Tomorrow is election day, and as I listen to the poll results–as an unabashed progressive–part of me shudders at what’s ahead for this country during the next two years. Another part of me is still wearing the rose-colored glasses of my eternal optimism, which tells me that the polls are inaccurate because they do not reflect the base of non-landline users among the electorate. Those voters are largely young, and would likely not want to empower the anti-science, climate-change denying, 1950s-cleaving Republican conservatives to run both houses of Congress.
I am depressed that one Democratic candidate after another has run away from the considerable achievements of the Obama administration, and instead of embracing the improved economy, job growth, stock market, and the fact that people actually now have health care, have run away from the record, cowed by Republican talking points, and bowed into submission, even denying ever having voted for Barack Obama in the first place!
Indeed, I am not entirely pleased with the job our (and by “our” I mean everybody’s) president has done. He’s often too deliberative, taking too much time to act. I know what he’s been up against these past six years, but Clinton, too, was deliberative, but not the point of inaction and potentially damaging contradiction, especially on matters of foreign affairs and immigration.
But the Republicans do not deserve control of the entire legislative branch. But perhaps the electorate: lazy, apathetic, sense- and brain- dulled into believing the billionaire Koch Brothers know what’s best for our country; that climate change is myth, and Obama is somehow a socialist stooge (or worse, an Islamic shill). Or, on the other side: the disillusioned liberals who’ll just sit this one out, not realizing just what’s at stake for the next two years–maybe Republican control is exactly what they deserve.
And then I wonder; maybe it is somehow for the best–that Republicans rule for a couple of years (at least the legislative branch). Give the U.S. a taste–draw a contrast between what Democrats might offer, and what the Republicans serve up. Not that there’s all that much daylight between them–in some respects, in the middle, at least (and those Democrats who failed to run on the real question: are you better off today, under Democratic rule than you were before Obama? deserve their fate). But then I consider “the day after.”
So, bring it on. Let’s see what a Republican Senate, paired with a Republican House will do. I look forward to a strong, stark contrast drawn between the two parties, between their ideals and agenda for the future of this country. The collateral damage will be undeniable: immigration reform, education, health care, environmental issues, the economy–all will suffer. But when the dust clears in 2016, the differences will be clear. Perhaps that’s my hopeful side peeking through the gloom of what I know will be a disastrous two years if election day 2014 ends as the pundits say it will.
But then, the reality of what’s to come hits me, hard. The Republican party is ruled by the far right; moderates barely stand a chance, and are too frightened by the prospect they will “primary-ed” out of existence come the next election cycle to stand up for what is reasonable. So, for example, if the Republicans prevail tomorrow, we’ll get a head of the Senate Environment committee who believes climate change is a hoax, and a majority leader in the Senate whose raison d’etre for the past six years has been to deny everything that Obama says as bad for the country–even policies that originated in his own party. And it all makes me shudder about the two years to come.
And hey, maybe the pundits and pollsters could have it all wrong. And, much depends on getting out the vote, and whose voters are getting out there to the polls (the ones that count). We might wake up Wednesday morning with a Mitch McConnell about to retire, and lots of new Democratic governors, and a Senate that remains under Harry Reid’s control.
Only one day more. Get out there and vote. Whomever you support. And if you don’t vote, you bloody well get what you deserve–it’s the rest of us, however, that will pay the price![amazon template=iframe image&asin=B004PLNQL0,0872893405,1604266066,0872893405,0226327434]