After a big feast, the bones of whatever animal was consumed can be gathered and boiled down for soup. Elections are a feast of sorts, if you prefer blather to meat, and it’s customary to make some kind of broth from the whole experience.
Why bother? Those of us who are “into it” love to analyze trends and learn whatever we can along the way. The next election will be shaped by these lessons more than anything else. And if we’ve learned one thing in this deeply divided America, it’s that election season is pretty much forever.
What more is there to say before the election? This has the potential to be a big day for Democrats, and things are certainly breaking the right way here in Minnesota. We’ve seen the momentum building all summer as there were signs that the economy, though still weak, is gaining strength. Ohio and the rest of the industrial heartland seems to believe that it’s good enough, and they are polling strong for Obama.
What more is there to say? It’s a good time to admit I was very wrong about something. Something big, too.
Like most people concerned with the precarious state of our economy, I hate the emotional “hot button” issues. I’ve called the relentless bleating on Fox a “War on Reality” and blasted the distractions created. The bizarre and constant assault on women (and basic decency) hit my radar, but that was about it. It simply seemed that we had better things to talk about as a people whose futures are tied together. What I was wrong about was simple – that these issues, and our reaction to them on the left, is what strong coalitions are made from and once we kick some butt there will be no turning back.
This is a piece first run for the election four years ago, updated a bit for today.
Election Day is not a national holiday, at least not in the traditional sense. But it is the one day that our nation asks something from all of us, even if it’s just a few minutes. If you follow calle ocho through Little Havana in Miami on Election Day, you’ll see a long line houses with the red white and blue of US and Cuban flags stretching off into the horizon. Families sometimes come together across generations, as with any holiday, before they go off to vote. Cuban exiles in Miami are a people that know what it means to be free because freedom and good times are often best measured against their opposite.
On a bizzy day, it’s time for another repeat. This one is from October 2010, just before the Republicans took the US House. I’m going to leave it just the way it is because I think the message is still important – but we’d be in a much stronger position if we too this to heart, IMHO.
As Democrats contemplate holding the minority position in Congress yet again, there are many ways we can handle it. We could all sit in the back and throw stuff, much as the Republicans did for the last few years. We could turn on each other and rip our own guts out in a festival of shame and blame. Or, if we’re intent on really standing up to our principles, we can use this time away from being the responsible ones and understand what it is that we, as a party really stand for.
We have a lot to offer if we can only get it together for once. But I, for one, think it’s going to take a much deeper understanding of our core values and what is really happening around us before we can make it happen.