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Red, White, & Blue Wave to come November

For months I have been reading and hearing about a Blue Wave reaction to the Trump administration that is coming in November, a tsunami that will return control of the U.S. House and Senate to Democratic control.

Indeed, many Republican congressmen must see the handwriting on the wall, because in near record numbers they are retiring or not choosing to run for re-election in 2018. Many of them, such as our own former congressman, are stepping down for obvious reasons, such as their own poor records or shameful conduct.

Many of these Republican congressmen simply don’t want to face the consequences of their cowardly behavior in failing to stand up to a rogue president. The Republican-controlled Congress abdicated its responsibility to provide legislative balance of power and instead fell in line behind Trump and his disastrous policies.

Texas’ own Senator Ted Cruz is a prime example. He easily could have led Congress’ opposition to a despotic president; after all, during the 2016 presidential campaign, didn’t Cruz, whose father and wife had been attacked and ridiculed by Trump, say: “I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” and add later that he was not going to “come like a puppy dog and say, ‘Thank you very much for maligning my wife and father’”?

Instead, Cruz joined Trump’s gang in a campaign to obliterate any sign of the Obama administration, despite whatever damage such policy might cause the average American. Unfortunately, Cruz is not one of this year’s Republican dropouts, although it is obvious that he is worried about the grassroots campaign conducted by Beto O’Rourke, who does not accept PAC money. Cruz is supported by the big guns, including Koch brothers PACs.

I believe the wave coming in November is not a Blue Wave. It will be a Red, White and Blue Wave. Although it will return Senate and House control to the Democrats, it will be the result of a majority of voters listening to their consciences, not their parties. Just as in Alabama, where Republicans and Independents joined Democrats to elect Doug Jones over Roy Moore, voters throughout the country will choose decency instead of party politics.

Other hopeful signs are the unprecedented participation of women candidates throughout the country and first-time voters determined to make a difference.

Don’t be surprised if here in Texas candidate Mike Collier, a sensible businessman who demands more legislative support for public schools, unseats ardent Trump supporter and demagogue Dan Patrick as lieutenant governor. After all, Governor Greg Abbott called two special sessions allowing Patrick to campaign for bathroom bills that a majority of Texans felt unnecessary, although he wouldn’t call a special session to tap the $11 billion-plus Rainy Day Fund for Hurricane Harvey relief. The result is that many Texans still have not recovered from hurricane damage, and some Texas school districts are, for the first time, contributing more than the state legislature for public education.

Come to think of it, longshot candidate Sheriff Lucy Valdez might even unseat Abbott, who with his lack of accomplishment in hurricane relief, health care and public education has proved that a wheelchair does not necessarily make a person more sympathetic to others.

The 2018 midterm will be a repudiation of Trump and his billionaire supporters. Americans are fed up with the country being run by puppets of these billionaires, who in some cases are destroying the very agencies they are appointed to run. They are tired of one-percenters treating public lands as their own private property and reaping all the gains while the average worker loses ground. They know there is no city in this country where a worker earning minimum wage can rent a two-bedroom apartment.

We might not see a Democratic win in this congressional district, which is gerrymandered overwhelmingly Republican, but if voters — Republican and Independent, as well as Democrat — vote their consciences, who knows?

- Jim Ford, UUVictoria Member

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