If 2016 was the year of Trump, then 2017 is the year of unmasking, with many decades worth of problems coming out into the open on both sides of our political divide. This is healthy.
2020 is still three years away, and there is time to move away from our morass of division and toward something better. Why not making it – regardless of party – the cycle of electing decent men to our public offices?
Mitt Romney is a good potential example to use for this. I don’t agree with about 80% of his policy provisions. However, I do believe that he is a decent man who has lived his life by a set of principles, and served the country well and ethically as governor of Massachussetts and in various other roles. I would like to see him elected – perhaps to the Senate in Utah – over a party hack.
Seth Moulton is another, from the Democratic side. Seth is a principled war veteran, a man who has serious convictions and isn’t shy about expressing them. He would be an excellent leader in a higher public office.
The GOP, particularly, should look inward and try to find the principled leaders of its party and run them. Right now, they are mostly stuck in a cruel purgatory – unable to completely abandon a lifetime of support for GOP principles, yet equally unable to support Trump and his kleptocratic behavior. And, of course, Trump will never willingly appoint those who have criticized him publicly to the administration.
Democrats must of course remember this. Robert Mueller was a Republican. So is Susan Collins, and John McCain, and so was James Comey, and Arlen Specter, and many other decent and principled leaders. They just need to elect far more of them in the next cycle, over hacks who will sell their country out from under the rug for big donor dollars.
On the Democratic side, 2020 is an opportunity to finally kick the Clinton hangover. The Democrats have dozens and dozens of exciting, ethical millennial leaders of all backgrounds running for office. It is their biggest strength, and it showed up and down the ballot in Virginia. That is what Democrats need in 2020, fresh and decent leaders who want to work together and make a difference in their country, not the same hacks that have dominated party politics since the end of the Reagan era.
Watching the Trump administration is depressing, yet it is also strangely energizing. It’s like watching a deeply burrowed virus drain out of the veins to the surface; at its most harmful yet also at its most exposed. The recent trail of scandal after scandal is hardly an accident; it is a symptom of this visible exorcism.
2018 is already well underway, and it will be the most partisan battle of most of our lifetimes. 2020 has a chance to be different. America remains the most powerful, productive, and charitable country in the world for a reason: it has hundreds of millions of decent, hardworking, and smart people. Let’s elect a few hundred of them to public office.