Wednesday, November 07, 2018
The big story, nationally, is that the Democrats, in typical off-year fashion, took back the House. That's great news because it means that President Trump will soon have some opposition and not just a fan base. Their victory may well tie up the government again, since it's impossible not to believe that the Democrats won't begin some long-overdue investigations into the swamp our President splashes in.
That they won't reopen Congressional hearings on the 2016 Russian election connections seems equally impossible, given that the Republican-majority committee last year simply handed out their mighty leader a hall pass. The wrangling that will almost inevitably go on in Washington will be necessary, but will clog things up even more and further disillusion millions of Americans.
Our system of government seems as broken as the system by which we choose Supreme Court judges and, certainly, the system--or lack of it--by which we deal with the millions of undocumented workers Trumpsters love to hate but need do the dirty work. I hope the Democrats tread lightly on issues they could investigate because there's so much more important work than cleaning out Trump's septic system.
Because the Democrats took back the House, it's hard not to believe that the elections swung their way; but it's impossible to say the election night produced a wave. Nope. Sadly, the Democrats three rising stars in Texas, Georgia, and Florida, all went down to defeat. It's hard to be triumphant when the marquee players get beat.
Still, Trump has legitimate, voted-in opposition now, something he didn't have for the last two years. That's progress for which I'm thankful. The Democrats now run the House.
It's possible that throughout my life I have been too sympathetic to the story of my people, my tribe, to the immigrant folks in wooden shoes who came here as poor and needy as any from Emma Lazarus's famous poem. I may well have loved that story too much. After all, they were also a people whose devout faith wasn't as tolerant as it should have been. But it seemed to me my tribe built significant institutions with their faith, including strong churches. This morning, I'm heartbroken and disillusioned.
Almost 75 percent of my neighbors, just about all of them church-goers, voted for a man who was scolded by his own Republican party's election chairman for his unseemly bigoted comments, a man who on the day before the election offered up a slur to two Supreme Court justices for no other reason than what he said is what he thinks, what he believes.
Just about 75 percent of Sioux County voted for Steve King, the man internationally derided for bigotry, even by his own. No other member of Congress so willingly and frequently says things so universally recognized and understood as putrid.
Yesterday, the good Christian people returned Steve King to Congress. It's impossible not to wonder about "good Christian people."
Sometimes people who are not from here ask me how it is that northwest Iowa voted so overwhelmingly for a presidential candidate like Trump. The answer, sadly enough, has become more and more clear every day: because they voted their values.
In my many years as a writer--fiction, plays, meditations, histories, occasional essays--I've honored my religious and ethnic heritage. I'm a board member of the Sioux County Museum because I really do appreciate the history of my people, my tribe. It's a story I love to tell--and have in many ways.
This morning I feel disowned.
Yesterday I said some would be angry and sad this morning, the morning-after.
Well, I am. I'm downright sick at heart and soul. Almost 75 per cent of Sioux County, Iowa, approve of Steve King.
They're not my tribe. They're his.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 6:30 AM