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A divided country remains after midterm elections

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Peter Goodman
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Commentary:

If some typographical symbol meant, “taking a deep breath,” I’d start this column with it.

We just had a major election. Before jumping into state/local issues, let’s contemplate that.

We’re still deeply and acrimoniously divided. Gridlock and Disinformation will still characterize Congress and the Internet, respectively. Mr. Trump still proposes to stay out of jail by running again for President. Mr. Putin still proposes to nuke someone if we don’t let him have his way.

For the first time since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a sitting president’s party in his first mid-term lost few House seats and perhaps no Senators. (Truman and Clinton each lost 54 House and 10 Senate seats, Obama 63/6.)

What overcame history, Biden’s poor polling, and high inflation? Decent folks’ revulsion at Trump’s lawlessness and disregard for democracy? Seeing how pathetic his chosen senatorial candidates were? This election may prevent a second Trump presidency; but “Ron DeSanctimonious” isn’t Lincoln.

We may not know who controls the U.S. Senate until Georgia’s candidates meet in a runoff December 6. (Neither Raphael Warnock (49.6%) nor Herschel Walker (48.3%) exceeded 50% of the vote.)

I’d bet on Warnock. He led this time. Anti-Trump revulsion could hurt Trump’s hand-picked running back, who won’t have Brian Kemp blocking for him. Governor Kemp led the Republican ticket, beating Stacey Abrams, but some Kemp voters didn’t vote for Walker. Decent Republicans who came out to vote for Kemp and other Republicans might stay home December 6. Fundamentalist “pro-life” folks might reflect on the fact that Warnock is a respected pastor, while Walker has allegedly funded abortions. Even if Walker gets ¾ of the voters who preferred Libertarian Chase Oliver (hardly a given, since Oliver’s a gayex-Dem!), the excitement for Warnock and the mixed feelings about Walker should give Warnock the prize, despite the runoff’s significance. (Georgia Dems won both 2020 runoffs.)

Meanwhile, Congrats to Gabe Vasquez! But Wednesday morning, eyeballing that 50%-50% Vasquez-Herrell split, I contemplated our system. A shout out to Gabe. DON’T let the national party lead you by the nose. Its support helped; but your sweat and eloquence won this. Take their advice as well-intended, but it ain’t written on no tablet from the mountain.

Shout outs to Shannon Reynolds and Suzie Kimble. Reynolds will continue on our county commission. Kimble will not join it. If our candidate forum had been a job interview, I’d have hired Mr. Reynolds; but I’d have kept Ms. Kimble’s resume for the next opening. They campaigned cordially, collegially, cooperatively, and reasonably, more interested in the business of governing than in taking ideological potshots at each other. Good riddance to Mr. Ronchetti, Dr. Oz, and a host of ambitious phonies. And congrats to Michele Lujan-Grisham and Raul Torrez; but please don’t trip over the constitution in your haste to jail people before trying them.

I hope now we relax for a while, laugh more, enjoy our wonderful lives, and take time for facts regarding political matters.  I won't hold my breath, though.