By the time this column goes to press the votes will be counted, but the election won't be over. I've been very cautious about predicting the outcome, on the eve of the day I will be bold and predict after the votes are counted some people are going to be unhappy. The problem is, who […]
By the time this column goes to press the votes will be counted, but the election won't be over.
I've been very cautious about predicting the outcome, on the eve of the day I will be bold and predict after the votes are counted some people are going to be unhappy.
The problem is, who and how unhappy? As in unhappy enough to cry 'Foul!' demand recounts, or take to the streets?
That depends on whether there is a massive repudiation of the Republicans, or they make significant gains, or there is just kind of a 'meh' mid-term readjustment like usual.
It's not really possible the Democrats will take the Senate but they have hopes of taking the House. From the point of view of those who love peace and quiet that might be the best outcome.
Even some conservatives might not be too unhappy with that. The libertarian publication Reason Magazine has pointed out that government spending is generally lowest when government is divided.
If however the Democrats fail to retake the House or lose significant ground then the Devil is coming to breakfast. Because they've got a lot invested in this and a lot of them are flat not going to believe the results.
So before we turn this country into a permanent version of Detroit's Devil's Night, lets line out some of the things we're mad at each other about.
One is, the urban-rural divide.
After searching diligently for any other explanation, we've admitted the only consistent predictor of voting patterns is simply population density. Rural folks vote R, urbanites vote D.
What we don't know is why. Perhaps areas of high or low population density have different concerns that require different styles of governance. And perhaps a top-down, one-size-fits-all, my-way-or-the-highway style just doesn't fit a country as large and diverse as ours.
And by the way it would probably help if oh-so-sophisticated urbanites didn't look down on rural folks are inbred cross-burning bigots, and rural folks didn't condemn city folk as America-bashing perverts.
You might think it, but it wouldn't hurt to dial it down in public.
What complicates things is the rural areas are tax consuming and the urban areas tax exporting. Because the tax base in the hinterlands can't support 21st century infrastructure without help. Nor does wheat and beef fly to market.
Which leads to the next problem. Redistributionist government fosters identity politics and division.
Years ago sociologist Daniel Bell pointed out that as government grows bigger and more active in redistributing wealth, people organize to grab their piece of the pie.
The first to organize were industries and professions. But as the government becomes more active in picking winners and losers, people increasingly organize along lines of kinship and ethnicity.
The worst possible development for a democratic republic.
People knowledgeable in math tell me there is a proof any voting system can always be dominated by a coalition of minorities. Think about what that implies for a minute. There will always be a faction whose interest is in division rather than unity.
Which leads to immigration. Not the legal kind.
Caravans of desperate migrants are heading for the U.S. stopping only for photo ops and coming to storm our border armed only with their misery. The left thinks this is a humanitarian crisis no decent human being can be indifferent to.
The right thinks the left is importing a massive voting block that will insure their predominance forever.
They're both right.
Tomorrow I'm going to vote, then I'm going to go home and bar my door. See you next week. Maybe.