Well, the election is over.
At least I won’t have to put up with the various campaigns any longer.
Who were the winners? Well, it’s a mixed bag, as usual. Obama cinched himself another four years, but unless the Democrats can manage to get their act together in Congress in 2014, I don’t expect he’ll get much done.
Which, oddly enough, was one of the conditions Milton Friedman once described as the source of a great deal of prosperity during the Clinton administration.
I also find it somewhat interesting that while the Democrats kept the White House, the Republicans look to be picking up more dominance on the state level. Though sadly not in my state; one of my old history professors was running for Congress and unfortunately didn’t win.
Who were the losers?
That… is a more interesting question.
Largely because the status quo seems set to continue. And that means that it’s a question that can’t be answered at this time. Though, to me, a continuation of the status quo could very well mean we all lose, in the end.
Not so much because Obama is going to grind the nation into dust; if what all he managed to accomplish in the face of a Republican House is all that egregious, it will likely be corrected by his successor. I do worry somewhat about the continual expansion of the powers of the federal government, largely because that kind of bureaucracy is easy to establish and hellaciously difficult to dismantle.
But rather because the status quo is a deepening rift between opposing ideologies.
Have you ever noticed that, when you talk to many Democrats, they’ll tell you that the Democratic party are really centrists, and the Republicans are simply way out on the right? Conversely, have you noticed that many Republicans will tell you the opposite, that they’re the centrists and the Democrats are the extremists.
They’re both right, and both wrong, of course. If we look at it from a more technical, economic/governmental viewpoint, the Republicans are right. The Republican party isn’t campaigning to abolish Social Security, or Medicare, or the other major implements of so-called “Socialism”, they’re campaigning to save those programs. The status quo for both parties has become a perpetually-expanding federal government.
On the other hand, if we’re looking at it from more of a social standpoint, the Democrats are probably right. The Republicans have, in my opinion, embraced too much of the religious right’s fervor on issues that, frankly, the government has no business intruding upon.
Which is a polite way of saying that I don’t think the government has any business saying what you do with your genitals so long as it’s not hurting anyone else.
Among other things.
Frankly, I think both parties are borderline insane at times. It boggles my mind that the Republicans are willing to play games with the debt ceiling, and it never fails to astonish me how many Democrats seem to think that any cuts to governmental programs constitute the end of civilization.
If we allow ourselves to be pulled by the ideologies of the extremes, it’s small wonder that we’re on the verge of being torn apart.