Midterm reflections


To the Editor:

The past midterm elections have provided something that, if you look closely enough, fits in with the Season of Thanksgiving.

It was anticipated that a Red Wave was preparing to sweep across the country as candidates who sought to feed off misplaced anger from the Big Lie sprung up seemingly everywhere. It worked in the primaries, it should work again…except it didn’t. It seems that Republicans and Independents caught on to the way they had been manipulated by radical leadership within their party and swam against the current of the much-hyped Red Wave in our political wars. There’s a maxim in real warfare that says generals are always preparing to fight the next war with their experiences from the last one and are therefore unprepared when techniques and technology change.

That had been the situation for many conservatives who, like all voters, had grown used to the exaggerations and enticements of their politicians and had learned to routinely allow a little Kentucky windage to understand what was really being said. Those were the old political skirmishes.

Starting in 2016 rules were changed, Donald Trump brought a polished audacity and double-down bravado to politics that was new. Russia decided to cause havoc in our elections and that had its local voice on mass media when bottom feeders like Alex Jones realized there was good money to be made getting people riled up and being distrustful of their institutions. 

Enough bombast and screamed outrage and he made himself believable as did a chorus of voices on Q and other right wing sources of misinformation. People were convinced and became front line troops in wars that were as much about cultural differences as political issues. 

We weren’t ready for this kind of visceral combat but the movers and shakers on the right saw how to shift opinion just by crossing their fingers and went with what worked. Until…(and we don’t know if Ecclesiastes’ “to everything there is a season” or folk wisdom’s “you can’t fool all the people all the time” is more appropriate) voters had had enough of being led around by their raw vulnerabilities.

It’s something to be deeply thankful for.

We will still not agree on everything.

So what!

That’s what our unhindered democratic process can deal with. But just maybe we’ve learned how to see through our new-age grifters and con men and can return to trusting time-tested sources of information, reason, and our own empathetic humanity.

We have a lot to look at and be thankful for when we’re not being blinded by peddlers of hate and lies.

Gasconade County Democrats Club


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