The Not So Red Wave

We would be remiss if we did not do a follow up article to the one on “The Red Wave” now that the midterm elections are all but done.  Like many in the United States we were confident (overconfident) that the underperformance by the Democrats in power would lead to a Republican takeover of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  But just as the American voters surprised us in 2016 with the election of President Trump, and then his defeat in 2020, again in 2022 we get an unexpected result.  It is times like these when we need to draw a deep breath and look to history and remember a notable historical quote by Winston Churchill.

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”

After the election we are left with several realizations that are difficult for politicians to swallow, but that is a good thing.

  1. Our system of government works, and the checks and balances in the Constitution provide long term stability to the Country.
  2. Just because the Party in power is making decisions that run contrary to our founding principles, these issues can be overridden by other concerns that influence voters.
  3. For now, Republicans may be better as the opposition Party than the Party in power, and voters sense the inadequacy in their current leadership.
  4. You must articulate a vision and a direction for the Country to capture voters’ imagination and support. Just being the opposition Party is not enough to control the whole show.
  5. Collectively the American people want the Constitutional balance of power and gridlock, to slow down the rate of change offered by either Party.
  6. Pollsters are still awful at gaging voter sentiment. Voters now keep their opinions private, perhaps from fear of social media or public repudiation.
  7. Even pollsters and the media can collaborate on a 100% incorrect analysis of how the political winds are blowing. When FOX News and MSNBC can agree on something we should know the opposite will happen.
  8. Abortion was a bigger than expected issue for both sides with Gubernatorial victories in Florida and Georgia where it is more restrictive, and victories in other states where it is less restrictive. The Supreme Court got it right and it is a State-by-State issue as validated by the voters.
  9. Candidate quality is a serious issue for both parties, with questionable credentials for many candidates. But this goes all the way back to our founding and is to be expected.
  10. Hitching your horse to President Trump was a bad idea and led to some notable failures that probably cost the Republicans control of the Senate and kept some qualified people from office on the State and local levels for both parties.
  11. The next generation of leaders is starting to emerge for both parties, and when the torch is passed to this group the Country will be fine.
  12. It is time for “leadership” in both parties to retire. Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnel are well past their prime, lack the interest and energy to campaign, and are generally out of touch with the electorate. 

We have no financial interest in the podcast “Wicked Game” by Wondery, but it is worth every American’s time to listen to.  This podcast chronicles every election from Washington through Biden and is enlightening for anyone.  The podcast is free from several sources and if you want to be more informed about our elections, the issues, the dirty tricks, the voting challenges, then this is a great way to discover the truth about our many elections..  We spend significant time commuting and you can learn some fascinating things about our system of government and Presidential elections while driving.

In American elections, all elections, there are irregularities.  There is voter fraud and accompanying allegations of voter fraud which are rarely proven.  There are plenty of dirty tricks with misrepresentations of opponents that border on outright slander.  And from time-to-time there is even an honest candidate who deserves our support and recognition.

What is different today is electronic communications and the knowledge of these issues worldwide, instantly.  Also playing into this quagmire is social media which instantly propagates lies, misrepresentations, and occasionally pushes a little truth and some useful information.  The flood of information  is almost useless in any real discussion.  When you cannot separate fact from fiction, everything becomes fiction.

The election is over and time to reflect on why things turned out as they did.  Apart from the Senate and the Georgia runoff it is over and time to move on.  But even this will be settled in early December and will not change the outcome.

Churchill was right, we have once again done what is right. We have the gridlock: we need to retain the all-powerful stalemate where the politicians cannot do more damage in either direction.  The voters will like the slowdown in Washington and Wall Street usually does better when gridlock occurs.  It would be nice to see some recovery in everyone’s retirement account, a border agreement, some moderation of the woke culture, and perhaps the voters knew this gridlock was part of the solution.