See, it’s like this. Much of the population of the United States is deeply confused. And misinformed. Deeply confused and misinformed. And angry. Deeply confused, misinformed and angry. That’s us. Did I mention angry? Keep your filthy government hands off my Medicare! Socialist! Taxes are evil! It’s my money!! And why hasn’t anyone filled that big pothole in my street yet?
This, by itself, explains much of what happened during the mid-term election. Why else would the country go out of its way to reward a political party who had the most to do with the problems that we all experience and yet are not offering any viable solutions other than to scream “No!” at the top of their collective lungs? And “Boo!”, of course. Can’t forget “Boo!” Must keep everyone scared out of their wits every minute of every day. “No!” and “Boo!”
Besides, you can’t show your displeasure in How Things Are Going by voting out a party if they are not in power already, can you? No, you most certainly cannot. You can only show your displeasure in How Things Are Going by voting out a party that holds the power. Give the other guy a chance, even if we are relatively certain they are going to screw things up even more than they are now. It somewhat the same when your favorite NFL team is 2 and 12 and mired in last place. What do you do? Fire the coach. What an easy call. That’s what you call a no-brainer. The team may be down to the third string quarterback who might have some specific difficulty in not throwing the ball to the team in the other colored jerseys at least four times in a single game, not to mention that the offensive line has been decimated by injuries and non-performers, but the coach, well… It’s his own fault that he inherited such a crummy team, isn’t it? Fire the bastard!
So, the heavy lifting part of my analysis being done (aren’t you impressed?), lets talk about some specifics. Tea Party types did really well in their respective House races, but pretty much failed miserably when it came to the Senate races. Sharron Angle in Nevada, Chris O’Donnell in Delaware and Ken Buck in Colorado all lost, which looks, on its surface, as a resounding victory for sanity. Nevadans apparently detested Harry Reid and yet he won a convincing victory over Angle. And, as a bonus prize, it appears that Joe Miller, Moosehead Sarah’s personal pick, is losing in Alaska to someone named “Write In Vote.” I only hope that people in Alaska knew how to spell Murkowski’s name.
This is one of the few silvers lining in the entire mess that I can come up with. The voting population, when they really get a chance to look at their particular candidates, seems to say, “No, this person is too crazy for me to vote for, even though I really, really don’t like the other guy either.” That’s a hopeful sign, when you think about it. We are willing to elect some pretty insane people to high office (think Michele Bachmann), but there are lines that maybe we aren’t ready to cross just yet.
I guess that last statement is true at least in the Senate, anyway. Well, Marco Rubio did win his election for Senate, in pretty convincing fashion, in Florida. But Floridians are kind of crazy to begin with anyway, right? Old white retirees and Cuban exiles aren’t your normal voting block. And there’s that whole 2000 presidential election thing which we all remember. And perhaps, just perhaps, Rubio isn’t really all that crazy. Hopefully. We will see. I will admit that he does look very photogenic on television. I wonder if Republicans are going to criticize him, like they do President Obama, of having his head on a swivel when flipping between the teleprompter screen on the right and the teleprompter on the left. His acceptance speech, while it sounded very heartfelt, did seem a bit contrived when it was obvious he was reading every single word. But that’s O.K. with me. I’m just looking for consistency from the media types.
The other thing of note that we might consider is that we, as voters, aren’t very consistent. Voters in New York decided to not elect a very hot-tempered individual with a rather shady past, shall we say. Yet, in Florida, that is exactly who they elected to be their next governor. I mean to say, running a healthcare company that had to plead guilty to overcharging both the state and federal governments for Medicare payments and taking the 5th Amendment 75 times during a deposition about his role in that scandal isn’t really conducive to trustworthiness, is it? Yet, he is going to be the next governor in Florida. I’m not sure what the difference between Florida voters and voters in New York. You can’t tell me that New Yorkers have higher standards than do Floridians. Many New Yorkers root for the damn Yankees, for gosh sakes!
The overwhelming impression I came away with from the midterm elections is that the vast American electorate can be compared to a petulant four year old with a penchant for throwing tantrums and holding his breath until he gets his way, even if he (or she) has completely forgotten the reason why he (or she) is throwing a tantrum in the first place. All he (or she) knows is that they are throwing a tantrum and, by God, it’s going to be a good one! Everyone in earshot will know that he (or she) is Displeased! No, little sister cannot play with my toys! No, I don’t want to eat my dinner! I hate dinner! I’m hungry! No, I don’t want to go to bed! I want to watch TV! I hate this show!
Maybe one day we, as a people, will grow out of this difficult phase. More likely, we will just grow into another one.