Sunday, November 20, 2022

Salient Warnings Against Celebrating Results of Recent U.S. Elections Prematurely

Gabriela Ruellan, Nine different shades of red to illustrate the look and scope of the color red, at Wikimedia Commons

Two sobering assessments of the results of the recent U.S. elections that call on us who may be tempted to celebrate the vindication of democracy not to do that prematurely:

Joyce Vance, "A Saturday with Chickens":

As much as I want to celebrate the outcome of the elections, I know that the stories we heard were the successes. The Michigans, Pennsylvanias and Nevadas. We didn’t hear much about the states where super conservative majorities have a virtual lock on state courts and state politics. States that will end all abortion rights, prohibit medical care for trans youth, make voting more difficult for many of us and implement other laws and policies that take us backwards, not forwards. I never expected the 2020s to be like the 1950s.

Benjamin Wallace Wells, "When Election Deniers Concede": 

Is the democracy crisis over? Even asking the question feels like climbing out of the basement after a hurricane, bent and shaken, to size up what’s left. The atmosphere isn’t so different now; we still have a conspiracy-minded right-wing media and political candidates eager to indulge it. Trump is still campaigning and still saying bizarre things. (He’s been emphasizing this fall that drug dealers should be executed.) He’s still insisting that he won the 2020 election. Around the country, Republican politicians are still pushing laws to make voting harder, at the margins. Even if many of them represent deeply red parts of the country unlikely to tip a Presidential election, the simple fact that so many election deniers did win last week—nearly two hundred, according to the Washington Post—is a good reason to think that the fever hasn’t yet broken. 

As someone who lives in one of those "states where super conservative majorities have a virtual lock on state courts and state politics," I take these words to heart. I did not expect to be living my final years with such constant expectation of impending doom, particularly as an openly gay man married to another man who wonders when the next blow is coming from the Republican and white evangelical majority controlling the state in which we live. 

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