CHARLOTTE, NC, October 29, 2014 – While the talking heads talk and the analysts analyze and the pundits pund, the 2014 midterm elections draw ever closer.
It will be good to see them finally come and go so that we can stop listening to the endless barrage of political commercials that infest our living rooms each night.
That said, by Thursday a new television campaign will begin as commentator after commentator begins another speculation cycle about who will win in 2016. It is inevitable, just like cold winters and hot summers used to be before there was climate change.
Most professional observers believe the Democrats are in for a rough evening come Tuesday. Even so, many are beginning to hedge their bets a bit with comments like “I think there will be some surprises.”
That’s nothing more than CYA analysis because in every election there are always surprises somewhere. But it gives the “experts” an out when the “surprises” do arrive.
Keep in mind that many of the so-called informed sources live inside “the beltway” of Washington which means they are frequently the ones who are most surprised when something unexpected happens.
One analyst who became a casualty of the 2012 election was Dick Morris who boldly predicted a Mitt Romney rout over Barack Obama. When that didn’t happen, Morris disappeared for a while to lick his wounds and regain his credibility. Give Morris credit however, he stuck to his guns and had sound, so it seemed at the time, reasoning for his opinions. At least until election day.
All of which brings us to our personal crystal balls as we attempt to predict what will happen on Tuesday. It’s the American way. We make NFL picks each Sunday, fill in our NCAA brackets every March and try to guess the winner of the World Series each October even though many of us didn’t see a single pitch all season. So why not do the same for elections? The only difference is there is no point spread.
This time around however, it feels like something reaches deeper into the soul than past elections. My gut tells me the country is in a foul mood these days. Could it be that Americans are even more angry than the news anchors think?
Not that the polls are wrong or that the races are vastly different than most people in the know are predicting, but it is just that when Tuesday rolls around and, if the weather is nice, there may be large groups of “silent citizens” marching out to vote who somehow got overlooked by Frank Luntz, Gallup, Zogby and all the major television networks.
Perhaps it is all just wishful thinking. Maybe it’s nothing more than a desire to see something, anything, out-newsify the scandals, corruption, lies, distortions, endless rhetoric and the daily drumbeat of wondering what happened to our country.
So for me, at least, the best surprise would be the biggest surprise and that is that everyone in the media is also surprised at the groundswell from the American people to tell Washington we want our country back.
That doesn’t mean there should be no debate. Nor does it suggest that one party’s ideas are better than the other. It is simply a desire to see the polarization that has plagued this nation and gradually worsened for years, begin a gradual return to civility and just a tad bit of compromise.
Global warming advocates tell us the ice is melting at the poles and that the seas are rising. They say the polar bears are sitting on disappearing chunks of ice with no place to go for food.
From a political perspective however, the poles have become vastly larger and the “polar bears” of congress have become increasingly vocal and partisan.
When the sun comes up on Tuesday, here’s hoping the American people will go to those other polls and pull the levers that will bring about the change we so desperately need.
And when the dust clears and all the votes are counted, perhaps the biggest surprise will be in the White House, when Barack Obama discovers that his policies, which were indeed on the ballot, have been rejected by We the People; the lowly Americans he deigns to serve.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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