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A Nice Turn of the Wheel

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Even as we are all here together, events punctuate our lives and culture.There is a deep discontent in our world and lives here in the United States. The world is degrading as are our lives, while signs of emergent sustainability and political engagement abound. Curious times.

The 2017 election brought a host of firsts, and a clear repudiation of Trumpland.

From new governors in New Jersey and Virginia to lots of state and local races, there seems to be a real resistance to our corrupt federal government and corporations emerging. In Virginia, a transgender candidate, Danica Roem, defeated 14 term beat self declared 'biggest homophobe in the state' Bob Marshall. There were other ironies of a similar nature.

Across the nation minorities won a host of mayoral races, along with council seats, school boards and other local positions. And many of these folks were first time candidates, who have seemingly been coming out of the woodwork since Trump got elected.

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Republicans in congress put on a 'brave' face, but it was clear from their reactions that this was an outcome unexpected and very disconcerting. Indeed, two republican congressmen announced they will not be seeking reelection on election night alone! Even with all the gerrymandered districts across this land, there are far less 'safe seats' it would seem, than there were before this election.

Do not consider this piece an endorsement of the Democratic Party. While Tom Perez, head of the DNC, was quick to rejoice at the night's events, it was not the DNC who carried the day. It was folks rising up and showing we're not going to take the old crap anymore. Our Revolution, Indivisible, Working Families Party and a host of local efforts to organize and get out the vote who deserve our thanks.

Let's not forget the role women played in this election either. Both as candidates and voters, women played a substantial role in this turn around. The other notable demographic is college educated white males, suburbanites, who seem to have had enough of Trump and the Republicans.

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Here in Cincinnati, the incumbent, establishment candidate, John Cranley easily defeated the more progressive candidate, Yvette Simpson, for mayor. But in city council, two of the three new members are clear progressives, and the last seat is being contested between Jeff Pastor, a first time candidate under the mayor's wing, and another strong progressive Michelle Dillingham. We won't know who wins that seat until absentee and provisional ballots are counted, along with a standard recount.

As we move toward the 2018 mid-term elections, one wonders how it will play out. Will we see Tea Party like tactics on the left, where more progressive challengers go after establishment democrats in the primaries? Will the energy of this election (some called it a Blue Wave) continue to build? Will the DNC continue to favor the wealthy donors over citizen interests?

Of course, such questions need time before we have answers. What is clear is that the November, 2017 election was a nice turn of the wheel.

 

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Jim Prues is the Founder of World 5.0 and President of Panoptic Media. He understands that 'democracy is not a spectator sport.'

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