Anna Brones

Maybe the pundits were right: The 2018 midterms could very well have been the most important election of our lifetimes.

Well, except for the 2016 presidential election that got us into this mess in the first place.

On November 6, a traumatized America took to the polls, and the result was not a vaguely azure murmur, or a gently indigo-tinted sprinkle—it was a full-on blue tsunami, with Democratic gains of historic proportions. The flipped seats in the House don’t tell the entire story: The margin between Democrat and Republican votes was greater than nine million, the biggest split ever in a midterm election.

We have Donald Trump to thank. In two years, and with full support of a Republican-dominated Congress, our dipshit president has proven to be singularly awful at his job. Betraying an utter lack of leadership skills, he’s pinballed between ineptness and corruption, while compounding—and isolating—his racist base of followers instead of working in the interest of the country he ostensibly serves. Trump entered office with terrifyingly unprecedented advantages. But his true colors as a tactless boob have shone through, and he’s frittered those advantages away.

In 2019, a Democrat-majority House of Representatives will include more women and people of color than ever before, and they’ll provide a crucial check on Trump that will change the dynamic of his presidency. Meanwhile, the Mueller investigation continues to heat up as Trump cronies and family members are exposed as crooks and shysters. Perhaps most importantly, Trump’s supporters—portrayed as misunderstood, true-blood Americans as little as six months ago—have blown the last of their credibility through their unwavering racism and dearth of critical-thinking abilities; they continue their lemming-like march to the fringes of American politics, where they belong.

In other words, the tide is turning, having shifted against seemingly insurmountable odds. This is no fluke—this is because of continual, persistent acts of resistance, big and small. Americans like you have exhibited your refusal to accept this dreadful vein of governance, and with even the smallest pieces of resistance, bits of Trump’s armor are removed.

What we’ve seen over the past two years is that resistance takes many forms—it doesn’t merely mean mass demonstrations in the streets, although those are incredibly powerful. Resistance can also take the form of a persuasive conversation with a loved one, or of a deep read of the excellent political reporting being done across the country. It can be a simple but forceful pushback on a racist or uninformed comment, or it can be politely requesting that your mechanic or doctor turns off Fox News on the waiting room TV. Resistance can be the simple but potent gesture of signifying your solidarity with the people this administration is trying to oppress.

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Even with all the gains we’ve made, there’s still a lot of work to do. The Washington Post reports that right-wing domestic terror attacks are higher than they’ve been in years. Racists, white nationalists, and neo-Nazis have been teased out from the shadows by this hate-spreading president, while gun owners—tacitly endorsed by NRA-funded politicians—still murder thousands of Americans yearly. The Mexican-American border continues to be a site of unfathomable atrocities against desperate asylum seekers, and corruption among Trump-appointed officials is appallingly high. Perhaps worst of all, the administration refuses to acknowledge climate change, a cartoonishly villainous (and stupid) stance that will impact generations to come.

In this issue, we take a temperature check to see where we’re at. By refusing to shut up, the resistance has accomplished an incredible amount over the past two years. You participated, and you deserve to feel good about that. But now it’s time to take a deep breath and take a look at what has—and hasn’t—been working, as we gird our loins for the next two years. We got this.

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