November 12, 2022

Well, That Is Over...And I Feel...Better



Have you noticed..no more barrage of political ads filling your TV screen? Is your mailbox a little less full of those staged shots of someone with their family looking sincere and serious? Has your favorite news source stopped quoting the results of new polls every day?

November 8th has come and gone. When I looked out my front door this morning everything was still in its proper place. People were still walking dogs and pushing strollers with toddlers aboard. Amazon, UPS, and FedEx trucks continued their constant parade up and down the street. The sun still appears every morning and seems to sink below the horizon around 5:30 each evening. Not believing in a flat earth, I realize the sun isn't moving, the earth is.

Yet, just days ago the headlines would have us believe the end is near. Our life is destined to be turned upside down. A Red Wave would wash over us and a new day would dawn.

Oops...didn't happen. Actually, it was barely a pink puddle. For the first time in decades, the party holding the White House didn't suffer huge losses in both House and Senate. As I type this there are still races to be decided at all levels, with continued control of the Senate still well within Democratic reach while the House is likely to turn Red. Several governor races flipped to Blue and the number of female governors hit an all-time high.

The point of this post is not to gloat over the results, though I am pleased that things turned out much better for my preferred candidates than the polls and pundits led me to believe were possible.

Rather, this election seems to signal that the turmoil, rancor, misinformation, and hostility may have reached a tipping point for the majority of American people. I have read a description of this election as a move toward normal. Ticket-splitting was clearly in play with not everyone voting strictly along party lines.

I am not naive. I fully expect the grandstanding and politicking to continue in Washington and elsewhere; that is how our system works. Opposition is a must to keep those in power in check. There must be debate, dissent, and loud differences to allow all views their day in the sunshine.

But, the level of distrust and bitterness, of literal hate for the opposition may be doing a slow fade. I completely understand your disappointment if your chosen ones did not prevail. Talk to me about 2016. Supporting the losing side has happened many times in my lifetime. Yet, never have political differences been so likely to spark violence.

Remember the 2000 election when the Supreme Court gave the election win to George Bush over Al Gore. The two men were separated by a literal handful of votes and hanging chads. 

Yet, Once the decision was made, we moved on. No one from the Gore side talked about secession. No one from the Bush side talked about political vendettas. This was only 22 years ago, though in today's climate seems almost quaint in how polite and civilized it was.

November 8 (and counting) gave me a new sense of optimism. We are not likely to return to the 2000 level of interaction anytime soon. But, I really sense the pendulum has swung as far as we will let it in one direction. Now, just like in life and history, it will inevitably move back toward the center.

At least, here's hoping.

32 comments:

  1. I am looking for ANYTHING that will make tomorrow seem better than today. The election results certainly help that. Until now, everything just seems to be piling on with no let up in sight.

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    1. I welcome the glimmer of civility and common sense that seems to have broken trough the neverending wave of depressing scenarios.

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  2. Congrats to AZ for sending Kelly back to Congress! A wonderful way to wake up this morning. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've said. I sure hope the hate and vitriol is coming to a close. I've missed civility immensely. Call me dense, but it took me a long time to understand that fans of 45 do not care about the truth, actual voting records of the Congressional delegation nor video clips of their words. I don't react to their vitriol over the sitting President anymore. I'm a slow learner I guess.

    Cheers to the better Midterm outcome than a sitting President has had in 40 years!

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    1. The mental fog of 45's effect on people will not disappear overnight. But after almost 2 years, his act seems to be in its final scenes.

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  3. I hope you are right that this is the turning point. I hope the voter turnout continues in future elections and that the next cycle we hear and read an actual platform from the candidates not just spewed talking points and rhetoric against the opposition.

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    1. A platform...what a novel concept. Tell me what you will do, not just what the other person will do wrong. Isn't that how voters used to make informed decisions?

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  4. Looks like you did okay in AZ, as we did in PA. Today is Biden's 80th birthday. God bless him. But can we please get TWO new presidential candidates for 2024. But also ... do we have to start the presidential race right away? Can't we take a break?

