Finally, Median Voter Guy Can Celebrate

As stated in the Washington Post: "Richard III out, Atticus Finch in." Joe Biden is a real moderate, with long experience working with Republicans in the Senate--even Mitch McConnell. There is hope that a tentative truce is possible and real action made on the pandemic front, stimulus, infrastructure, maybe even healthcare. Short of that, executive orders can do some good. With the likelihood that McConnell will control the Senate and the Supreme Court has an overwhelming majority, gridlock is likely. Even so, there is plenty of good news, from an effective vaccine to rejoining our allies on the world stage.

There are several things to worry about. Over 70 million people voted for Trump and presumably millions think there was widespread election fraud. Scott Adams (Win Bigly) emphasized persuasion as the key to Trump. It looks like propaganda to me, with the psychological expertise mainly in the Republican side. Richard Stengel noted how effective propaganda was and how difficult it was to counteract it (which was part of his job at the State Department)--"lies over truth" (or just cherry-picking facts and spinning them convincingly). As I've said before, the culture as I understood it growing up in the 1940s-50s was racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic. I thought we had "evolved" beyond that, but the degree of racism and unfounded biases still seems extreme. Simultaneously is the apparent lack of critical thinking skills and disparaging of science.

I recently pointed out the importance of fully funding government (you get what you pay for). Government looks incompetent if funding is cut far enough and that result is easy to document. Adequate funding doesn't seem to be likely if Republicans hold the Senate. Republicans probably won't give any money to state and local governments as part of a stimulus plan; I'm not sure they will provide much stimulus money to most people (rich "job creators" may be an exception). New taxes won't be on the table either. Given deficits everywhere, expanding government spending just won't happen without new taxes.

As a moderate, I see problems on both extremes. The "radical left" apparently is fine with losing to maintain their principles. Heaven forbid they would be satisfied with modest improvements in healthcare and the environment. I can only hope both sides can reevaluate the logic of the median voter model and look toward compromise as the most reasonable position for public policy.

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© 2016 Gary Giroux