January 21st, 2021
One-party rule in Washington.
24 hours ago, Republicans controlled 2/3rds of the elected branches of the federal government. Today Democrats hold all three. While many Trump supporters are struggling to accept our new reality, consider these Presidents. FDR, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama. What do they all have in common, aside from being Democrats? Each of these presidents also had complete party control of Congress for at least two years of their administrations. History suggests meaningful policy changes will take place. With Democrats in complete control, FDR brought about The New Deal creating a myriad of social programs.
Under Truman, we had The Fair Deal which expanded The New Deal’s programs. Under Kennedy, we had the advent of the Space Program. Under Lyndon Johnson, Medicare and Medicaid became a reality. Under Jimmy Carter, we had the creation of the Department of Education and under Barack Obama, we had the creation of the Affordable Care Act. Only Bill Clinton’s presidency didn’t include a massive expansion of the federal government in transformative ways, though the effort was made as “Hillary Care,” the precursor to the ACA which failed prior to Republicans taking control of Congress. All of this is to say that it’s very much a reality that policy that could meaningfully transform aspects of our society will happen. It’s worth noting the most transformative proposals like the end of the legislative filibuster, packing the courts, and adding D.C. and Puerto Rico as states are less likely to occur due to Democrats holding the narrowest of margins in both bodies of Congress.
One party rule in Florida.
It’s been a point I’ve come back to since Election Day for multiple reasons. Not only did Florida’s Republicans maintain their two-decade majority in the state, but they also expanded it. There are now more elected Republicans than at any other time in our history. It’s notable, that our state, long described as the barometer of this country, broke as it did in this cycle. I’m not of the view that Florida is now an outlier. We are still the barometer of this country and there will be a bit of a course correction politically in the upcoming midterm elections and I remain optimistic for the future of this country despite near-term concerns at the federal level.
I’ve long said the elections which matter most are often those closest to you geographically. That remains true this morning. Your life hasn’t yet changed as a result of our new political landscape in Washington. Polices at the state and local level, especially during the mist of this pandemic, very much have a tangible effect on your day. If you’d like to make a difference, the first and most effective way to do so is to engage with your state senator and state representative on policies that matter to you. This as we head towards the state’s session starting March 2nd. The same is true with mayors and commissioners.
Change always presents an opportunity. It’s my hope that many who became politically active for the first time because of a belief in what President Trump fought for, will engage local politics. That’s a way to constructively advance your belief system in a way that could have a meaningful near-term impact while waiting for the opportunity to vote for meaningful change in Washington once again.
Photo by: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)