I think the Baltimore Sun’s website must be glowing white-hot about now from all the updates today. Of course, every news website from around the country is probably like that.
What an election, huh?
I’ve been listening to pundits for the last 18 hours or so offer their views on why, by and large, Republicans in this election were replaced by Democrats. Was it the war? Was it a referendum on Bush? Well, yes. And no.
The simple fact is that we, as Americans, are generally unhappy with the way our country is going – both foreign and domestic. When that unhappiness hits a certain level (as is has) our instinct is to reboot, reload, and retry by going in the opposite direction.
Kind of like George Costanza in that episode of Seinfeld. “If my instincts are always wrong, then doing the opposite… must be right.”
And so, pushed on by our displeasure over the state of the union, we swept the Republicans out and swept the Democrats in.
The Democrats, after about 6 years of one bumble after another have a real opportunity here. They have an opportunity not to get even and stick it to the vile neoCons, but to show themselves as a party of inclusion; a party that works hard for a good idea – no matter that idea’s origin. The Democrats have a real chance to show themselves as a party for all Americans and the rightful owners of the word ‘progressive’.
Of course, I said similar things about Bob Ehrlich back in 2002. And look what he did with his chance.
That’s why I didn’t vote for him again. That’s why, upon reviewing my ballot, I didn’t vote for any Republican. Well, one reason anyway. In the races in which I could vote, I think the Democrats simply put up better candidates. There were a few races where intelligent arguments could be made for both sides, but, in the end, it came down to one question for me – do I want things to keep going the way they have been these past few years.
No. No I do not.
Of the candidates I could vote for, in each case, I felt like the Democrat had a better chance of fostering positive (and, dare I say, progressive) change.
Just don’t tell my Mom, ok?
As a registered Republican coming from a stand-tall-and-proud Republican family, I don’t think my votes would go over too well. And the thing is, I still do have a certain soft spot for the Republican Party that should exist. You know, the one that values small government, personal liberty, self reliance, fiscal conservatism. But, sadly, I don’t think that party exists anymore.
And so, yesterday, I stood at the voting machine, reflecting on what I knew about each candidate and I voted.
For every. Single. One.
You’ve got a chance, Democratic Party. A real chance for positive and inclusive change.
Let’s get started.