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    1. Personally, I would strongly urge Mr. Biden to go quietly into the night after one term. New blood, new ideas, and new energy are desperately needed by both parties.

      While we are at it, both Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi are past their " best if used by dates." Our generation needs to let it go.

      Yes, there is a good chance that Arizona will have four Democrats in the top four slots. That was completely unexpected. The transition from red to purple to blue is happening.

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  5. Bob, I definitely agree that the Boomers need to let it go and move on. I would vote in a heartbeat to limit the maximum age a person can run for any office. The boomers have left a fiscal mess that will take generations to straight out. It is way past time to let the generations that will bear the burdens begin to straighten things out. I wish the very best. They will need it.

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    1. We need younger more diverse men and women to generate and carry through new approaches. The days of the old white men and women running everything needs to come to an end.

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  6. Thanks for posting this optimistic look at the future. I agree, we need to turn away from these divisions and towards cooperation

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    1. It is a clichè, but we really are better together rather than breaking apart into tribes.

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  7. I am glad that the Democrats look like they will be in charge- possibly in the house as well. I think the policies that are in place over climate, Ukraine, healthcare, China, abortion, border and inflation need to have time to work themselves through. With a consistent policy, we can see what is best for the country instead of jumping ship at mid course.
    Then the old people need to get out of the way! All of them. 2024 should have limits that absolutely no one over the age of sixty can run!

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    1. I am 73 and I know I wouldn't have the stamina!

      Nevada race just called for Democrat with House still unclear. I really hope this is a wakeup call for all of us that things can only get so far out of whack before self-correcting.

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  8. This week was the first time I had some hope for this country in a while. It does seem that the "normies" were the largest block this time, which is a good sign. And I agree it's time for some younger people in charge.

    Here in Michigan, things went better than I could have hoped. I thought the 3 women at the top would win, but I didn't expect the Dems would take over both houses of the legislature for the first time in 40 years.

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    1. I'm also a Michigander who is very happy about the election results. Our previous republican governor created a very unpopular pension tax in order to give businesses a tax break. Our just reelected Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, had tried to repeal it. With republicans in control of the the legislature, she failed. With her reelection and democrat control of the senate and house, she and other democrats vow to repeal It. By the way, various reliable sources have rated Michigan as the most affordable state for retirees. It is about to become even more affordable.

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    2. @Jake360. Yes, I think some things that have been blocked will finally move. Yay! Also, we have lots of clean water. Not a bad place to be all in all. Cheers!

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  9. I'm so happy the mid-term elections are over also. Now I can return to paying $4.00 plus for gasoline, get back to paying $6.00 plus for home heating oil, stopped buying diesel for my pick up truck last week 'cause the station is plumb out of diesel. Oh well. I'm back to paying super sky high prices for my groceries, car parts for my DIY repairs and maintenance (if I can still get them) and I'm enjoying the news more when they show the rising crime rates. Thanks to RING, I get to see actual video of theft, burglary, car dismantling. Gosh, I can even see people getting shoved onto train tracks and mutilated to death. It's better than reality TV! I love those bus and plane sky-ins of all those illegal migrants. I'm so glad they're here because regular Americans don't seem to want to work anymore. I'm especially enjoying all the corporate layoffs now that the election is over: IBM, Amazon, Fed Ex, Best Buy, Target, Macy's....did I miss anybody? Now that mortgage interest has risen, real estate agents are out of work, as well as the rest of anyone associated with the housing industry (carpenters, plumbers, electricians). Meta and Twitter laying off tech workers by the thousands. Oh and here's the best of the best FTX went bankrupt! That failed crypto exchange company beat investors out of trillions of dollars. Makes my heart go pitter patter. Goldman Sachs, Citibank..the lot of them laying off all those hard working people. Most everyone's portfolio is down at least 40 to 35%. Too bad the food is so darn high. Can't find much left at those Food pantries anymore. Waiting on those long lines for nothing. And don't get me started on the rising credit card interest payments, or the 15,000 repossessed cars per day or the expected foreclosures that'll be popping up once Christmas and the holidays are over. People should be running out of their credit card lines of debt just about that time.
    Yup. Sure glad those mid-term elections are over. Not one of those things I listed above got addressed to. But we saved Democracy and now women can kill their babies up to one month after birth. What a lovely bunch of Democratic voters are we. And we don't have to read anymore mean tweets anymore! God bless America.
    YKWTI

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    1. There is so much in this comment that I disagree with. Also, I will not get down into the gutter and respond to the accusations and disrespectful language.

