Plunging hope and wrong change in Washington D.C. and everywhere else in the United States seems to have awakened the electorate which chose to go Republican in 2014.
Americans gave Republicans a midterm mandate to change things around, but they should not fool themselves about how change is going to come. Yesterday, Mitch McConnell was very clear during his press conference about the way Washington intends to pilot the American ship.
“Just because we have a system with two parties does not mean we live in a perpetual conflict,” he said.
Change will not come from Washington, that much we know. So what tools do Americans have to force change onto its political elite? The answer seems clear at this point.
Obama’s biggest losses in the midterm elections came not only from his poor handling of foreign policy, the economy, healthcare and the growing Police Surveillance State. It also came from the way State and local governments performed.
Americans are tired of dreams. They want facts, unfortunately for Obama and his party. Especially when it affects the economy.
Today, only 27% believe the economic outlook will improve next year, a terrible thing if you consider that the US indicators, according to official numbers, are positive. On this premise, can it be understood that the Democratic disaster in Tuesday’s election came also from the job done by 36 gubernatorial posts?
Of these, 24 went to Republican hands and 11 to the Democratic side, if it is granted that the triumph of independent Alaskan candidate, Bill Walker, will mean one more vote for the Democrats.
In Vermont, the State Assembly will decide if a Republican or a Democrat will get the Senate position, as neither candidate got enough votes. The Conservatives, who defended 22 territories, gave only two away (Pennsylvania and Alaska) and seized at least four.
The battle for the Governors, those who make decisions that affect citizens –taxes, education, health, etc-, has left terrible news for Democrats and key ones for their opponents in the race for the White House in 2016.
The Conservative party has won in very relation to the presidential duels, like Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin. It also took over some places of great meaning for Democrats like Illinois, Arkansas, Maryland and Massachusetts.
Republicans have expanded their domain with an agenda, in many cases, far from the thesis of the Tea Party, which they supported in 2010. The increase in the minimum wage, the fight against poverty and issues such as abortion or marriage of homosexuals have led Republican contenders to victory. This applies to Charlie Baker in Massachusetts, for example.
In an election in which women have been elected to Congress, the social agenda has been key, as has been proven for Rob Astorino in New York, beaten by Andrew Cuomo and his supposed ultraconservative agenda. When studied more in detail, the results show that the four women who aspired to be reelected succeeded, including Susana Martinez, Republican of New Mexico.
For the Democrats there have been only a few reasons for optimism. Beyond victories by Cuomo in New York and Jerry Brown in California, the smiles of the night put Gina Raimond in Rhode Island, Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire and Thomas Wolfe in Pennsylvania as the only winners for the blue party.
In the thirteen states in which the battle was uncertain –Florida, Georgia, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Rhode Island, Maryland, Colorado, Wisconsin and Alaska- Republicans won at least nine.
From nineteen Republican governors who sought re-election, 17 of them succeeded. On the Democratic side, nine aspired to something similar. They got seven. Obama campaigned in Wisconsin, Connecticut, Maine, Pennsylvania and Michigan. It did not help much.
Among the victorious contenders considering a presidential run are the Conservatives Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Scott from Florida, Rick Snyder of Michigan and Bruce Rauner in Illinois.
From the point of view of the long road to the White House, two Republican figures, who were not running for reelection, are now stronger. One of them is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who despite recent scandals continues to have positive reviews. The other one is Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.
As chairman of the Republican Governors Christie turned to support his teammates, traveling from state to state. Following the success in places like Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Maryland and Arkansas, where Christie credentials have skyrocketed.
Given the fact that the Republicans won more seats in State governments just as they did in the US Senate, it is safe to say that Americans have a better chance to see change coming from their representatives at the State level than at the Federal level. It is important to remember that one only possible way in which voters in the US can begin limiting their out of control government is by forcing their local and State leaders to uphold State rights.
Today, States can nullify Federal mandates, for example, as well as Federally approved policies. States can enact laws to block legislation created by lobbyists in Washington, which is why it is important to elect local and State representatives who are compromised with the people and their needs, as supposed to with corporate interests.
Taking into consideration that more Republican governors were elected, it now seems to be The People’s prerogative to bring about the change they want to see.
Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda. His 16 years of experience in Journalism include television, radio, print and Internet news. Luis obtained his Journalism degree from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, where he graduated in Mass Media Communication in 1998. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Among his most distinguished interviews are: Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres and James Hansen from NASA Space Goddard Institute. Read more about Luis.