It would be easy, and indeed there are already traces of evidence that it has already happened, for both entrenched political parties to read too much into Tuesday’s election results in the United States. Focus on the returns preempted the regular showing of Monday night’s AC360, and, despite the endless rhetoric that came forth from the partisan political pundits who appeared, not much was said that was truly relevant and insightful.
The returns were a mixed bag of results for the two established political parties, and there is a simple reason. Neither the Democrats or Republicans drew votes for achievements their members have made in office. In fact, it was exactly the opposite. Each party gained votes as a result of the action, or more accurately inaction, of the other parties’ incumbents. Such a feeling was also responsible for Michael Bloomberg’s scant five percent victory in his bid to continue as mayor of New York. The narrow margin of his win leaves one wondering what would have happened had Democrats actively supported their candidate, Bill Thompson, against Bloomberg.
Instead, Democrats from President Barack Obama down ran as fast as they could from Thompson, thinking he would be trounced by Bloomberg and worsen their reputations by being associated with Thompson. Therein lies the problem. Officeholders and potential candidates are not listening to what the public wants. They are listening to voice that tell them what they have to do to be reelected. The truths contained within each are vastly different.
Democrats have lost some key groups in this election: younger voters, Afro-American voters, and independent voters. The first two groups were active in the 2008 presidential contest for largely one reason: Barack Obama. there was a personal connection that was made with voters and motivated them to get to the polls. Beyond that, there was nothing else, as shown by those groups’ absence in yesterday’s voting.
The third group. the independent voters, is perhaps the most telling. They moved from the Democrat side of the ledger to the Republican in many cases, and the reason is simple. They moved because of a disgust and disillusionment with the Democrats, and now they are swinging back to the Republicans. Until their disillusionment there sends them back to the other side. Their “swing” votes are the result of disillusionment with both parties and a desperate search for answers to come from somewhere. They have yet to find them and likely never will as American politics sinks further into the preoccupation with getting elected and not taking effective action once in office rather than getting elected and seeking to do what is best for the nation and what, in truth, actually becomes the “job.” – George Curcio