The upcoming Midterm Elections of 2010 for the House of Representatives, Senate, and Governorships are a topic of discussion among not just journalists and bloggers, but also every day Americans who are living through the most difficult economic times in 75 years!
Certain points seem clear:
1. There is great discontent and anger with the high unemployment rate, and the continuing housing crisis, with foreclosures at very high levels!
2. The vast majority of Republicans and conservatives are totally negative toward everything that the Obama Administration has promoted into law, and everything they advocate in statements and actions!
3. Democrats are unenthusiastic about the upcoming elections, and have lost their passion to be involved in promoting their party through activism and voting participation!
4. Independents are unhappy with the Obama Administration, but not enthused either by the Republican alternative!
5. Moderates may be unhappy with some of what the Obama Administration has done and advocated, but don’t want to go over to the right wing Tea Party activist movement!
6. Tea Party activists are zealous in their hatred of government, but it is doubtful that a large percentage of Americans believe in their cause!
7. A majority of Americans may hate the power and influence of the federal government, but at the same time want the federal government to be there to control and regulate the powerful economic forces, the corporations, that dominate their lives!
8. A majority of Americans are disillusioned about the future, and that may lead to record turnout for the elections, based upon this emotion, or could also lead to a record decline in participation, based on alienation from the whole situation existing in America!
The reality is as follows: Based upon history, the Republican Party SHOULD gain seats in both houses of Congress and in the Governorships! That would not be a surprise! The party out of the White House traditionally gains seats in a midterm election!
But the question is, will those who vote, state by state, cause a party turnover in the Congress? The answer is highly unlikely, as a gain of more than 40 seats in the House and 10 in the Senate seems extremely remote!
Will the decision be by those who vote that the opposition is the “lesser of evils”, or rather that “better to stick with those you know, than those you don’t know”?
When those who vote have time to reflect on what has happened, will they punish the Democrats for the multitude of changes brought about, or decide after reflection that a lot of good has occurred, and they do not wish to see it repealed; or will they be supportive of a more confrontational Congress that will lead to greater gridlock and stalemate?
The key question above all is not only who votes, and how many, but how rational will these voters be when they are actually voting! Will emotion and fear and scare tactics win over, or will calm reasoning about how much worse it would have been, under a different set of policies under President John McCain, take hold?
This midterm election is truly a mandate, a sense of where the American people stand! We are at a crossroads as to whether government can work, or whether we are returning to the era of 19th century states rights (Civil War) and unregulated capitalism (Gilded Age)!
In other words, are we returning to the tragic policies of the past, and wiping out all of the progress of the 20th century under Congresses and Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon (yes, even him!), George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama?
All of these Presidents and Congresses made life better, and advanced the cause of social and economic reform, and democracy, at times when many of the states were in the other direction, and also tamed the excesses of industrial capitalism in the public interest!
To believe that we are on the cusp of a reversal of our history is something to be worried about, and to prevent this by promoting active participation in this fall’s election by those who care about preserving the great reforms and changes that the federal government has brought about in the past century!
Can America afford to return to the past? Is this what would be best for the nation’s future? The clear answer is NO! 🙁