We all knew the national stakes of Tuesday night’s election: If the Republicans gained six seats in the Senate, the GOP would have control of both houses of Congress for the first time in eight years. That which we didn’t see coming was the cognitive dissonance tormenting voter methodology within the Democratic Party.
Some big-time liberal referendums received positive gains at the ballot box as Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia voted to legalize the sale and possession of marijuana; Washington voted “yes” on requiring universal background checks for gun buyers and four red states – Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota – voted to increase their state’s minimum wage. However, despite the passage of these Democratic policies, Democratic officials suffered another midterm shellacking.
In the weeks leading up to the election, Democrats had high hopes for some significant advancement.
Several female candidates were in the national spotlight leading up to Tuesday night’s election. Wendy Davis of Texas sparked attention in her bid for the governorship. Alison Grimes earned the support of Hillary Clinton in her quest to unseat Sen. Mitch McConnell in Kentucky. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was in a high-profile battle with Scott Brown in New Hampshire. Sen. Kay Hagan was battling Republican Thom Tillis in North Carolina. And Mary Burke was hot on Gov. Scott Walker’s tail in Wisconsin.
Despite all the hullaballoo, the only success story in this bunch was Jeanne Shaheen.
And it wasn’t just the ladies who felt the scorn of Democratic discontent.
Bruce Rauner ousted Gov. Pat Quinn in Illinois sending a stiff message to President Obama. Businessman Larry Hogan delivered a mighty upset to his challenger, Anthony Brown, in the Maryland gubernatorial race. Rick Scott maintained his post as governor of Florida. Cory Gardner unseated Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado. And Pat Roberts trotted to victory in the hotly contested Senate race in Kansas.
It is clear that Democrats continue to cling to their liberal ideals, but there is disorientation within the party in terms of loyalty to elected officials. Tuesday’s votes were likely reflective of personal restlessness within the party.
History has shown that the party in control of the White House loses its grasp in its sixth year, but Democratic disillusionment seems to be spreading like the molten rock engulfing Hawaii.
The mental stress conflicting Dems is causing inconsistencies between their values and ideas. Rather than being the change they want to see, they force themselves into a haven of destruction and anguish.
In two short years Democrats will undoubtedly march to the polls on a voyage of alteration. In the meantime, serious reflection and rumination will need to take place in order to redeem the fading spirit of the party.