I just wanted to post some of my thoughts in the aftermath of the 2014 midterm elections. Of course, the big news nationally is that the Republicans won the Senate, and now control both houses of Congress. That’s bad news for anyone who cares about the less privileged among us, but is good news for corporations, because they got their money’s worth. Make no mistake, money played a huge role in this cycle, with this being the most expensive midterm in history, and it’s only going to get worse unless we somehow manage to get money out of politics. Of course, it didn’t help that only about a third of the electorate voted. Low turnout is a sure sign that Republicans will triumph. Democrats didn’t help themselves by running away from Obama’s achievements as a way to help highlight what government can get right, even if they are only half-measures.
For me locally, the bad news kept on coming. Marsha Blackburn, that vile, ignorant woman that is my U.S. House Representative (much to my chagrin) was easily reelected by the rubes in my district. Lamar! Alexander also had smooth sailing in his reelection bid, thus ensuring more mindless Republican drivel from our lovely state. The biggest disappointment for me, however, was the passage of Amendment 1, which reads as follows :
Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.
Basically, this amendment is going to allow the legislature to pass laws restricting abortion, and we only have to look at laws passed in Texas and Mississippi to see the disastrous results (these laws, for both Texas and Mississippi, have been blocked by the Federal Courts). There was a very definite split between rural (for the amendment) and urban voters (against), which is really just another example how country folks tend not to listen to, you know, FACTS, but instead rely on the porcine blathering of Rush Limbaugh, or the “reporting” of the propagandists at Fox “News”. I can only guess at what the consequences of the passage of this travesty, but suffice it to say that pro-choice groups, activists, and concerned citizens are going to have their hands full.
There are some positive notes from the election from other states : Alaska and Oregon voted for Marijuana legalization; Alaska, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Nebraska, red states all, passed minimum wage hikes; and Washington state passed background checks for firearms purchases. A few rays of light peeking through the dark clouds of political despair.
Ah well, such is the landscape of this deeply divided country. And while things are definitely not looking rosy in my neck of the woods, there are still solid, progressive victories elsewhere. I take solace in this, and can only hope that, eventually, progress comes to the Red States. If history is any guide, though, the change, if it comes, will be slow and hard-fought. But the battle is worth waging, and I hope to do my part.
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