Thursday, November 05, 2020

The People Have Spoken

      ...And what The People are saying to politicians, Democrat and Republican alike, is that they're just not that into you.

     Sorry, pols.  There was no "Trumpslide."  There was no "Blue Wave."  That stuff you're selling?  No majority wants it.  Bidding might've been brisk in Mencken's "advance auction of stolen goods,"* but in the end, it was inconclusive.

      As I write, we still don't know who won the Presidency.  Whichever elderly man gets it will have won in a squeaker, and will have to deal with what will most likely be narrow and opposing party majorities in the Legislative branch, Dems in the House and the GOP in the Senate.  An incoming President Biden is unlikely to have much chance to expand the Supreme Court; a returning President Trump will face the same kind of defiance from the House he's already had for four years.  Whatever was on either Presidential wish list isn't going to get much traction.

      I don't think the electorate is interested in any bold new initiatives.  It looks to me like the aggregate will of the American people wants a that will shut up, sit down, and run the country without much anguish, excitement or big schemes.

      Let's count all the votes, recount all the close ones, put the lawsuits into the hopper of the various courts and turn the crank while sitting on the louder, stupider rabble of each side.  Let's at least run the system before giving much heed to the people on the fringes panicking and freaking out.  They'd've flipped out no matter what happened -- and most of the rest of us are well over it.
*     "The state—or, to make the matter more concrete, the government—consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get, and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time it is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.
     "Government, of course, has other functions, and some of them are useful and even valuable. It is supposed, in theory, to keep the peace, and also to protect the citizen against acts of God and the public enemy."
      H. L. Mencken as reprinted in A Carnival of Buncombe, 1956

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