Budowsky: House Dems won a historic mandate

Budowsky: House Dems won a historic mandate
© Greg Nash

House Democrats are the only players in national politics in an elected branch of national government who can claim a sweeping mandate from the American people. In this sense they are America’s team, the strongest expression of the public will as 2018 ends and the 2020 campaign begins.

The extraordinarily talented and diverse class of Democratic House members elected in 2018 share a great passion and aspiration for duty, service, idealism and patriotism, one that’s reminiscent of young Americans inspired to enter politics by John F. Kennedy in 1960. They were motivated to enter politics for the right reasons. They arrive determined to do the right things. They serve to lift the nation and change the world. And they will.


In the most important midterm election in a century, after voter turnout of epic and historic proportions, House Democrats won a popular vote majority of more than 9 million votes. By contrast, Donald TrumpDonald TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit MORE lost the 2016 popular vote by some 3 million votes, and is now viewed as a great divider and dangerous pariah by peoples and leaders of democratic nations throughout the world.

Politics is about power. Effective January 2019, no bill will be enacted into law, and no dollar will be authorized or appropriated, without the support of the Democratic House. House Democrats have won a dramatic mandate to propose — and ultimately pass — legislation to lift the health, wages and lives of Americans, as well as to set the stage to elect the next Democratic president and Democratic Senate in 2020, when most senators running for reelection will be Republicans.

Politics is about democracy. Effective January 2019, the majority views of Americans on major issues will no longer by silenced, ignored or held in contempt by a one-party state in Washington. Voters granted House Democrats a powerful mandate to restore checks and balances to American democracy.

Politics is about community. House Democrats are America’s team — a picture perfect reflection of the diversity and public spirit that makes our nation such a special place.

House Democrats were granted a mandate from voters to restore civility, decency and community to public life. They were granted a mandate to reject and defeat the politics of division, hatred and fear. And they were granted a mandate to better the lot of all workers, regardless of their race, religion or gender.

House Democrats were granted a mandate to improve health care, to lift wages, to protect the environment and to support public education. They were granted a mandate to make tax cuts fair and to advance civil rights, equal rights, voting rights and human rights. This is what House Democrats championed to win a landslide victory in 2018.

House Democrats were granted a mandate from voters to defend America from the Russian attack against our democracy, to investigate corruptions by those who treat public service as an ATM to make money for themselves, and to expose and defeat those who would destroy the right to vote, which is the very heart of Americanism.

House Democrats know they were elected to bring change that ends partisan Republican abuse. Many were elected from districts that have rarely elected Democrats to Congress in recent years. They should and will reach out to work with reasonable Republicans when possible, not only to strengthen their prospects for reelection but because it is right — without sacrificing core values or first principles.

House Democrats won a dramatic landslide and historic mandate in 2018 because they represent a new generation of Americans who want to return our civic life to a nobility of purpose, unity, decency, patriotism and idealism. Americans voted for these principles in droves in 2018, and they will vote for them again in 2020.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.