Joe Biden was the right Democratic candidate for President in 2020 and he is tapping into the soul of America which is good. He desperately needs to be supported even if he is not quite as liberal as I am. I look back every day at how close we came to losing our country. Just a few votes in a few states and our democracy would have been irretrievably gone. I remember how disappointed I was that we did not win four of the six Senate seats we should have won, and worse, we lost seats in the House and state houses.
I also remember how shocked and motivated many of us were when Donald Trump won in 2016? We vowed to come back strong in 2018 and we did. But by 2020, our House majority was smaller. How small will it be after 2022. Or will we even be in the majority? The Republicans are as angry and motivated after their narrow losses in 2020 as we were in 2016. They are divided now, but even those disgusted with Trump are not likely to be voting Democratic in 2022. They will still vote Republican down ballot.
There is much to do. It cannot all be done instantly. A critical early step is a new voting rights act that restricts gerrymandering and voter suppression. Beyond the pending stimulus bill are numerous unfulfilled promises popular with large majorities. They include re-opening the schools, putting people to work restoring America’s neglected infrastructure, protecting the dreamers, lowering drug costs, strengthening Obamacare, and standing up the Consumer Protection Bureau, and Justice Department. All these changes benefit main street voters. If we avoid making perfection the enemy of the good and if we continue to stress decency, equality, integrity, and fairness, and if we continue to try to reach across the aisle with these themes, we will win. Even if those efforts are met with intransigence.
If we focus on helping main street and avoid unwinnable overreach and bitter demands for immediate ideological purity, our big-tent team will remain together and strong. That and an improving economy will be a winning formula in 2022 and the springboard for more progress in 2024. If we stay together, then 2020 will not be a missed opportunity like what happened in 2010, when after Obama’s great victory in 2008, we promptly lost our legislative majority and never fully recovered during his remaining second term.
We do not need to have it all immediately. And we cannot afford to allow our impatience to lead to intra-party infighting. That will squander what we have gained.