The red check mark next to Cruz seemed to appear with startling speed last night. When it flashed on the screen, I doubled over and let out a long “noooooooooo.” I knew the race was going to be tight, but after working among thousands of volunteers for Beto O’Rourke in Texas, talking with hundreds of exuberant voters who love him, and witnessing one of the best-run campaigns I’ve ever been involved in, I was hopeful he’d take the Senate seat even if by a small margin. I went to bed right after that, not watching the rest of the returns or Beto’s concession speech in which he, delightfully, told supporters he was “so f*&%ing proud” of them.
Now it’s a new day. I don’t want to let my disappointment get in the way of appreciating last night’s gains: more women than ever in the House, Democratic control of key House committees, several of the most odious elected officials sent packing. I’m not sure where Beto’s future will take him, but I hope he stays on the political scene. We need his energy, his focus on what he wants to do rather than on sniveling about the other side, and even his skateboarding skill.
I’m done with Tweets and Facebook posts with the word “scary” and “scared” in them. Even this morning, I read several remarks from people who say they are “still scared” about our future. Here’s a request: Let’s all scrub the words “scared” and “scary” from our vocabulary when we think and talk about our world. Quite frankly, our time for fear is long gone. Time to be fierce, vigilant and active in holding people in office accountable—including Agent Orange—and in finishing the job of voting the rest of the Neanderthals out in 2020. Instead of giving in to fear, let’s be “so f*&%ing proud” of the progress we’ve made and keep working hard for more.