On Tuesday, November 7th, a year after President Trump’s election, a rare piece of good news snuck into the week’s otherwise nightmarish news cycle. Voters in Virginia and New Jersey elected Democrats to their states’ respective governorships and filled out their state legislatures with Democratic politicians. These events may seem like small potatoes on the national scale, but if the resistance gets its dream, these elections are harbingers of things to come. New Jersey and Virginia are solidly purple states, meaning they’ve swung both Democratic and Republican over recent years. New Jersey residents elected the Democrat Phil Murphy to the governorship which, in conjunction with Democratic legislative gains, puts Democrats in control of the state government.

The circumstances surrounding the Virginian election, however, carry greater significance. Ralph Northam, Virginia’s governor-elect, beat out the Republican Ed Gillespie, who – despite Trump’s dishonest self-distancing – pulled a page from the President’s political playbook. Gillespie employed the divisive rhetoric, nationalistic ethos, and race-baiting tactics that Trump embraces and lost. By nine points. Moreover, Democrat Danica Roem, unseated an incumbent Republican to become Virginia’s first transgender legislator.  

Tuesday’s results are good news for the resistance. The left’s cultural ideals prevailed in Virginia, despite the state’s relatively conservative – not to mention Confederate – history. On a national level, Republicans are spooked by the results of what they see as localized referendums on the current administration. If this pattern, known by pundits as “the Blue Wave” continues, it could derail Republican control of the federal government in future, similar election cycles.

So, that’s a long way of saying: treat yourself with a little optimism this Wednesday. A rare ray of hope broke through the fog of our Trumpian nightmare.