      What I will do is allow this comment to remain since expressing opinions is part of a democracy, regardless of how misguided it may be.

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    2. While I hesitate to respond to the mad ramblings above (hello Cindi?), I'll simply respond to one sentence at the end and remind her that three of the reddest states in the Union have now codified the right to abortion. Anyone thinking the right to choose is a Demicratic issue has not been paying attention.

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    3. Hey Anonymous, aren't you lucky that you are able to spew so many lies and no one can call you out because nobody that knows you will see it is you. The hate and vitriole and lies in this comment are jaw-dropping. Killing babies 1 month after birth? How ridiculous you are. Get a real newsfeed-maybe try PBS rather than twitter and Fox? Sure glad I don't know you because my blood pressure is a lovely low #!

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    4. It is always easy to point out problems and flaws in others. Much, much harder to offer solutions. I was struck, both in my local elections and nationally, how the "out" party was flooding the airways and my mailbox with a list of everything that has gone wrong. Absent was any plan or proposal for solutions. One of our Oregon gubernatorial candidates stated that she "had a plan for dealing with these problems which would be ready to be revealed after the election." Sure. Right.

      We are long on complaints and short on solutions, mostly because we have driven the thoughtful, moderate voices in both parties--open to compromise--out of the political environment. Be careful what you wish for.

      Rick in Oregon

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  10. In Maine, our calm, rational incumbent governor won reelection over our combative, Trumpist former governor by the largest margin since (now Senator) Angus King's reelection margin in 1998, and our moderate Democratic congressman is expected to win a rank choice runoff in a district that went for Trump in both 2016 and 2020. What I see in these results is that most Mainers (and likely most Americans) are looking for moderate policies and civil discourse in politics.

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    1. I agree and am keeping fingers and toes crossed that this wasn't just a one-off pause in the mayhem.

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  11. I am relieved. I thought there were bazillions of crazies. Now I believe there are even more sensibles.

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    1. I am staking a lot of my future sanity on that as reality.

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  12. need to hit the unsubscribe button here, I thought I would receive information about retirement not ones political opinion.

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    1. Because retirement is part of a life's journey, many topics of interest and importance are explored, with politics being part of that. Not liking every post is actually a good thing. Different strokes and all that.

      Tomorrow's post is about inflation and its effect on retirement. But, if you leave, I understand.

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  13. Bob, another great post. I am quite not as optimistic as you but I am hopeful. Regarding the comments about age limits for candidates, I found this tidbit in The Better Letter: "Although the average age of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was 44, more than a dozen of them were 35 or younger on July 4, 1776. Alexander Hamilton was 21, Aaron Burr was 20, James Madison was 25, and James Monroe was 18. Thomas Jefferson, the principal author, was 33. That this seems unfathomable today should tell us something about the consensus view on ambition, risk-taking, and our expectations for the next generation." Interesting comparison with the current situation where we have member of the current House of Representatives who was elected at age 25 and another in the upcoming group.
    Dan M

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    1. My wife suggested we should ban folks from running after 65. If someone turns 65 after being elected, fine. But, to allow fresh minds and thoughts in, we must make room.

      Intetesting about the youthfulness of some of the signers of the Declaration. I have never seen those ages before.

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  14. That is a very astute comparison to the 2000 election. What a contrast! And a perfect example of how to handle the transition after a hard fought election. Thanks for reminding us of that model.

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    1. Hard to believe that election was 20+ years ago but so much has changed in such a relatively short period of time.

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