Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Morning After, 2014

The results of the 2014 elections are, to me, a disappointment.  Not only because Republicans took control of the Senate, although that seems to be what’s grabbing all the attention.  CNN seems to think the blame falls squarely on Obama (because of course it does), but I disagree.  I don't see yesterday's results as a rejection of the Left's policies as much as I see it as a willingness to accept the lies and propaganda that try to twist Obama's performance into looking worse that it really is.

The problem is not that the economy is doing poorly.  I hear Right Wing pundits on the AM radio shrieking about how the economy is circling the drain, and I want to ask "by what standard is that true?"  At last count, we've experienced 63 straight months of economic growth.  The stock market is setting new record highs all the time.  We avoided a second Great Depression.  Unemployment has fallen from over ten percent in 2009 to under six percent in 2014.  Millions of Americans who couldn't get health insurance before the ACA passed now have it.  So this idea that Americans voted for change because their confidence in the economy or the overall direction of the country was shaky just shows me that people aren't bothering to educate themselves on the facts.  Fox News tells you the economy is bad, without bothering to qualify that or report on stories that might make them seem wrong, and Middle America buys into it.  So they jump ship without bothering to learn they're being lied to.

I’m not really surprised that red states stayed red.  Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, Kentucky, to me they’re all lost causes.  They wear their ignorance as a badge of honor.  Their willingness to believe whatever Kool-Aid the right wing serves up makes them supremely deserving of their bottom-of-the-barrel status for job growth, education, etc.

What I find telling is, that despite the apparent shift to the right that last night’s election might seem to represent, ballot initiatives throughout the country showed support for what have traditionally been progressive causes: minimum wage increases in various states were approved, women’s access to abortion was upheld in all but one state, pot was legalized in two states and the District of Columbia.  There were even initiatives passed to more closely regulate the sale of guns at gun shows.

So to me, America is not getting more conservative, but they are demonstrating a willingness to be led astray by false reports about the terrible economy, and the need to get rid of the Democrats that are causing it.  What made me truly sad was how the Right Wing demonized Obama by using him as an attack tactic for Democratic congressmen and women: “so-and-so voted with Obama a whole bunch of times, and that makes them bad”.  But even that wasn't as bad as the Democrats taking those criticisms, and lacking the sack to simply stand up and say “yes, I support the President, and I believe I made the right choice, then and now.  We’re better off in a lot of ways now than we were in 2008.  You don’t have to like Obama on a personal level to agree that this decision or that decision was the right one.  So feel any way you want to about Obama the man.  But ask yourself this: is not liking a person a good enough reason to disagree with them?  In the end, if we as a nation are better off, and heading the right direction, does it really matter how you feel about the guy who’s making that happen?

The 2014 election was about hype over substance.  It was about innuendo trumping truth.  It was about fears overcoming facts.  We as a nation, had been (up until yesterday) generally on the right track.  We've abandoned that in favor of unsubstantiated fears and baseless propaganda.  We've laid back and let the Right Wing brain-rape us into thinking we needed change.  We didn't.

Good luck, America.