Election Day: Red Electeds, Blue Issues.

After pondering the results from Tuesday both here in New York State and nationwide I feel that it is a mixed bag. On Wednesday I felt down as I often do when elections do not go as I had hoped. I vividly recall my feelings as far back as 1958 when Averell Harriman lost in his re-election bid for Governor of New York to Nelson Rockefeller. Although I was not involved in politics at the age of 15 I still felt very down and wondered how life would be under a Republican governor. Over the years I learned that life goes on regardless of who is in power and that politics is cyclical. Two years after Harriman’s defeat we elected John F. Kennedy as President. The tide had turned back to the Democrats in New york and elsewhere. There are always cycles in politics and the course our nation is going.

This year the pendulum swung to the right. Several BLUE states went RED. Our Congress is now RED. This does not mean that the citizens of our great nation have now decided that they want a right wing ideology to run our nation. Not at all. There are many reason this nation went RED. Many were just fed up with a Congress which accomplished hardly anything over the past two years mostly due to obstruction by the Tea Party. There was a feeling that possibly new faces on The Hill would help. There was dissatisfaction with our President. It is my feeling that President Obama and the Democratic Party did not present a united team. A team which emphasized the economy which continues to improve and other major accomplishments of the President and the Democrats in Congress. There should have been an emphasis on how the Tea Party Republicans were stopping Congress from acting on issues of concern and controlled the Republican Party. The Republicans used the resentment against Washington to the fullest extent and was able to elect Repubicans in states which should have gone blue. This is not a trend it is a detour from a progressive route for this nation.I do congratulate teh Republicans for their strategy in many of their victories. In 2008 it was the Democrats who prevailed based on the using the Internet and other new technologies to their fullest.

As we look at issues on the ballot we see that progressive issues passed in many states which voted RED on candidates. The legalization of marijuana was adopted in Oregon and in Alaska. Alaska is a RED state. It is sending a Republican to the US Senate having defeated Senator Begich. Washington DC also legalized the sale of marijuana. Even in Florida the legalization of marijuana was approved by 58% of the voters. In Florida a toss up state more Red than Blue, 60% of the voters had to approve.

The issue of abortion was on the ballot in the very Red state of North Dakota. A “pro-life” initiative to amend the constitution to protect “the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected” was soundly defeated 64.1 % to 35.1%. In fact the primary sponsor of the measure in the ND Senate was defeated by a Democrat. In Colorado a similar amendment was defeated by a very similar measure. In Alaska and in Arkansas measures to raise the minimum wage easily passed. Both states are more Red than Blue. In Washington State Initiative 594, which passed with 60 percent of the vote, mandates background checks on all gun sales and transfers, including at gun shows and online. Washington State is where the most recent school killings occurred.

So, let us take this year’s defeat of progressive Blue candidates with a grain of salt. We now move on to the major elections in 2016. Personally I hope that the progressives in this nation unite with the moderates and independents to elect a President and members of Congress who support the basic tenets of our Nation.

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