I didn't watch any election returns last night. Deep in my heart, I knew better. If I wanted to sleep well, I shouldn't go to bed 'knowing' what was going on in Iowa, Maryland, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina...even Connecticut.
The only one that turned out ok in the end was Connecticut, though it was too close by far.
My logical mind has come to grips with the huge Republican gains from yesterday's mid-term elections. My heart and soul never will.
I am a Democrat--and have always been from when I was in high school and Barry Goldwater (who I liked for his brashness and honesty) said he would privatize the Tennessee Valley Association that provided some of the hydro-electric power for southern West Virginia. Odd, now that I think of it, that privatizing something rather than letting the government run it was what convinced me that I was a Democrat! I'm a tax and spend Democrat. I believe in government programs and government run stuff. I believe in regulations and agencies and Big Government. I do, I really do. Whenever I hear someone say they want to 'shrink government' I almost pull my hair out and scream. If anything, I want more government in my life. I really do, in case you think I'm being ironic. I've read the Constitution and believe in it and part of that belief is in a 'government of and by and for' the people.
I'm not just a Democrat. I'm a Yellow-Dog Democrat. If you're not familiar with that tern, let me explain.
If Mother Teresa were a Republican running for something and her Democratic opponent was a yellow dog...I'd vote for the yellow dog....
The only time I ever voted for someone who wasn't a Democrat was when I voted for John Anderson, the quirky third party candidate for President. And I now lament that.
(A funny story: Bern and the kids and I had just arrived in New Haven in our VW bus with an Anderson for President bumper sticker. And one of the members of St. Paul's in New Haven in 1980 was Mary Bush House--the Aunt of the first President Bush. She was generous and good and arrived with some wonderfully eclectic groceries to welcome us to New Haven. I was taking something out of the bus when she showed up. She looked at the Anderson sticker and said, very politely, "well, we just won't talk politics." And I agreed and accepted her welcoming gifts.
Interestingly enough, one of the three churches I now serve is attended by Jonathon Bush, another nephew of Mary Bush House and the brother of G.H.W. Bush. As we were leaving church one day, my car was parked next to his. My big old Obama '12 sticker was very prominent. "Jon," I said to him, "I should have backed in so you didn't have to see that." He laughed, patted me on the back and said, "Jim, I'd be disappointed if you weren't a Democrat."
I'm a Yellow Dog Democrat, but I have a soft spot for the Bush family....)
The only thing I have to cling to as the country turns Red is this: I live in perhaps the only state that is totally Blue. Both our Senators and all Five of our members of the House and all the elected leaders of Connecticut are Democrats. And both the houses of the Connecticut legislature have sizable Democratic majorities.
For Goodness sake, even our neighbor to the the north, Massachusetts, elected a Republican Governor yesterday!!! Horrors! The state with the iconic bumper sticker after the Regan/McGovern election that said: DON'T BLAME ME. I'M FROM MASSACHUSETTS, has turned a tad Red.
I may get a bumper sticker made that says: DON'T BLAME ME, I'M FROM CONNECTICUT.
I personally think that there are two possibilities of what will get done in the next two years on all the issues--the environment, immigration, tax reform, infrastructure repair, education reform, making college more affordable, raising the minimum wage : are 'very little' and 'nothing'. If you're a fan of gridlock, welcome to the next Congress....
Maybe by 2016 people will begin to realize the problem is that Republicans have no agenda except to oppose everything the President supports. No plan, no strategy, no over-arching dream.
I've got two years to hope for that.
Today I'm blue (literally and emotionally) because yesterday was so 'red'.
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- Why I'm an Episcopalian
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- What you don't know (part II)
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