Lance Scranton: So, you voted!
Now what? It’s Wednesday morning, and you woke up, and maybe you are happy about the direction of the electorate. Or, perhaps, you are disappointed in a way that makes you feel like you are losing the country you love. Both responses are appropriate and warranted, because of the way campaigns have been run the past few elections; it seems like the upcoming one is the most important election of all time and has all the implications of a sudden death playoff game.
If you have been through these midterms before, you know the numbers favor the party that didn’t do so well two years ago. But the prognosticators have been missing the numbers with increasing regularity of late. Polling just isn’t as accurate as it once, was and the ballot has become more of a private issue with voters.
People aren’t willing to share their views with others as much, because there is a culture of harsh judgment surrounding the choices we make these days.
We are exposed to sharp attacks on candidates, characterizing them as radical, ideological, extreme, out-of-touch, insider, special interest candidate, socialist, communist, nationalist, nazi, racist, xenophob, or any other buzzword designed to elicit negativity and nastiness. Running for elected office just isn’t what it used to be. I’ve been accused of holding certain extreme views on any number of issues I write about, which I haven’t decided in a whim, but have been arrived at over the course of watching, reading, and experiencing what has taken place in our country since I became a citizen.
Regardless of what has taken place this Wednesday morning, you can rest assured I will still write about what I think is the way things are and should be (columnist by definition) and that our republic is in good hands, because if we don’t like how things are going, the next revolution is just around the corner — or in two years!
I hope you voted, and I am confident that the mood of our country will be decided more and more by how we respond to the will of the people and less by fear-mongering and name-calling. Sure, it’s a scary world full of people who dislike our democratic experiment and want to change it, people who want to leave things the way they are, and people who just don’t care. Well, last time I checked, this is the way it has always been.
Let’s have a discussion, even if you didn’t care to vote. One certainty remains: There will be much to talk about over the next two years.
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.