There ‘s been a lot of discussion about what kind of America we are going to wake up to on Wednesday morning following the 2022 Midterm Elections.
It is highly conceivable that due to political hyper-polarization, there will be candidates across the country who will lose their elections and decide not to concede, declaring in the process that the election was rigged. The groundwork for such nonsense has already been laid.
Although we certainly have our unfair share of election deniers in the inland region and the rest of the state, fortunately, due to California’s predominantly “blue” electorate we have been largely buffered from the polarizing madness we see in other parts of the country.
As one nation however, it is difficult to turn a blind eye to what started as a slow drift toward authoritarianism into a full blown major-political-party-sanctioned and accelerated movement away from our imperfect capitalist centered democracy to a autocratic form of kleptocratic nationalism.
When I think about the worst thing that has happened to this nation in recent years it is hard to overlook the obvious devastation of the pandemic not only in terms of the lives lost, the families left wanting and the long term residual health implications, but also how it served almost as the oxygen that exploded the smoldering flames of racism, sexism, homophobia packaged in the guise of party politics–Red vs Blue.
It was blatantly reminiscent of what was once Gray vs Blue in the old days of the Confederacy. One of the colors may have changed but the impetus-–the desire and self proclaimed right to control and rule over others–has largely remained the same.
Now, like then, it is difficult to find a meaningful way forward. I was taught in regards to seeking compromise that to the extent both sides value their opponent’s reasons for their position, it can ultimately lead to a mutually satisfying compromise.
That only works however, when both parties are willingly seeking a meaningful solution. One would think preserving American democracy would warrant such a solution. This however is impossible when the only compromise the leaders on the Red side believe is worth consideration seems to be total acquiescence to their point of view on every issue whether its healthcare, lower prescription drug prices, help for college graduates drowning in student debt, equal access to government contracts for minority and women owned businesses, fair housing, charging hate crimes as acts of terrorism, the right to control one’s own body and the list goes on.
Today we find ourselves as a nation, almost exactly where we were in the early 1860s trying to make sense and maintain order with a group of unreasonable and irrational people, all members of this grand experiment called America who would rather tear the nation down than allow everyone here to play a role in building it up. We know what happened the last time this nation was at such a major crossroad.
Results of the 2020 Midterm Election will shed some light on the road ahead. I hope in the weeks, months and years ahead we will not find ourselves lamenting the words of Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken.
Of course, this is just my opinion. I’m keeping it real.