Reflections on the 2018 Mid-Term Election

Good news:  Scott Walker lost.  Dana Rohrabacher lost. Darrell Issa retired and a Republican his district. Dean Heller lost. Kris Kobach lost. Sherrod Brown won. Michigan elected Democrat for Governor after the Republicans successfully poisoned Flint.  The Democrats have control of the House, so the Trumpian control of law and policy will be somewhat blunted.

Bad News:  Iowa reelected Steve King.  California reelected Devin Nunes.  Texas reelected Ted Cruz.  Brian Kemp looks like his cheating beat Stacy Abrams in Georgia.  McSally leads in Arizona. McCaskill (MO), Donnelly (IN), Heitkamp (ND) and Nelson (FL) all lost.  Bernie Sanders won in a runaway. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won in NY (now the House has two avowed Socialists and the Senate one).

More Bad News: Ohio went totally Republican – Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, 12 of 16 Congressional Districts, Attorney General, Treasurer, Dog Catcher and even the State Bird is rumored to be a Republican.  Now we are Indiana.

More Really Bad News:  Voter turnout is expected to be a record high – 49%!!!  Wow, a record.  Think about this for a minute.  More than half the eligible voters failed to show up for this election.  Is this really the will of the people?

I am neither Republican nor Democrat.  Although you might surmise differently from my categorization above, my logic is that the election results were a referendum on Donald Trump presidency.  As the House flipped, my optimism for how people really feel about Trump did increase.  But in places like Florida, and Ohio, Iowa (a bit) and Texas (surprise, surprise), and others, the voices of bigotry, hatred, and exclusion continued to garner winning support.

The Worst News:  We are being ruled, manipulated, and commanded by a minority government.  Trumpian supporters did garner some winning support among those who could be bothered to vote, in some elections.  But, overall, they really are a minority of the country.

In the 2016 Presidential election, counting non-voters as “none of the above”, Mr/Ms/Mrs ”None” would have won 471 electoral votes to Trump’s 16 and Clinton’s 51.  And, if you are like me and believe the Electoral College (adopted to help slave states) is a bit antiquated…get this:  As a percentage of all eligible voters, Clinton received 28.4% of all votes compared to Trump’s 27.2% and Did Not Vote’s 44.4%.  This is how much we care?  That’s just plain sad. Source: https://brilliantmaps.com/did-not-vote/

Yes, changing the way we vote might help.  It is time to move voting to be a national holiday, or over a weekend (so as not to disturb anyone’s sabbath observance) or by mail or internet.  But really, for the vast majority of non-voters, the excuses go beyond inconvenience and are pretty lame.  “My vote doesn’t count.” “Both parties suck.”  “Nothing will change.”  What total bullshit.

Think about what changed from 2016 to today.  Still think your vote didn’t count and that nothing can change? So, to those who did not bother to vote this time:  shame on you.

And, to those who did not vote in 2016 – you own the unmitigated shit storm that is the Trump administration (http://fortune.com/2018/08/09/nonvoters-trump-presidency-pew-study/) and you have left the rest of us to live with it.  A pox upon all of you.

4 thoughts on “Reflections on the 2018 Mid-Term Election

  1. I really like the “none of the above” analysis of the electorate by Brilliantmaps.com…definitely makes you think. Especially since neither party garnered even a third of the electorate on its own in 2016. As you said, “That’s just plain sad”. That said, 1 out of every 2 eligible voters voted which is huge for a midterm election and our democracy works better when people participate.

    However, to say, “But in places like Florida, and Ohio, Iowa (a bit) and Texas (surprise, surprise), and others, the voices of bigotry, hatred, and exclusion continued to garner winning support” was harsh and is unfairly typecasting people in these states. Do you really believe that just because people didn’t vote for the Democrat they are bigots, etc? Really?? I know better than that and I know you do also. Personally, I think Florida decided they didn’t want a Socialist governor…(which I thought you objected to also.) And, while you would know more about the situation in Ohio, I can tell you the people in Iowa love their female governor and showed that support enthusiastically. I also think our border states, who experience the downside of illegal immigration more than the rest of us, voted for Congress to do something about our ineffective immigration laws and for Lawmakers who believe our laws should be taken seriously and enforced vigorously. Mostly, as reported by multiple polls, the muted “Blue Wave” was a result of the Senate Democrats overplaying their hand during the Kavanaugh nomination.

    FYI, I think you meant to say “…control of the House” not Senate in your first paragraph. Keep ’em coming!

    1. Bob, yes. When it comes to reelecting Steve King, Ted Cruz and Devin Nunes (and their like), I believe the voices of bigotry, hatred, and exclusion won. I fully reject your argument regarding the border states experiencing only the downside – in many cases, California, Arizona in particular and most of the northwest and midwest where the “illegals” go — they were encouraged by farmers and construction companies and food processing companies to come and staff the work that was needed to be done. I want to stop “illegal” immigration, but do want to increase legal immigration and some sort of guest worker status to get the work done we need to be done. In Vermont and many other states there is a huge dearth of construction trade labor and food picking/processing labor. We are being short-sighted on this.

      Finally, if we really believe that the blue wave was “muted” by the Kavanaugh proceedings – do you mean more of the Republican base was motivated to vote? (while overall participation was up — it was nothing to be really proud of), or that some Democrats voted Republican to voice their displeasure? or once, again, we have a topic that serves as cover for the baser interpretation of behavior I provided for some of the candidates above?

  2. Setting aside those who want to vote but have barriers that prevent them from doing so, there is, sadly, a segment who don’t vote because they don’t think it matters, and in their lives, I can understand that they don’t see any change from one administration to another. I don’t know how we can ever reach them.

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