We resemble a nation torn
asunder rather than a collection of “united” states if the
results from the 2018 midterms provide meaningful insight.
Let’s face it. While
polychromatic states like Arizona or Georgia shimmered
toward a purple hue, the blue states became even bluer and
the red states more red and Michigan, Pennsylvania and
Wisconsin returned again to their pre-Trump luster.
Behind it all?
More than likely, the
phenomenon can be attributed to what 45 has called a
“war-like posture.” It is the pugnacious political divide
that separates the urban and the rural. It is the philosophy
of old white men versus the rest of the world; the worldview
of the educated pitted against the uneducated; the
difference in perspective between whites and nonwhites and
the privileged male power class desperately trying to hang
on by any means necessary as they slowly watch their grip on
Here Comes the Cavalry
Yet, according to the Pew
Research Center, the midterms suggested that younger voters
are supporting the Democrat over the Republican Party
candidate in much greater numbers 67 percent (under age 29)
and 58 percent (30 to 44 years of age) compared to voters
ages 45 and over (50 percent Republican, 49 percent
Democrat). In addition, 62 percent of first time midterm
voters supported the Democratic candidate.
And that’s just voting
The 2018 midterms also
elected and sent a record number of Millennials and Gen Xers
to the U.S. House of Representatives. At least “20 of the 91
freshmen congresspersons scheduled to be seated in January
will be Millennials and 14 of those 20 are Democrats –
including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, at age 29
the youngest woman ever elected,” Pew reports.
Everything is Not Rosy
Yet, the infusion of these
vigorous fresh new winds of congressional change has the
potential to scatter seeds of discord and pollute the
Democratic Party itself. The retaking of majority control in
the U.S. House of Representatives by the Democrats has
stoked internecine conflict initiated by those attempting to
block U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi from transitioning to
leader of the House Majority caucus from her former role as
Pelosi’s critics point solely to her age and
poor poll numbers without evaluating her effectiveness,
including her unmatched fundraising ability and skillful
leadership in getting the Affordable Care Act, then on life
support, signed into law.
The truth is, a single named opponent against
Pelosi has yet to surface. Perhaps her critics are using
behind the scenes chatter to jockey for prime committee
assignments for themselves or the new diverse young
The lesson we should learn?
It is always an enormous struggle to attract
and retain new people to our cause or enterprise. Therefore
let us remain sober in our enthusiasm for this soon to be
seated group of young, diverse Democrats.
For, according to author Tiffani Bova, “We
are often trapped by the mandate to expand our base with new
people, with little concern for the potential imbalance of
focus that brings for those we already have.”
Contact Rev. Donald Perryman, D.Min, at