The Spirit of ‘08

It could be the ultimate anniversary celebration.

The 2018 midterm elections will be held just two days after the tenth anniversary of Barack Obama’s trailblazing victory over John McCain. The memory of that moment could well inspire two groups of voters: those who demanded hope and change a decade ago, and those who were too young to participate in that election.

The folks who were disgusted over George W. Bush’s eight years of extremism in 2008 are even more furious now. Donald Trump is Dubya on human growth hormone: except for launching a war based on lies, which he hasn’t gotten around to (yet), Trump has pursued an amped-up version of the amoral agenda Bush embraced after he and his cronies stole the keys to the White House from Al Gore. Is there any real difference between Bush’s massive tax cuts for the affluent and those of Trump? Any difference between Bush’s judicial jesters and the courthouse clowns Trump has shoved onto the federal bench? Any difference between Bush’s hell-no to the Kyoto Protocol and Trump’s rejection of the Paris climate agreement?

Obama’s election was an effort to stop the madness, and ten years later, the Obama coalition is poised to do it again, determined to give a much-needed flu shot to the body of American democracy. Helping to administer that shot will be those who were too young to vote for Obama.

Imagine being a teenage girl or boy who was eight years old in 2008 and twelve years old in 2012. Imagine the inspiration you felt back then, and the desperation you feel now. You’ll never forget the sick feeling in your stomach when you woke up on November 9, 2016 to find that 62 million Americans had betrayed you and your generation. You’ll never forget the fear in the eyes of your African-American, Latino, Asian and Native American friends, your friends who were Jewish or Muslim or atheist, your friends whose families struggled economically. You’ll never forget the sight of the orange outrage taking the Oath of Office. Like Peter Finch in Network, you’re mad as hell, and you’re not going to take it anymore.

Trump fears the rage and wrath of these Americans more than he fears Robert Mueller. These Americans have a thirst for justice that demands to be quenched. These Americans knew that Obama fought tirelessly for equality and fairness–and that Obama’s inferior replacement is fighting tirelessly against such values.

The fight against Trumpism is the fight to complete Barack Obama’s unfinished work. Limiting Trump’s power is the only way the values of hope and change can survive in this country. Egalitarianism must defeat authoritarianism if America is to remain the land of the free and the hope of the brave.

The older and younger opponents of Trumpism are valiant soldiers in the war to protect our democracy, our decency, our dignity. They are members of the new Union army in this psychological and political civil war against a profoundly dangerous Confederacy.

Trump and his lackeys at Fox News underestimate the resolve of these forces. Trump and his lackeys do not grasp how committed the forces of the Resistance are to protecting and preserving the values Barack Obama articulated ten years ago. They won’t surrender. They can’t surrender. Who would they surrender to? The NRA? The fossil-fuel industry? Vladimir Putin? That’s not going to happen.

These soldiers are committed to total war against the forces that seek to destroy true liberty, true freedom, true equality, true diversity. They’ll never quit the fight. In response to those who think it’s impossible for them to conquer the menace that resides in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, they have just three words:

Yes we can.

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.