant at all levels since 2010 (except Obama 2012), was utterly rebuked from state to state last night, and in particularly ironic fashion.

While the Virginia governorship was the headline race of the night, it is the least significant. Virginia’s House of Delegates had been controlled by Republicans since 2000 is on the verge of returning to the Democrats depending on the outcome of several close races.

One delegate race in particular symbolizes the sea change that took place last night. Bob Marshall, who served in the chamber since 1992 and recently proposed a bill to restrict transgender bathroom access, was defeated by a transgender woman, Danica Roem.

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She is the first out transgender person elected to any legislature in the US ever. She’s also a singer in a metal band. Of course.

And that’s just the beginning.

Hoboken, New Jersey elected a turban-wearing Sikh as its mayor.

Philadelphia elected a black civil rights lawyer as its district attorney, a direct rebuke to tough-on-crime Trumpism.

Another transgender woman was elected to city council in Minneapolis.

A refugee from Liberia and outspoken critic of Trump’s travel ban is the new mayor of Helena, Montana.

 Yes, these are mostly blue states, but there were many of Republican seats switched, and the stunningly diverse range of candidates who were able to do it is the real story here. White identity politics might work in deep red states, and even nationally when facing an opponent as fundamentally flawed as Hillary Clinton, but it no longer works across the board.

After 2012, the Republican party commissioned a report about why Romney lost to Obama and what to do about it in the future. Marquee suggestions were to embrace immigration reform, develop candidates in urban centers, and talk to racial, religious, and other minorities to find out how to market conservatism to them.

Trump ran explicitly against all that. Because of his name recognition and weak opponent, he won. Not because of his policies. Republicans now have their first alarm bells sounding. They have exactly one year to fix it before they lost the game to Speaker Pelosi again.

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