…In Other Words, We Lost

Tribune News Service
Supporters celebrate during a Ron DeSantis election night party at the Rosen Centre in Orlando, Fla. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

Payton Williams
Voices Editor
@YoureSoVanya

Over the week of the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats spent record-breaking amounts of money to lose slightly less badly than last election cycle; twelve people were shot dead in a bar in California; and voters in the state of Nevada decided electing a dead pimp was better than electing a Democrat.

In other words, in the elections of 2018, America lost.

Honestly, what can I say to make the state of affairs in this country any clearer?

Could I elaborate on the most recent of these aforementioned wounds, the shooting in California?

I could tell you the details. I could tell you how a 28-year-old former marine walked into a bar he had previously frequented, with a gun, and removed twelve people from existence for no discernible reason.

And if he had given a reason, or if we should find one later, I could tell you what it was, and we could both pretend like that makes a difference.

I could pretend as though knowing the shooter’s motivations somehow makes this event more comprehensible, even though we both know it doesn’t.

And then I could tell you that Gavin Newsom, one day after his election as the governor of California, already had to face a tragedy and, with a look of shock on his face, told the crowd, “This is America… This doesn’t happen anywhere else on the planet. We can’t let folks forget that. We can’t allow this to be normalized.”

And again, we could both act as though, in modern America, this isn’t already normal.

So normal in fact that, in the wake of the current election news cycle, this shooting is already in the process of being completely forgotten about by all of us.

I could tell you that the greatest tragedy of all is that, in 2018 America, 12 people dying feels shockingly mundane.

But would saying that, as many people already have in the past, really help either of us?

Or would it do either of us any good to rehash what we already know about the election?

Would it help to say that the U.S. Democratic party spent more money than either party ever has on any election to break almost dead even with Republicans?

This happened despite the fact that only two years ago, the Republican party elected possibly the least popular president in modern history.

And it happened despite the media being overwhelmingly in support of Democratic candidates.

Given this evidence, I could point out to you that the Democratic party might possibly be the only group of people bad enough at their job to lose even when everything is working in their favor.

And perhaps, we could both pretend to find some solace in the fact that the Democratic party did manage to win the House of Representatives by a slim margin, as they were projected to do for months.

We could both pretend, even, that after spending record-breaking amounts of money, and having record breaking voter turnout, that these election results indicate some kind of victory.

But again, would it help either of us to pretend this isn’t, in reality, a crushing defeat?

And to add insult to injury, I could tell you about the election of Dennis Hof in Nevada’s 36th district.

Dennis Hof surprised the nation by being elected to the general assembly in Nevada.

Why was this such a surprise?

Because Dennis Hof was possibly the most famous pimp in the entire United States.

And also because he’s dead.

Allow me to elaborate:

Dennis Hof was the owner of seven legal brothels in the state of Nevada. Most famously, he was the owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Mound House, Nevada, which was the subject of the long-running HBO documentary series, “Cathouse.”

In 2016, he became involved in politics, describing himself as a “Trump-style Republican,” even writing a book called “The Art of the Pimp,” a play on the title of President Donald Trump’s book, “The Art of the Deal.”

Then, on Oct. 16, in the middle of what was shaping up to be a very successful campaign, Dennis Hof died.

But voter’s in Nevada’s 36th district didn’t let the small, pesky detail of Hof’s being deceased for nearly a month change their belief that he was still the most qualified for the job.

Instead of considering possibly electing a living, breathing Democrat to the General Assembly, Nevada voters elected a pimp reality star who’d been dead for a month.

Dennis Hof won his seat on Nevada’s General Assembly on election night.

Now, since you and I are not morons and understand that a dead man cannot actually hold government office in this country, I should make clear that what Hof’s victory really means is that a Republican will be chosen to fill his seat for this term.

But does it really make you feel any better to know that voters in Nevada made it clear that they were willing to accept not just a Republican, but any Republican, before they elected a Democrat?

Does it make either of us feel better to know that Democrats spent recordbreaking amounts of money to have this be the result?

I don’t think it does.

Instead, I think, as the saying goes, “The first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one.”

So, let’s admit it. We lost. We’re losers.

And it’s time for a new strategy.

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