It's funny how I've seen Facebook memories for the last week from various elections, and how different I looked at them. In 2012, for example, I made the remark that Obama and Romney really weren't all that different. Sure, I wanted Obama to win, more for his temperament than anything else, but had Romney won, I'd probably shrug and be indifferent. It's crazy that things have changed so much in just ten years.
A decade ago, racism, misogyny and dishonesty would disqualify you from public office. When I say dishonesty, I'm not talking about political doublespeak, I'm talking about outright lying to your face. If you tried to declare an election illegitimate and promised to make sure only your candidates won if elected, that would be the end of it. But while a "red wave" failed to materialize, despite the typical pattern of the president's opposition taking control of Congress by a huge margin, it was still close enough, and there were enough outliers (out liars?), that I'm left feeling concerned as I did in 2020. Some percentage of Americans buy the lies and are willing to embrace an autocracy at the expense of democracy. That's messed up.
What I've come to realize is that not everyone values equality, civil rights and democracy itself as the top priority. While I'm slightly empathetic to that, it bothers me that the basics of civil engagement in the democratic process requires those values to come first. Without them, no other policy can be legitimate.
But the closeness of the electorate response could be interpreted the other way, too. It could be considered a rebuke of the shit show that shouldn't be. The continuous circus of candidates vilifying anyone not in their mold, asking you to fear them, is getting old outside of the minority that subscribes to that nonsense. The young voter turnout this year is hopefully a good sign of things to come.
Meanwhile, it seems that Fox News has finally figured out how elections work in their deep analysis (see video below):
"Why did Dr. Oz lose? Well, it looks like, according to the exit polling, because Fetterman won."
You can't make this shit up.