Diverse but Delusional Democrats

The results of the 2018 midterms are finally in. Democrats are claiming not only victory but a “blue wave.” A diverse group of Democrats were elected as symbols of who they are, not necessarily what they will do (or would do if they could). But while Democrats achieved a symbolic victory in taking control of the House of Representatives, the unrepresentative Senate remains firmly under the control of Trump’s Republicans. As the upper house of Congress, the Senate alone has the power to confirm court and cabinet appointments. To the extent that Trump needs the lower House to pass appropriations bills, the Republicans can attach riders to “must-pass” military appropriations, knowing that most Democrats dare not vote against a bill to “support our troops.”

More significant are gains at the state level. There are now 23 states with Democratic governors. It would have been an even split of 25 Democrats with 25 Republicans if Florida and Georgia had counted every vote. If Trump is looking for evidence of voter fraud, he need look no further than Mar-a-Lago’s Palm Beach County. States will be critical in defending reproductive rights, as the Kavanaugh Supreme Court is certain to gut Roe v. Wade, whether or not it agrees to a complete repeal. Defending reproductive rights is a critical, but limited step, in addressing the great unstated issue of human overpopulation.

In some states governors will also have a say in redistricting House districts after the 2020 census, but this will not affect the Senate. The mixed results of the 2018 elections do not point to a 2020 “blue wave” either for president or the Senate, as both elections give disproportional weight to rural voters, who are still favoring Republicans.  Fortunately, some of the potential 2020 presidential candidates, including Cory Booker, recognize the need to expand voter rights in order to defeat Trump. But there will be no democracy in the USA as long as the U.S. Senate continues in its current form.

The era of lawsuits is coming to an end, although there can still be temporary wins at the lower-court level. More importantly, life itself, or at least multicellular life, is coming to an end in the Anthropocene Era of Mass Extinction. As a recent article in the Conversation points out, we are now at a tipping point, when wildlife loss threatens the life support of our small planet. Ironically, the Conversation article mentions Paul Ehrlich, but not the issue which he is best known for, warning of the dangers of overpopulation.