This past week another child in Pittsburgh fell asleep on the bus. Kids do it everyday across America but given the safeguards of having bus drivers check seats at the end of their routes and having people count arriving and departing students generally seldom does anyone get hurt. But once again, one little girl, was missed and made it all the way back to the bus station without anyone ever knowing it. Parents get pretty mad about things like this as you can imagine. We have come to trust people to do their jobs. Too bad we don’t feel the same way about protecting our Demcoracy!
The mid term elections this past week were pretty intense. The Republicans regained control of the House and the Democrats managed to hold on by a thread the Senate. The President lost some control. And the Democrats, well, they looked a lot like the people they are supposed to be representing. No shows. It is all still a numbers game. Who shows up and gets the most votes for their particular candidate still wins. At least we like to think so.
So getting the vote out was pretty important. Considering only two years ago the Republicans were a dead party and going to take years to recover, they apparently got the vote out pretty good. Helps to have Fox news keeping you informed about all of the things the Democrats were and were not doing over the last two years. It also helps to have a third party appear out of nowhere and be very enthusiastic about voting. Didn’t really matter whom they were voting for. Their list of candidates ran the gamut. They had people advertising they were not witches. Men who like portraying Nazi at World War Two reenactments. And men who ran their campaigns from their dad’s basements! The key factor here is despite the weirdness or how out of the ordinary their candidates were, they got their votes.
And vote they did. With little more than word of mouth advertising and the corporate backup of some very well heeled conservative billionaires who had no problem giving out money for TV and advertising, the Tea Party made a name for themselves and their impromptu groups of candidates. Most failed to get elected; but some did. These less than centered folks all ran as Republicans and well it remains to be seen what effect they will have on legislation and the actions of Congress over the next two years.
Basically though, how many Democrats felt they lost before they even started? Failed to go vote and now sit upset about what went down? I dare say a lot. But then again to the victors go the spoils. In time we will learn the true ramifications of the election season just past. Things we should note for sure.
The Supreme Court unleashed mountains of money from private individuals under the guise of nonprofit corporations. While it may not be truly possible to buy the airways before an election, you can make sure your message gets plenty of airtime. Madison Avenue can do the rest. The second most important thing we have learned is that when it comes to Democracy if you are willing to sit on the couch and not take part in the process, you have no chance of affecting anything, let alone the outcome of an election. The late Howard Zinn, when questioned about public participation in politics, said that it doesn’t matter what you do. What you fight for. Or that you win or loose. The important thing is that you do something. Sitting around complaining about what just went down, I doubt is what he considered doing something. Many of you have been mailing it in as of late. I truly feel those who do that are about to truly learn the errors of their ways. The hard way!!!