Twenty-three days until our national nightmare ends with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States.

We are, thankfully, at the end of 2020.  The bright spot in a rather dismal year was, of course, the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President and Vice President of the United States.  Even that bright spot is dimmed by the knowledge that, when the electoral votes are counted in Congress on January 6, Ohio’s 18 electoral votes will be counted for donald trump.[i]  The good news going forward is that the “bully pulpit” of the presidency will no longer be in trump’s hands.  His lies, hate, and fearmongering won’t go away; but it won’t be the lead story in every night’s news either.  Instead, the message from the White House will be one of compassion and inclusion.  We will have an administration in Washington focused on building up rather than tearing down.

Despite the positive change in Washington, we still face huge challenges.  State and county government are still under Republican control.  Republicans will seek to use that control to draw Congressional and General Assembly districts to perpetuate their control for another decade.  We must be vigilant about re-districting and must be prepared to fight for fair districts.  Our state party will be under new leadership.  I think we need to make the case to that leadership as forcefully as possible that the Democratic Party cannot succeed statewide unless it appeals to voters in Batavia, Georgetown, and West Union just as much as it appeals to those in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati.  Locally, we need to recruit more young people as Democratic activists and we need to motivate some of them to run for public office.  They are the Democrats whom we will elect to the General Assembly and our county offices in the years ahead.

Most fundamentally, we need to regain credibility.  We need new ways to get the attention of the “average” Clermont Countian.  When we get that attention, we must have things to say that make sense to her.   We must also confirm our words with our deeds.  Given the extreme polarization of our politics, none of that will be easy; but it must be done, and we must get started right away.

I want to thank all of you for the tremendous efforts and generous donations you put forth in 2020.  The greatest strength of the Democratic Party is its people, and there is no better group of people than the activists of the Clermont County Democratic Party.  Despite it being an “off year,” we will need your efforts and your ideas again in 2021 if we intend to progress.  I look forward to doing that work with you.  Happy New Year. Stay safe.

[i] As noted in prior pieces, I refuse to give trump the respect implicit in using initial capital letters in his name.