Last weeks’ midterm election had the highest level of eligible voters participating in 100 years. We need to go back to 1914 to find a comparable time when almost 50 % of the eligible voters did vote. The turnout was higher than the presidential election of 2016 by 13 %.
Sources: The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Shot – 11-12-18
The remarkable shift is in large part due to the Trump presidency making clear that nothing short of the character of our democracy is at stake when we make choices about who our House and Senate representatives will be.
Will we go back to policies borne out of the 1930s toward nationalism, isolationism and trade wars (which led to WWII)? Or will we move ahead, building a global community, where nations focus policies on a partnership of win – win for all, in peace.
Yet, as the ballots have been counted (though some continuing to be counted and recounted in Florida and Georgia), the political rhetoric between the newly empowered Democratic House and POTUS has started. Hurling charges and counter charges and threats of investigations right and left.
In spite of the unacceptable behavior our politicians in Washington citizens have turned out in mass to make their concerns known with an ever more diverse House and a few new leaders in the Senate. With a diverse electorate beginning to make its voice known we can begin to build a consensus around the common good. It is clear that we can’t move our country ahead in many areas including an economy that works for all if we don’t have people engaged.
While campaigns are often heated, with more heat than light on both sides of an issue, at least we see that people care. When people care, and get out and vote they are staking a claim in the future of our country. That is a good thing and makes us hopeful for the future, even as torturous as it maybe to get to a better place for all in our democracy.