November 26, 2022

Time to move on

With the mid-term election behind us, results will receive intensive scrutiny. Analysts are already studying its dynamics and one of their preliminary conclusions is that most Americans are ready to move on.

There’s obviously a number of people who still want to continue the vitriol and radical nonsense that has so tainted our political environment. One has only to check out Twitter occasionally to recognize those people are still out there trying their best to demonstrate how ridiculous they are.

Fortunately, most of the election-denying candidates they supported went down in defeat; especially losing were every election-denying candidate for secretary of state. Their threat of overturning elections is over.

According to opinions appearing in conservative newspapers, and even commentary by Fox anchors, some Republicans are growing weary of the MAGA crowd. Perhaps they will now accept the fact that fealty to a fading star has become a losing proposition. Convincing the cult of die-hard MAGAs to abandon their leader, however, still has a long way to go.

One can only hope all Americans will want to move forward, forget the disappointment of losing, and make an effort to go back to being honest, fair-minded citizens.

Several months ago, we perceived the tide might be turning, and delusions of victimhood and extremism might be coming to an end. The results of this election and the reality of the losses by Trump-backed candidates would suggest to Republicans it’s time to change course.

Somehow the pollsters did not see the change coming and were wrong again about voters’ concerns. Polls consistently showed inflation and crime as the main issues on voters’ minds but that is not how they voted. Exit interviews proved abortion and saving democracy really did matter a lot, especially to young people. Voters turned out in droves for Democrats who care about those issues.

Someone else who read the tea leaves correctly was Joe Biden, who continues to be underestimated by just about everyone.

Republicans were expected to win big this mid-term, but it didn’t happen. President Biden’s unpopularity was expected to be a drag on the Democrats’ chances of winning, but that didn’t happen, either. Republicans will probably win the House with a majority of three or four members, but the Democrats have hung on to the Senate

It turns out voters value democracy and they don’t like threats to it – such as trying to overturn free and fair elections. They don’t like being denied the right to make their own decisions about reproductive health, and they don’t like politicians interfering with their right to vote. Many of those voters were Independents and they undeniably made their voices heard.

Apparently, voters don’t like anger and maliciousness in politics, either. They rejected most of those candidates who feed on the unhappiness of their followers. These toxic attitudes, unfortunately, won’t go away anytime soon.

There are many positives coming out of this election. One very important thing was voter turnout. Americans came out to vote in numbers greater than most previous mid-term elections. It was a historic off-year election for young people who voted with their highest totals ever.

Several new, bright young candidates won their elections, and some did not, but they emerged either way as future leaders of their parties. This is important as the current leadership in both parties is aging rapidly. Even the question some are asking, “If not Biden, who?” has begun to get some answers, should circumstances change before 2024.

My four granddaughters, one who was voting for the first time, were totally into the election and all voted with pride. A fifth granddaughter, 13, said she was jealous of her older cousins who were eligible to vote, but even she got to cast her vote at school.

When one party won nearly all of Iowa’s state-wide races, I feared my granddaughters would become discouraged about voting. My text to them the next morning was to reassure them politics ebb and flow and Iowa will return eventually to shared governance between the parties. The need, of course, is for better leadership and for young people to help revitalize the two-party system.

Even with Iowa becoming almost all Republican and very conservative, voters in the rest of the country obviously appreciate Democrats. They elected a lot of them.