The Democrats Won The Midterms, So Why Do You Still Feel Kinda Bad?

You learned your lesson from 2016.

You volunteered this time.

Maybe it was money, maybe it was your time, maybe it was simply your vote, but this time you put in the effort. Whether you canvassed the weekend before the election or since ballots were mailed out, it paid off.

Maybe you were nervous as the first polling places closed on the East Coast. However, early on into the night, most networks were already calling for the Democrats to take congress for the first time in a decade. A forecasted pickup of 35 flipped seats. It’s what you wanted.

It felt like a relief, but not a celebration.

There was plenty to celebrate besides retaking the house as the results rolled in. 7 governorships flipped to Democrats, including Kansas seemingly out of nowhere. Scott Walker was finally no longer Wisconsin’s problem. Then there were the judgeships, state houses, and local boards that turned from red to blue. There were a record number of women elected to the House of Representatives, including the first female Native Americans, the first Somali-American, the first Palestinian-American, and the youngest representative, Ocasio-Cortez, who is also just the dopest. The House of Representatives is getting more representative.

And yet, somehow the joy wasn’t fully there. Maybe it was those heartbreaking losses. Beto’s blue momentum crashing up against the red wall of Texas and knowing that Ted Cruz is happy, even if no one will ever like him. Georgia’s Stacy Abrahms unable to resoundingly defeat the corruption and naked voter suppression of Brian Kemp.

Andrew Gillum’s loss to DeSantis despite his inherent class and inspirational message of unity that so clearly contrasted with DeSantis’ prostrations to Trumpism. Bill Nelson’s potential run-off with climate-denier Rick Scott, who looks like a skeleton that ate an even crazier skeleton.

We really have to stop hoping Florida will be anything but itself.

Still, they did restore voting rights to felons that have done their time. Even a stopped clock…

Maybe it was losing three senate seats resoundingly in Missouri, Indiana, and North Dakota, even if you kind of saw them coming.

Also, Mitch McConnell’s creepy grin as the Senate results came in helped no one’s mood. What is with that guy?

Or maybe it was waking up this morning and seeing Donald Trump, unhinged as usual, berating reporters — then later firing Jeff Sessions — and knowing that this isn’t over. There is so much more work to be done.

Good. Keep this feeling.

You’re right to feel conflicted.

Progress is not victory, and a Democrat-controlled Congress doesn’t stop the bleeding. It just finally puts pressure on the wound.

But we won the house. Feel good about that. You did your part and deserve recognition.

Then get ready for the next two years. It will take the same amount of work, but we can win.

Then we’ll celebrate.