The runoff race in Georgia provides an interesting contrast to the political drama in America today, on many fronts. If you don’t know what was happening there, they held an election in Tom Price’s deep red district after Price became Donald Trump’s Health Secretary. The Republicans have held that district since 1979. Victory was assured. However, the backlash against Donald Trump in America today gave the Democrats hope that they could unseat the Republican candidate Karen Handel. It was a longshot, but hopes were higher as the election cycle continued. It turned out to be the most expensive campaign in congressional history.
Handel won, as most expected. I paid attention to the rhetoric leading up to the race and almost everybody was saying her opponent, Jon Ossof, was a longshot to win, but that even a close race would be a victory for the Democrats and a referendum on Trump. It wasn’t really close. Handel won, if you’ll pardon the pun, handily. A Republican won a deep red district as expected. This, according to some pundits this morning, is an apocalypse for the Democrats.
No, it isn’t.
The person expected to win the election won. It is, however, a great time to overemphasize a runoff election with hyperbolic embellishment. And everyone from the President of the United States to the left-leaning Atlantic is ringing the bell of historic victory or doom and gloom.
It’s dumb. But that’s America right now. All sensationalist sound bites and chest-beating. Zero substance. It’s a big game being played out between Democrats and Republicans and only the final score matters. CNN and Fox News are simply the ESPN of politics, covering the players in the game. The folks in the stands don’t matter, as long as they pay their ticket and watch.
I understand the Trump grandstanding on all this more than the Democrat hand-wringing. Trump has been short on victories since taking office, and he’s prone to bluster, anyway. He’s gonna make it sound like his team just won the Super Bowl, because of him, no matter what happens. Even if everybody in Georgia avoided talking about him as much as possible down the stretch. He’s bad news for both sides.
The reason the runoff is such an interesting contrast, however, is because partially the Democrats are right to be concerned. It wasn’t the end of the franchise. They lost a game they were supposed to lose. But it is still a wake-up call. One of these parties, somewhere along the line, has got to start remembering it isn’t about the game, it’s about the fans. The millions of people in the audience are more important than the handful of players on the field. If you want to make a great America, focus on what is best for the people. The party that figures that out will run the table in 2018.
But, no, that asks too much. Donald Trump wants to run social media victory laps. Republicans want to repeal a health plan, then add tax cuts for the wealthy and reintroduce much the same plan with their name on it, instead. Democrats want to take back the Congress without compromising their core value of self-interest.
It’s time for some soul-searching. Both parties should take Georgia as a wake-up call and start thinking about the American people again, start thinking about the us in U.S. The approval ratings of Nancy Pelosi and Paul Ryan are even worse than the approval ratings for Donald Trump, and his are at historical lows. Nobody likes the leadership in America. And who can blame us for that?
But go ahead, leaders, keep celebrating and hand-wringing. Go ahead, news outlets, keep sensationalizing nothing stories. Keep the end times coming.
Apocalypses are great for ratings.