November 4, 2020
Mike Rawlins, County Chair
As I write this Wednesday morning, I suspect a lot of you are feeling what I do – an odd mix of exhaustion, sleep deprivation, anxiety over the uncertainty of the Presidential outcome, disgust, disbelief (“not again?” for Texas, “WTF?” for Collin County) and gratitude where we can find positive things.
So what the heck happened, and where do we go from here?
For me, Collin County is a big WTF and OMG. We expected the Trump/Biden split to be close, and it was. But we really thought we would win HD66 and HD67. We expected CD3 to be close, but it wasn’t. And despite the huge push for “Vote for Every Democrat”– especially for our Magnificent Seven candidates for District Judgeships — they lost by a wider margin than our statewide candidates who barely campaigned here. There are some things that don’t make sense, defying the conventional wisdom about campaigns.
On the more intangible aspects of Tuesday’s results in the county, back in 2016 I was shocked that a large proportion of our citizenry could support such a monstrous man as Donald Trump. Now, the shock has worn off (or faded from exhaustion), and I’m left feeling perplexed and with a deep concern for the health of our society. I am dumbfounded that after four years such a large number of our friends, neighbors, and coworkers either have such blinders on that they don’t see who this man is and what is happening, or else they do see and they don’t care.
Still, one of the great lessons of life is to summon gratitude where we can. We can be thankful that Colin Allred is still going to represent part of the county in Congress. We can be thankful that we put three more justices on the Fifth Court of Appeals, including Judge Bonnie Goldstein and Judge Dennise Garcia who both ran for a second time, meaning we will hold eleven of the thirteen seats on that court. We can be thankful that at least for the top of the ticket, Collin County finally voted bluer than the state. I hope you will join me in thanking all of our candidates, their campaign staffs, our party staff and officers, and every volunteer who did so much amid the craziness of this pandemic and bizarre political landscape to help get Democrats to the polls this year.
So, where do we go from here? A few things are clear: We need to thoroughly examine what happened in this campaign and answer key questions. Did we have the right plan? Where could we have executed better? As hard as it is, we must embrace that the social pathologies in this county run deeper and are more persistent than we imagined. But because the motives of political parties are always suspected of being driven by partisan advantage, we can’t always take the lead in fixing such ills as racism, misogyny, bigotry, bullying, and basic disrespect for others. We need to work with and support allied organizations to change hearts and minds, and reinforce their work with public policy where it makes sense.
Finally, as we continue a walk through this valley of darkness, we need to be the light. The biggest damage that the President and his party have done to our society is killing empathy. We need to demonstrate it more fully and nurture it in others.
Get some rest. Do not fear the future. Be strong. This isn’t over, and we have a long road ahead of us.