Phew! It's over. Well, almost.
Win or lose, most of us should be happy the 2018 mid-terms, state and local elections are done. The only ones who suffer at the end of recent campaigns are media sales people. Mailboxes, radio waves and TV slots were crammed to overflowing with repeated messages. My recycle bin overflowed with large postcards coming in two or three at a time from Bentonville mayoral candidate Jim Webb with opponent Stephanie Orman not far behind in the paper parade. Between the two, there surely was enough pulp to supply Tyson Foods with egg flats for months. Shall we expect more in the runoff? Are the printing presses already running?
I never thought I'd see a day that I actually welcome the return of a plethora of pharmaceutical TV spots preempted in recent months by heavy political buys. Nice to see old friends: Treatment tales for very specific cancers, Cyndi Lauper's cleared psoriasis and handsome, salt-and-pepper-haired dudes in their early 50's kayaking and jamming in garage bands thanks to miracles of post-cardiac arrest therapy or erectile dysfunction pills.
In the end, the election results provided two things (other than candidates winning, of course).
First, the mid-terms did not conclusively reward bad behavior, as in lies and deceits proffered by the Democrats in multiple attempts to tear down the Trump presidency.
We had the Russian collusion probe first. After a year and more of investigation wearing on, that didn't seem to be working fast enough to make a difference by November. So, the Dems took another tack; they turned the Kavanaugh hearings into a carnival. Everyone knew from the get-go that no matter who Trump nominated, the Democrats would stonewall. Even Aunt Bee from Mayberry RFD could not have passed the sniff-test had she been nominated by the current POTUS. Recall that raucous party she and the missionary society threw as the gals nipped the health tonic from the itinerant medicine showman? For shame! Acting like a bunch of high school footballers from suburban D.C.
In the end Dr. Ford's allegation against the judge could not be corroborated and tag-along accusers who purported different, preposterous events of debauchery saw their stories fall apart and referred for possible prosecution. For shame, indeed.
Secondly, it was not winners take all. No Blue Wave. The Democrats took at least seven governors' mansions and at least 27 House seats, more than enough to flip the body. Republicans gained two Senate seats, maintaining secure control there for Trump judicial appointments. A healthy balance of sorts, as one social media buddy offered. Roughly half of my Facebook friends (the Democrats and pragmatists) agree. I have to remind some that I didn't vote for His Orangeness in the first place, even though casting for Hillary Clinton was with nose firmly pinched. But based on where I get my mail, she had called me names. I surely must have been among the "basket of deplorables".
Moving on, there are other findings for me from Tuesday's results beyond the House power shift. While channel-surfing the coverage, I paused at the Univision Spanish-language channel. My college Spanish plus the clarity of the graphics made it easy to understand. It was actually engaging, like watching "Razorbacks En Espanol" when the gridiron Hogs score a "go -ooo-oal!" Univision had good ol' USA politics pegged precisely with coverage themed as "El Poder en Juego." Translation: The Power Game. CBS, NBC and ABC should be so cogent.
Another takeaway is that celebrity endorsements are suspect. It doesn't appear that Beto O'Rourke's Senate chances were helped by his appearance with chatty Stephen Colbert, nor did Oprah Winfrey's swooping into Atlanta make a difference with Stacey Abrams' gubernatorial aspirations. Such can have a backfire effect if locals figure they're being instructed by out-of-touch out-of-towners. Younger, fresher faces like O'Rourke and Abrams are a welcome sight within the party of angry grandmother lawmakers. Democrats: Don't let the media devour your young.
The old saw that all politics is local fits with my family. I've come to terms with the mid-terms and I'm happy that my children can see some fruits of their voting, especially my youngest, Tim, in blue-hued Fayetteville. Midday Tuesday he proudly shared the numbers--tremendous increases state by state in registering young persons to vote. It made a difference. At last, millennials can see that they really can affect public policy beyond reposting memes on social media and screaming at an empty sky in the town square. Engagement in the real world "trumps" the virtual any day.
Commentary on 11/08/2018
Print Headline: Lessons from Tuesday