Why you should care
Because politics never takes a breath.
Election years naturally dominate the headlines, but this one dominated hearts and minds perhaps like none before it. The reason? Because it wasn’t just the leader of the United States that was at stake, but America’s very vision for itself. Whatever worldview you have, though, there are reasons to be hopeful as the New Year approaches. Here are a few things to think about as the calendar flips.
The Ascendant Politicos to Watch in 2017
One positive twist for progressives: A set of trendsetting legislators were elected, creating a government that further reflects the people it works for. Kamala Harris, daughter of Indian-American breast cancer specialist Shyamala Gopalan, will be the first Indian-American U.S. senator, after dealing with complex issues around fracking, water wars and big bank culpability as California’s attorney general. Catherine Cortez Masto will join her as the first Latina senator. This election also witnessed a host of LGBT candidates run for office in places as disparate as Arizona and Florida.
Pennsylvania Attorney General–elect Josh Shapiro steps into an office previously mired in corruption and malaise; if he’s successful, it could springboard him to a national office. If you want to see Bernie’s revolution continue, watch his creative director Arun Chaudhary and former NAACP director Ben Jealous lead the way.
There are many Republicans who will help dictate the tone for the nation, from Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to David Perdue, the Georgia senator whose own rise mirrored Trump’s. Folks like Jim Bridenstine, who hopes to launch an American space renaissance, and Warren Davidson, who steps into John Boehner’s shoes, will have a pivotal voice in the U.S. House of Representatives. Most interesting of all may be those who eloquently opposed Trump, and who will now be asked to work with him, from Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse to Club for Growth President David McIntosh.
The Ideas to Look Ahead to
The next Congress and President Trump will need to deal with the danger of ISIS and emergence of Russia as a world player (and election-tampering threat), plus domestic issues, from the cost of cars to the reimagining of health care. Republicans will finally have a chance to reshape the country to their liking — while Democrats will look at ways to erase the Electoral College, among other things, to avoid a repeat of this election in 2020.
How Did We Get Here?
If you’re still wondering, take a look back at election night, and follow the sequence of events that led a lifelong Democrat in Tampa to wave her flag behind Donald Trump. Consider the Obama voters who backed Trump in the millions. And remember the road map for a Trump comeback that we laid out this summer, back when his election hopes seemed dismal at best.
Take Care of Yourself
For many of us, this year was tragic for more reasons than a chaotic and divisive election season. There are those who are no longer with us, and then there are those of us who carry our wounds into the New Year. If there’s any lesson we learned this year, it’s that politics goes on regardless of what is going on in our personal lives. Take time to relish the important things, and we wish you a happy end to the holiday season.