THE DOWN TICKETS

The presidential contest will play out however it does.  There’s little enough one person, or half a dozen, can do about it.  We wait, some eager, some fearful.   But notice one thing: we still hear people planning their lives for the days ahead: school, jobs, dinners out, a trip, a new film.

There is a certain decompression around us all this weekend.  Anger has been transmuted into mere impatience, partisan enthusiasm (reasonable and un-) has become quiescent, almost civil.   Millions who heretofore have believed the end is coming, or that salvation awaits, are cleaning garages, buying snow shovels, racing 5Ks for charities.

This weekend’s inaction, or ceding to gods whose moods we cannot know, can be seen as a necessary breath, a big one.  Few people who plan to vote believe that when the election is over life will return to “normal.”    They are not confiding in their neighbors or even to family members that we’re going to get more change than we ever dreamed.

And one weekend’s holiday from enthusiasm for a kind of terrorism, or its counterpart – confidence that the world and the bureaucrats who run it will be playing first base in Cleveland – gives voters time to reflect and to understand that the tools they use for daily living have been modernized.

But they know, perhaps today just subconsciously, but later more definitely, that their personal arsenals are being replenished, warheads are being installed, hand-tools honed.   With what we have all learned this past year we are ready to, once more, go into battle.

Congress has been examined microscopically.   It is clearer than ever before that our cherished representatives are in this game not for us but for their parties and their pocket-books.   House members and Senators have made their choice: the party over the country.

Understanding this as clearly as we do, how are we to combat greed and self-preserving loyalties?

What Representatives and Senators may not yet realize is that this campaign has been a seminar in political warfare.  Most of its lessons have been learned by the public rather than the politicians.  The latter are wedded still to the ideas of obstructing progress, or gridlock, or investigations and studies that prove mischief-making.

The public, however, is now sniffing along the trail, following the maharajahs of make-believe, and planning to pass the caravans in order to dig deep spiked traps for the royal beasts of burden.

Some of those pits will be ready on Wednesday, November 9th.

Some are ready now.

We know, because we’ve been listening to them, that Republicans plan – should Hillary be elected – to make her life (and our own) hell.   But we also know that we can keep this from happening.

Regardless of what surname is at the top of the ballots we face on Tuesday, there are other names listed below them.   Names of candidates for the House, for the Senate, for the superstructures of state-by-state legislatures, for mayors and schoolboards and bureaucrats of all hues.   Given the Republican pledges to freeze Mrs. Clinton in her tracks, what earthly reason do we have for allowing this?

It’s not that we’re protective of Hillary.  We’re protective of how our country runs, or should be allowed to:  gears well-oiled, compromises thoughtfully reached, promises honored.   We have suffered already six years of Republicanism.  Why should we want or need to endure more?

So on Tuesday (that’s next Tuesday, November 8th, in case a reader or voter is confused or the victim of partisan disinformation) we need to do more than simply fire a warning shot.  We need to “carpet bomb” our own lean and hungry-eyed zombies.

If the House belongs to tribes of the undead, the Senate need not.

And the one and only way we can be certain that our ammo is dry and accurately delivered is to study the ballots in front of us – in ANY STATE – looking for names followed by, or introduced by, the symbolic letter “R.”   Then carefully we have to punch, fill in the circle, pull the lever beside names that are introduced by, or followed by, the symbolic letter “D.”

The only hope of improving our lives, of maintaining our status internationally, of recovering our economic balance is to remove Republican obstructionism, its very possibility, by voting where we see “Ds,” carving out of the fallen beast meat, limbs, ears, nose and tail  so that what has been missing in the governing of our nation returns: responsibility, honesty, civility, forethought, reason, and hope.

Worry not about the impact this will have on soon-to-be former House members and Senators.  They’ve already “got theirs.”  It’s US we’re trying to save.

 

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