It’s Been A Hell of A Campaign

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It’s Election Day!!!

For those of you who spent the last few months on another planet or in a coma or merely, like 60% of eligible voters, just willfully oblivious – Congratulations! You managed to spare yourself from one hell of a headache due to banging your noggin against the wall, trying to make any sense of what is called “the electorate.” So, let me quickly bring you up to snuff on what you missed:

After months and months of campaigning highlighted by vicious take-downs, reckless accusations and apocalyptic warnings about what will happen if you vote in “the other guy,” by this time tomorrow, the Republicans are widely expected to be poised to take control of next year’s U.S. Senate.

Unless they’re not.

Two states, Louisiana and Georgia, may not declare a winner due to no candidate receiving at least 50% of the vote, in which case we’ll be subjected and subjugated to two MORE months of round-the-clock speculation, over-heated rhetoric and 24/7 attack ads, until these states hold their run-off elections. Which are so named because by that time, every instinct in a voter’s body is urging them to “run off” somewhere and hide.

Polls long established that this is the lowest-rated Congress ever largely because it’s also the least-productive ever, yet the voters are primed to reward the party that shut the government down. Not to mention being the party that largely made good on its boast to block everything the president proposed, so as to make him look bad.

Also, even though the public is disgusted and fed up and by a large majority is convinced the country is heading in the wrong direction, this was an election with “no issues.” As in, no national issues galvanizing the masses to stampede to their polling places. It was supposed to be the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, with Republicans issuing a clarion call for its repeal, only, wouldn’t ya know, it turns out the darned thing is working pretty well, so the GOP mostly dropped it as a talking point. But you wouldn’t know that it’s a success, either, because instead of touting it, Democratic candidates didn’t mention it, neither.

Same is pretty much true with the economy. Best its’ been in years, so the GOP couldn’t muster umbrage about it, but for some reason, the Dems demurred taking credit for it resuscitating under their watch.

Another “non issue” was the DESTRUCTION OF THE ENTIRE PLANET!!!! The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just read the world the riot act concerning global warming. In it’s latest report, it cites man-made climate change as significantly contributing to massive forest die-off, accelerating rises in sea levels, increased coastal flooding, crop and people killing heat waves, and will lead to an inexorable increase in world-wide poverty, if something isn’t done IMMEDIATELY.

But GOP candidates begged off the issue, insisting that they’re “not scientists.” They’re not geologists, gynecologists, religious scholars or poor either, but that never stops them from having opinions about fracking, abortion, same-sex marriage or social welfare programs. And, once again, Democrats didn’t fill the void and browbeat their opponents for letting the world burn, because for them, it was too “hot” an issue.

Instead, some candidates stirred up a hornet’s nest with dire but vague warnings about illegal immigrants and ISIS and Ebola and illegal immigrants from ISIS with Ebola, and that it, whatever “it” is, was all Obama’s fault.

Obama. President Obama’s the closest resemblance to a national issue the GOP had, although except for those who hated him from Day One, nobody really explained exactly what he’s done to deserve this heap of scorn. But he must’a done sumpin’, because several Democratic candidates avoided even acknowledging that they voted for him. And the others didn’t want to be seen anywhere near the man.

Speaking of the Senate candidates, whose job it will be, in part, to make and vote on legislation, they ran ads depicting their qualifications for the position by shooting rifles, hunting, snow-mobiling, farming, fileting pigs, wrasslin’ alligators, slopping around in mud, and anything except waxing on the matters of the day.

Meanwhile, most of the ugliness was fueled by unprecedented, obscene piles of “outside money,” much of it unattributable, meaning that those making the negative claims and flinging the baseless charges didn’t have to answer for them.

The upshot of all this is that a rousing 40% of eligible voters are expected to go to the polls, if by “eligible” you mean “registered” and not “informed.” After it’s all over, our leaders will unfailinglextol the virtues of American democracy, pointing to our free elections as proof that “the system works.”

 

 

About Stan Sinberg

Stan is an award-winning newspaper columnist, radio commentator, and features writer whose humor has appeared in everything from the NY Times to WSJ and MAD Magazine. Stan is a native New Yorker living on the west coast. His website is www.stansinberg.com and you can email him at stan@stansinberg.com or follow him on Twitter @ssinberg1
Posted in: Politics