Sunday, August 30, 2015

Americans reject small extremist fringe party

Americans reject small extremist fringe party

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The American people have spoken: The rent is NOT too damn high -- this most-excellent music video (below) not withstanding.

In the real world, it's been an OK night for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is Too Damn Lenient Party, a.k.a. the Rand Paul Party, a.k.a. the Tea Party, and a much better night if you are a Republican in general -- the GOP has retaken control of the House and saddled America in the Senate with Paul's monotone and his Tea Party blather through the year 2016. One of the best people in Congress -- Patrick Murphy of Bucks County, who served our country in the trenches of Iraq -- was voted out of office for no especially good reason, while a blockhead whose only attribute was serving in the trenches for the Philadelphia Eagles, Jon Runyan, was voted in. Maybe Glenn Beck was actually onto something with that whole "loving my country but I fear for it" thing.

Ultimately, the results prove one thing: Democracy is not a zero sum game. The Congress that arrives in Washington in January won't be as much reflective of America as reflective of those Americans who took the time and made the effort to go to the polls on November 2, 2010. The exit polls showed the electorate of 2010 was not the same folks who voted two years ago. Most dramatically - some 25 percent of yesterday's voters were over age 65, compared to 16 percent in 2008. Yesterday's electorate was also more white than 2008, and more conservative (I realize that's an elastic number, unlike age or race, but still...) About 40 percent of the voters told the New York Times they are supportive of the Tea Party, which means that their idea of "restoring sanity" is sending Sharron "Second Amendment remedies" to Washington.

The San Francisco Giants (now do you see where I was going with that earlier post :-) ) showed that a championship isn't so much fielding the best team on paper, but simply playing to win. The Tea Party outhustled and outworked America's "silent majority" on the center left every day since February 2009. You can blame the media or big money or other dark forces -- God knows there's a lot not to like, especially in the media -- but ultimately it is, to echo my conservative friends, a matter of personal responsibility. If you didn't vote today, the government you are getting in January is the government you deserve.

Ironically, I will remember November 2, 2010, as one of the best Election Days ever -- because my 18-year-old daughter (plus one day -- good timing, there) voted for the first time. As long as my children -- and yours -- can change the nation's direction with ballots and not bullets (sorry, Sharron) there is hope for a real kind of American exceptionalism...some day. 

But Americans have to listen to Woody Allen and remember that 90 percent of life is showing up.

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Will Bunch
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