Op-Ed: The midterm results (so far) show that old political narratives don’t apply anymore. But when will we see change?
After a summer of feverish speculation about the health of the country – and the election – we’re finally reaching the end of the election season.
The first part of this is largely a result of the first two days of the year, at least in terms of the amount of campaign talking points we’re still following.
We’ve gone from a period of political uncertainty (and, more importantly, a period of political unrest), to an election phase – especially in local government – in which the two sides have coalesced around their policy positions, and the candidates continue to engage in some of the more contentious issues in the campaign, like immigration, which has brought the two sides closer together.
And now the campaign is almost over – with the results from some of the races happening in less than 48 hours.
Despite that close proximity, the campaign season is often punctuated by events that remind us that it’s easy to get caught up in the hype.
In 2012, the media gave us an important reminder that things are rarely what they seem.
As it turned out, President Obama’s re-election campaign’s spending helped turn the momentum of the election into a narrative of failure, even though most of the money was spent right before the election.
It was almost as if the campaign was spending itself.
Now we’re in the aftermath of that election cycle, with Republicans defending a lot of the same positions on campaign issues, and Donald Trump attacking their policies even though he’s yet to run for president in his own right.
At this point, we’re left to remind ourselves that, while things can change a lot faster than most of us expect, and a lot of the campaign rhetoric that resonated last year could disappear with time, it’s not as clear right now that electoral success has any bearing on the course of things.
Whether that is because the country is, in fact, more divided than we thought – or because Donald Trump’s candidacy is still playing out, in the sense that it’s still not decided – we can’t tell right now.
But the midterm election is still a milestone in the story