It's time to start NOW!
OK, so there wasn't a mid-term wave, red or blue. The GOP is bravely claiming victory with a modest gain in the House and the balance of the Senate still awaiting resolution. The key take away as I see it are the clues suggesting a strategy for the Democrats moving forward. And, if it were to be effective, implementation would need to begin now.
I find direction in John Fetterman's victory in Pennsylvania and the strong performance by Tim Ryan in Ohio. The characteristics worth noting are the profession of love as the animating force in both campaigns and the context of strength used to claim it. Both candidates are younger, a very important point that dems overlook at their peril, and both delivered their message with an unequivocating, no bullshit attitude that speaks to the real division in the electorate: the wedge created by power and money.
Their campaigns put concern for each other front and center. This marks an absolute break with the GOP's worship of whiteness, moral certainty and love of power. Fetterman in particular rejects the accepted trappings of power and success, both in appearance and the way he doesn't hesitate to put his finger in the eye of sanctimonius MAGA positions. He calls out stupidity by its simple name and counters it with direct, fact-based truth. He calls a liar a liar and rejects a liar's legitimacy out of hand. He is self-effacing at the same time he refuses to cave to criticism. He trades on the power of love and not any suggestion that it is a sign of weakness.
The problem for the party over the next two years is finding candidates like Fetterman and Ryan. They are not currently involved in the backroom machinations that perpetuate the mess we have today. And that's where the grassroots effort needs to step up. We need to identify candidates with a chance to win in the current climate rather than wasting effort trying to change the climate first.
If you are active and engaged, go through your list of outliers who make sense to you but don't seem to play by the rules of the party establishment. Encourage them and others to take them seriously and give them support. Oh, and while you're at it, get that small, new Democratic Party to focus on grassroots organizing in a way that resembles the old Tea Party. Don't wait until election year to gather and promote platform ideas. Do it monthly. Do it loudly. And do it courageously. Be proud to be good. Be proud to be thoughful and loving and accepting. Be proud to be honest.
If, as so many on the right like to say, this is a war between good and evil, put the white hat on and stand tall!