2021 Election Night Reflection
What a night! There're some good news locally: Colorado defeated two fiscal ballot measures that conservatives put a lot of money into (no doubt they'll keep trying). Also, even though the result isn't final yet, it looks like Boulder is likely to elect a City Council with a pro-climate majority for urban development. That would complete a transition started two years ago in the last City Council races. If Boulder wants to claim itself as a climate leader/innovator, this is a necessary step.
Nationally, the losses in Virginia and the unexpectedly tight gubernatorial race in New Jersey are very disappointing. That should ring alarm bells for what may be coming up next year. Luckily, we have a year to identify strategies and take actions to prevent similar losses in the very consequential mid-term elections.
First, we must pass the Build Back Better and Infrastructure bills. And in addition to passing good policies that create jobs and protect social safety nets, we need better media strategies to promote them. We need to take more credits instead of just letting actions and policies speak for themselves (they don't).
Next, we must pass the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. A higher voter turnout doesn't guarantee a democratic victory, but a lower turnout will most likely doom it. We need to make it easier for minority and young Americans to vote. We need to make sure that every voice is heard by making partisan gerrymandering a thing of the past. If we are losing on the current playing field, imagine fighting the next battle on a field that's even further tilted against us.
Finally, we must work hard to turn out voters! With a concerted effort, we can protect good policies and protect our democracy.
We can do all of the above, if we learn from the losses and do our part. As the Chinese saying goes: 塞翁失马焉知非福 ("A loss may be a gain in disguise.") It all depends on how we act after the loss.