Tuesday, December 8, 2020

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: The Mandate Of 2020

Most of the commentary about the 2020 national elections has
concluded that the voters did not give elected officials a clear
mandate for the next two and four years.

But such conclusions are based on partisan or ideological
premises on both the left and the right.

In fact, based on the actual voting results across the nation, the
majority of state voters expressed the pragmatic and centrist
desire for government to play a sensible and cooperative role
for the remainder of the pandemic crisis. Divided government
is careful moving government, and voters overall sent a signal
that they want no radical lurch to the left or right.

Urban violence, programs to defund the police and plans to
raise taxes contributed to the general down-ballot winning
performance of Republican candidates in 2020, but lack of a
genuine GOP healthcare alternative to Obamacare, seeming
indifference to some environmental issues, and the pandemic
denied conservatives a mandate as they once again lost the
national popular vote.

So-called identity politics, a strategy favored by Democrats,
presumes monolithic voting patterns of ethnic, religious and
labor groups. Its past success was notably not realized in
2020, as meaningful percentages of blacks, Hispanics, Jews
and union members continued leaving the Democratic Party.
If this trend continues, Democrats will lose control of the
U.S. house in 2022.

The mid-term elections of 2022  already loom. They will be
held after reapportionment of congressional districts and the
local elections of 2021. The pandemic, following widespread
vaccination, likely will be over, but its economic and social
aftermath likely will linger. Voters will not reward any party
or any administration which fails to advocate and implement
broad-based policy solutions.

Whoever is in charge faces a daunting, volatile, and
problematic two years ahead.

Copyright (c) 2020 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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