One year after winning the presidency, Donald Trump lost. Last night Americans delivered a profound repudiation of his path. From coast to coast, we resolved not to follow the Old World into stagnant insularity. The US will remain the world’s first universal nation.
The scope of Trump’s electoral rebuke was total. Democrats defeated Republicans from Virginia to New Jersey, from the Pacific Northwest to southeastern North Carolina. Many of these races were not even competitive. To take the clearest example, Ralph Northam delivered a humiliating send-off to his opponent. But Northam’s smashing success replicated itself again and again, including in a Charlotte mayor’s race where the Dem margin grew by several orders of magnitude.
The victors comprised a stained glass window of American pluralism. There was the Sudanese immigrant in Iowa City and the first trans legislator in suburban Richmond. There was the turbaned Sikh in Hoboken, New Jersey and the trans woman of color in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There was the rural Southerner who pledged to defend black voting rights and the African-American woman who will build a Charlotte for all.
Most importantly, we dropped the hammer on Trumpism as a doctrine. In Virginia, Ed Gillespie ran a campaign of grotesque race baiting. As conservative consultant Rick Wilson noted, GOP operatives saw Gillespie’s campaign as a pilot for future efforts. But voters in Virginia–a state that arrested interracial couples within Gillespie’s lifetime–folded their arms and said “No.” The politics of ethnic exclusion lost to the politics of civic decency.
“America First” is as doomed now as it was in the 1930’s. American exceptionalism will get a second chance, and the torch of liberty shines on.