By Mike Schlossberg
I’ll be honest: As someone who has spoken to voters for months, I felt like there would never be a red wave.
Democratic, independent, and many Republican voters I spoke to were afraid. If I got a nickel every time I heard, “These people scare me!” I would be immeasurably rich.
People weren’t just scared: they were angry. Angry at politicians who spent more time discussing school toilets than attacks on women’s bodily autonomy. Angry at those who incite fear of crime instead of taking deadly weapons off the streets. Angry that her voting rights were attacked.
These voters wanted to hear solutions, but were fed the wrong issues. Fortunately, they wholeheartedly rejected this nonsense.
Josh Shapiro beat Pennsylvania’s most famous Confederate cosplayer by a record number of votes. John Fetterman’s story of personal resilience proved more relatable than a snake oil salesman who traded his medical credentials for money. US Rep. Susan Wild’s achievements and pragmatism led to her re-election.
In the State House, fair legislative cards and a strong message gave Democrats a 102-101 majority.
The question is: How will the Democrats govern?
We must become the party of freedom, democracy, results and reality.
As Governor-elect Shapiro said, true freedom cannot be had without personal freedom: freedom to pray safely, control your own body, receive a quality education, and love whom you choose to love.
You can’t have democracy or be a patriot just by winning. You can’t just love your country if the elections go your way. We need to make it easier for officials to vote and count the votes.
Democrats won with better schools, better jobs, and safer communities. Too many Republicans were trying… something different. At the top of the Republican ticket sat a Nazi sympathizer and a man so cowardly ambitious he couldn’t spell the Pennsylvania city he was claiming to be from. The voters showed both the door.
Voters will no longer tolerate nonsense. You deserve Democrats and Republicans who are willing to work together and get real results.
We all want good schools, access to health care and better paying jobs, not political power struggles.
I’ve worked with Republicans to bring home dollars for jobs and programs, prevent suicides, and protect the vulnerable. I will be happy to do that in the future.
When we focus on these issues, elected officials win. More specifically, the Pennsylvanians are winning.
After all, voters expect elected officials to be grounded in reality. Biden won. Trump lost. Vaccines save lives. Q isn’t real, but COVID is. No one is pushing your child to change gender. There are no litter boxes in the bathroom. Everyone deserves to be loved and respected – especially those who have become society’s scapegoats.
The people rejected Republicans who relied on lies. May they be relegated to the dustbin of the past so that we can work for a better future.
Democrats – from the governor’s mansion to the House of Representatives – have been given responsibility. At the same time, voters returned a Republican-controlled state Senate. We must work together to achieve positive outcomes for the people we represent. There will be moments when compromises are not tenable. There will be other moments when this is the only way forward. I hope we’re smart enough to tell the difference.
All I can do is pledge my desire to work with anyone who is willing to listen — Republican or Democrat — to deliver those results for the people we serve and the communities we share. This should be the bare minimum for any elected official in this country.
Mike Schlossberg is a Pennsylvania State Representative serving portions of Lehigh County. He’s a Democrat.